After being conscripted for compulsory military service in Turkmenistan, Iskandar decided to enter the field of law. He received his LL.B. at St. Petersburg University in Russia and his Ph.D. from the North-West Academy of Law in St. Petersburg. Iskandar worked as a translator/assistant at trials at the Federal Court in St. Petersburg. For seven years, Iskandar worked at the Refugee Counseling Center of UNHCR in St. Petersburg and in Moscow as a legal consultant and a legal officer, respectively. From 2008 to 2009, Iskandar worked as a resettlement consultant at the UNHCR sub-office in Kerman, Iran. Iskandar speaks Tajik, Russian, English, Farsi/Dari, and Arabic. Following his studies at BU Law, Iskandar worked for FedSys, an organization that provides operational support the US government overseas.
Q & A with Iskandar Mirzoev
Why did you choose BU?
BU offers a very good education for foreign lawyers. It has a very good program, especially for those who want to familiarize themselves with the U.S. legal system. Also, the faculty is great, number one in the world. I’m really happy to have taken classes with Professors Lahav, Akram, Pettit, Farnsworth, Lawson and others.
What has been the biggest change between law school and your classes here in the LL.M. program?
When I studied back in Russia, it was a different approach. We have codified laws, so a good lawyer can find and refer to the relevant code section really quickly. In the U.S., to be a good lawyer, it is important to develop analytical reasoning and critical thinking. It’s a big change when you start to think like a U.S. lawyer; it’s a great thing to be able to do.
What do you plan or want to do after graduation?
I previously worked for about eight years with the United Nations, so I applied for several UN positions – legal officer, consultant -- related to helping refugees who need protection and support.
What have you enjoyed most about living and studying in Boston?
I have a lot of friends from all around the world. I heavily respect them; they’re lawyers, judges, prosecutors, and I learned a lot from them.
Do you have any advice for students applying to the LL.M. program at BU?
Study hard, but don’t forget to have fun also!