Myth Buster: “Indonesian lawyers can only work as a lawyer in Indonesia” Dhanny Jauhar (1997)


I feel honored to write this short note for Airlangga Law School, the law school I went to for my first law degree. I am a Senior Legal Counsel with a state owned multinational energy company based in Kuwait City, the State of Kuwait.  This year will mark my 5th year career abroad. Prior of assuming this role I was working for various multinational energy companies and spent at about 2.5 years in private practice.  I understand that there are plenty of Airlangga Law School’s graduates that choose to pursue their legal career abroad.
I can confidently say that I have made the right decision to read law at Airlangga Law School. Not only it is academically rewarding, I also found my undergraduate time to be one of my most memorable learning experience. I found the education system at Airlangga Law School is structured to constantly encourage students’ active participation, nurture critical thinking and building long lasting sense of camaraderie. My academic life at the Airlangga Law School was a perfect formula between academic demands and active involvement in extra-curricular activities. A formula which I think crucial to prepare law students to face future challenges and global competition.
The seniors and alumni are inseparable part of the academic support system that proactively extend helping hands. The said supports extend beyond the walls of the faculty and academic life. I was even assisted by a senior to find my first professional job. I still get similar supports from the alumni, be it assistance relevant with my career planning, opportunities and other matters.
I think it is important for me to mention that I do not have flawless academic records. It was even a bit of struggle for me to keep up with the academic demand. Alhamdulilah, with the guidance of the teaching staffs and supports from my peers, I successfully obtained my first law degree, bagged various scholarships for academic achievements, awarded as high achiever (Mawapres 2001), and a fellowship to study overseas prior to my undergraduate graduation.
abudhabiI am now pursuing my professional legal career abroad, completely absent of the home ground advantages and the support it offers. I frequently being asked (including by fellow Indonesians) on how it is possible for Indonesian lawyers to work as a lawyer abroad where most of the time Indonesian law and language is not really relevant. There may be merits in that question, indeed I have to familiar myself with foreign legal systems and communicate in foreign language. However, I found this FAQ to be clearly obsolete. Look around, how many foreign/expatriate lawyers you can find in Jakarta, London, and other major cities?. For fairness, the exact same question should also be posed to them. If they can, then what makes us doubt ourselves in our capability to do the same or even more? if the Ivy Leagues’ graduates can achieve those,  then law students that prefer tempe penyet over Wagyu beef should also be able to achieve the same, and probably even more. The key is to keep trying, not to give up and most importantly to make proper preparation. Choosing the right learning environment is very crucial to prepare to compete and survive in global competition. The said environment need to aspire and prepare us to achieve our goals. For me, one of those environment is the learning environment I found at the Airlangga Law School.
Believe in yourself and be confident that your courage will determine how far you can go.

International Students at BU Law Abd Gafur

Alumni FH Unair


“What I like the most is the culture in class. You can speak your opinion here, and the professor as well as everyone [your classmates] in the class want to hear. You are free to speak your mind”

Abd Gafur