Mohamed Rali Badissy
Assistant Professor of Law
J.D., University of Washington School of Law
B.A., Occidental College
Badissy on Teaching
As the child of immigrant parents, I often had to explain American cultural quirks to my parents or my family’s imported culture to my American friends. Those acts of knowledge-sharing evolved into a passion for teaching, which I was lucky enough to translate into an early career as a public school teacher. My first foray into the classroom taught me that there is a symbiotic relationship between teachers and students: students are asked to shed their fears and bring their raw curiosity into the classroom while teachers are challenged to reward that curiosity with equally passionate and thoughtful wisdom.
When I left the public school classroom for law school, I was concerned that I was exchanging a dynamic learning environment for a more mechanical experience. It was a revelation to see my professors generate the same awe and excitement for the law as my former students had for learning at a young age. This is the same bargain that I continue to make with my students at Dickinson Law: bring your curiosity and personality into the classroom, and I will match your contribution with a presentation of the complexities of the law that is simultaneously accessible and memorable.
Badissy on Scholarship
At every stage of my diverse legal career — as a private practitioner, a law clerk and a government official — I have seen how important it is to base one’s legal guidance on high-quality legal scholarship. My most recent role as an international legal advisor within the U.S. government has given me a particularly deep appreciation for comprehensive research and balanced analysis, as one cannot hope to export best practices from the U.S. without first understanding the principles from which those practices are derived.
In keeping with this appreciation for diligent scholarship and its impact on international legal diplomacy, my research at Dickinson Law seeks to translate the U.S. experience in developing the world’s most dynamic energy market into concrete principles that can be adopted in emerging markets. I feel particularly lucky to conduct this research in Pennsylvania since its unique position as one as both an energy and a power exporter provides a rich history for me to explore.
I have seen firsthand the transformative nature of access to affordable and reliable energy through my work on energy sector reform with governments in over 65 countries. I hope to further expand energy access through modern regulatory frameworks that account for an increasingly decentralized, technology-driven and climate-concerned marketplace.
Badissy on Service
A commitment to service should be at the foundation of any legal practice since building public trust for the law helps support the legal economy that allows us to make a career out of this fantastic profession. In my previous role as the Senior Attorney for Energy and Finance at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program, I carried out this form of service on a global scale by working with governments, bar associations and civil society across cultures and legal traditions to promote the rule of law in commerce and secure the economic benefit of hard work for participants at all levels of a marketplace. At Dickinson Law, I encourage students to also be globally-minded as they seek opportunities for public service since it builds the practical experience and cross-cultural communication skills that increasingly important in our ever-shrinking global commons.
Badissy on Community
In an increasingly interconnected and hyper-socially world, I have found that it is becoming more and more challenging to find an IRL community. Dickinson Law’s deliberate focus on maintaining a small and friendly law school community was one of the primary reasons that I chose to join the faculty. I am excited to both work and live amongst students, staff and faculty that have all committed to this close-knit and supportive community. As someone whose extended family and research interests are outside the U.S., I also appreciate that Dickinson’s commitment to excellence means that our local community is encouraged to be globally-minded.
Badissy’s Engagement with the Profession
My ongoing engagement with the international energy law bar is critically important to both my legal research and my ability to ensure that my classroom teaching remains relevant. I continue to work as a Senior Advisor to the U.S. government and foreign governments on energy market regulation and try to bring the lessons learned from this work into the classroom as often as possible. I also work closely with law professors in other countries on curriculum development, which allows me to draw on innovative case studies and challenge students by asking them to consider legal questions from a comparative perspective.