Student Profile: Arijana Shajkovci (LLM ’16)

Photo of Arijana Medium (LLM '16)

As a girl growing up in Kosovo, Arijana Shajkovci (LLM ’16) often found herself in front of a television set watching the American series, “L.A. Law.”

“I liked seeing footage of the trial, the way cases were presented and the actors’ movements in the courtroom,” she said. “I liked seeing how justice was served. Well, not always. It was something that made me think about my future, considering I was still young and had not determined my career.”

A few years later, Shajkovci watched her brother leave for America to pursue his dream of a college education. She was envious of his opportunity but pursued her own, more attainable goal of a legal education in Kosovo. She earned a bachelor degree in law from the University of Prishtina in 2003. After passing her bar exam in 2005, she completed her studies at the Kosovo Judicial Institute and began working as a prosecutor in Prizren.

A few years ago, she heard about a program sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Prishtina and the U.S. Department of Justice. The program sent judges and prosecutors to study law at Wake Forest University’s School of Law, where they could earn an LLM.

“From past colleagues who had been part of this program at Wake Forest Law, I learned a lot about the university’s academic coursework, values, students and all the other great things it had to offer,” she said.

She was accepted into the Wake Forest Law LLM program and is concentrating her studies on criminal law and criminal procedure. She brings to her U.S. studies an extensive experience in corruption investigation and prosecution and looks forward to bringing back what she learns to Kosovo.

“I want to learn about how the U.S. system works, in general, considering that each of the 50 states has its own constitution, governmental structure, legal codes and judiciary,” she said. “The variety and complexity are a surprise to me and I am fascinated with it.”

As a prosecutor back home, she is also intrigued with the way the American judicial system is structured, starting with law enforcement and working up through the various levels of the judicial system.

The U.S. educational system, in general, and the Wake Forest School of Law, in particular, represent a new way of learning for her. She enjoys being able to exchange ideas with students, lawyers and professors from across the United States and around the world.

She also enjoys the School of Law’s practical way of presenting law. The way that the school combines theory with real life cases helps her better comprehend the intricacies of the American legal and judicial systems.

As someone who has long been fascinated with America, Shajkovci looks forward to learning more about its art, culture and athletics through the many opportunities that Wake Forest makes available to students. There are times that she can’t believe her good luck to have landed where she has.

“Here I am today exercising the same profession like in that series I watched so many years ago,” she said. “It makes me feel good every day.”

Learn more about International Programs at Wake Forest Law.