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Student Voice

Somboon Hosakoun
Home country: Laos
*Mr. Hosakoun graduated the LLM in Global Legal Practice and received a Law and Development in Asia in September 2023.

How did you find out about the LLM program, and what attracted you to pursue it?

After graduating from the School of Law in Laos, I pursued my dream of working as a lawyer and always aspired to enhance my legal knowledge abroad for the LL.M. program, particularly in a country with a legal system similar to that of my own. Japan, for me, was the ideal destination to further my studies. Fortunately, the Lao Bar Association (LBA) announced a scholarship opportunity under the JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Program, which allowed me to study at Keio University. Upon conducting thorough research on the university, I discovered that it offers a wide range of legal fields, including business law, Japanese law, law and development in Asia, Intellectual Property Law, and International Dispute Resolution, along with a multitude of law-related subjects. I realized that this university could provide me with the comprehensive legal knowledge and skills I sought to acquire, especially in the field of 'law and development in Asia' which I prioritize. Consequently, I made the decision to apply for this scholarship, and I was subsequently selected by the project to pursue my studies here. I am deeply grateful to JICA for providing me with this opportunity to study at the Keio University Law School.


Please tell us about your most memorable class, along with the reason why.

All the classes I attended were truly memorable, but if I were to single out one that left the deepest impression, it would be the "Area Studies of Law (South East Asia)" class taught by Prof. Hiroshi Matsuo. This class delved into the historical, political, economic, and legal aspects of Southeast Asian nations. Prof. Matsuo's insightful teachings and explanations about this subject matter were particularly remarkable. I remember a moment when a classmate asked me about Laos, and while I struggled to respond, he clearly provided an in-depth explanation. The students were assigned to make presentations and discussed the actual situations of each country, especially the legal system and governance. Another noteworthy class was "Mediation," instructed by Professors Miyatake and Sippel. I held this course in high regard because of its direct relevance to my work as a lawyer. I acquired valuable mediation techniques and tactics during this class, knowledge that I could immediately apply in my profession to achieve successful outcomes.


What do you enjoy about life at Keio?

Keio University is renowned for its exceptional teaching standards, which is why it attracts a substantial number of international students each year. Among these students, you'll find individuals from diverse backgrounds, including USA, England, France, Germany, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and many more. I am grateful for the opportunity to study here and to have had the chance to interact not only with Japanese classmates but also with friends from various countries and cultures. Our interactions have allowed us to engage in meaningful discussions and share our experiences regarding both academics and daily life. We frequently gather to eat together, making this time spent together truly invaluable.


What are your plans after you finish your studies at Keio? What do you think you will take with you from this experience?

I have a strong desire to work and study in Japan to gain additional knowledge and experience from legal teachers and experts. However, I understand that I must temporarily set this aspiration aside for the time being. Once I complete my studies at Keio University, my plan is to return to my home country and embark on my career as a lawyer, with a dedicated focus on contributing to the enhancement of the legal system in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) to the best of my abilities. I am fully committed to collaborating with like-minded individuals who share the vision of legal system improvement, and I am eager to share the knowledge and experience I have acquired during my time at the university to further this goal.


Any advice for prospective LLM students? How would you recommend the Keio LLM program to the students?

To prospective students contemplating studying law in Japan, I wholeheartedly recommend selecting Keio University Law School as your academic institution of choice. Keio offers a comprehensive range of law fields, each taught by renowned and highly experienced professors in their respective domains. The campus itself is exceptionally picturesque and conveniently located. Furthermore, the university's staff members are incredibly accommodating and helpful, readily providing valuable guidance not only for your academic pursuits but also for your day-to-day life.


(This interview is from September 2023.)

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