2019 Lessons From the LL.M. – Hicham Kantar

We asked the Class of 2019 to nominate their peers — whether inspirational leaders in the classroom or a student group,  activists or artists around New York City, or simply great friends and pizza companions — to share what they’ve learned over the course of their LL.M. year. The result, Lessons from the LL.M.

In Hicham’s nomination, a student wrote, “he is one of the funniest colleagues that I have met… At the same time, he is one of the most inspiring colleagues.”  Here’s what Hicham has to share:



Name: Hicham Kantar


Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon


Pre-LL.M.:  I was working as a judge in Lebanon.


What’s next?

Immediately after graduation, I am going on a road trip in the US. No itinerary, just driving around and stopping wherever I feel like it. After that, who knows!


Three things you learned during your LL.M. Year: 

1) We as lawyers who are privileged enough to go to Columbia, have a particular duty to be constantly alert about the fact that the rights we think are basic, are not to be taken for granted.

2) It is never too late to shift gears in life.

3) I can’t get enough New York pizza.


New York Moment:

Going to Bryant Park, sitting on the lawn (or on a chair), drinking coffee and reading non-law related stuff.


Favorite Class:

Human Rights. I learned a lot, and discovered a personal sensibility to the issues raised during class. I also found out that this is what I hope to be working on after the LL.M.


Best Coffee Spot: Gotan Tribeca 


Best Place to Study: My apartment.


LL.M. Protip:

Enjoy New York, make friends, take one class on a topic you know nothing about, and try not to make it all about finding a job. I wish I’d known how fast this year goes.


Would you change anything? 

Waste less time on stressing out about after the LL.M.