M’Ballou Sanogho RLAW ’20, who currently works as an attorney with Rutgers Law Associates, has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study international law at the CY Cergy Paris University School of Law.
She said her goal is to contribute to the lives of victims of human rights crimes as an attorney.
“I was relieved and excited when I learn I was accepted for the Fulbright scholarship . . . I was excited because, at that very moment, I felt I was getting closer to reaching my goal of helping victims of human rights violations worldwide,” she commented.
Sanogho, who received the law school’s Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award for International Law at graduation and was the Managing Editor of the Rutgers International Law & Human Rights Journal, said in her Fulbright essay that she hopes to represent clients in international issues and become an expert in the French civil law system.
“I consider obtaining an LL.M degree in French and European Union Law from CY Cergy an invaluable way of developing my understanding of the French civil law and its international law application. I plan to join the European Law Students' Association to make new friends, learn more about French cultures, and engage with the local community,” she said. “Learning about French cultures and engaging with the local community will help me understand how French civil society shaped the legal system. I will also work with international organizations in France to gain the skills to solve international law crimes from a civil law perspective. I am committed to contributing to the lives of victims of human rights violations positively.”
She will study in Paris during the 2021-2022 school year.
Sanogho has long been a student of global issues and law. She earned her bachelor’s degree in International Criminal Justice and a master’s degree in Global Affairs before attending Rutgers Law School. At Rutgers, she was a research fellow for the Rutgers Center for Security, Race, and Rights and participated in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.
She said, “My interest in becoming an international lawyer can be traced back to my time as a child in Ivory Coast, West Africa. At a young age, I faced many of the devastating situations endured by my country at large. I experienced civil war and adverse cultural practices. The experiences have triggered my desire to contribute to the lives of people who are facing similar experiences, especially in Africa, where human rights violations are still very prominent.”
During law school, she worked as a legal intern with the International Justice Project, representing victims of the war in Sudan who sought asylum in the United States. She conducted client interviews and drafted reported cases of human rights violations, which were submitted to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
She also worked with Volunteer Lawyers for Justice as a Proskauer Rose Public Interest Fellow. At the firm she represented human trafficking victims and helped them get criminal convictions vacated that occurred from being trafficked.
Sanogho also was part of the student team that started the Rutgers International Law and Human Rights Journal, which the faculty approved as a Rutgers Law School journal last year with students participating from both Newark and Camden. “I am also grateful to the Rutgers faculty who supported me during my academic years at Rutgers Law School and recommended me for the Fulbright Scholarship and for the time they have taken to review my application package. I would not have done it without their help.”