ASU Law international grad strives to grow as a human rights advocate


November 23, 2020

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2020 graduates.

After undergoing a five-year legal education in Albania, Albi Cela was still eager to learn more and continue to better himself as a person and as a future lawyer and human rights advocate. Albi Cela Albi Cela, international ASU Law student in Washington, D.C., is a fall 2020 Master of Laws candidate. Download Full Image

“That is why I decided to apply for the ASU International Rule of Law and Security program,” said Cela, a fall 2020 Master of Laws (LLM) candidate at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. He was introduced to the IRLS program, developed in cooperation with the McCain Institute for International Leadership in Washington, D.C., in 2018 during a visit to ASU’s location there.

“I immediately fell in love with the program and what it offered,” Cela said. “I went back to Albania, I started the application, I got accepted and here I am today almost graduating after an amazing one-year experience. Of course, all this was made possible by the IRLS Jones Day Foundation Fellowship, which funded my studies. I will always be grateful for that.”

Question: Why did you choose this program and ASU Law?

Answer: Many ask me this and the answer is always the same: The IRLS program and ASU complete me and what I want to achieve in life — to be a better person, who fights for what is right in a decent and professional manner.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: The courses and the professors were amazing. It would be difficult to differentiate them from one another. But I must say that classes with Ambassador Clint Williamson were a unique experience. The most important lesson I got out of the experience he shared with us is: “Always do what is right.” And to those who will be here in D.C. for the spring 2021 semester, I really recommend you take his class, and above all enjoy your time while here. 

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: My favorite spot on campus is the studying area. I spent a lot of time there studying and thinking what I wanted to do once graduated. I really want to help my country, Albania, become a better place. For now, I believe I can help more if I stay here in the U.S. and get ready to go back and make a real change.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise?

A: I always strived to be fair and just in every situation. I believe that is that reason I decided to study law and be part of the IRLS program. This program taught me how important rule of law, good governance and human rights are for the democratization of fragile countries. My country, Albania, is one, and I want to use the IRLS experience to help make a change there, from wherever I am.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I will never forget a line I read from "Just Mercy," a book written Bryan Stevenson, founder of Equal Justice Initiative: “The opposite of poverty isn’t wealth. The opposite of poverty is justice." That is what I would try to tackle — providing justice for those who have been denied.

Julie Tenney

Director of Communications, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

International ASU Law grad looks forward to landing a dream job in sports analytics


November 23, 2020

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2020 graduates.

Guilherme “Gui” Leite was always fascinated by mathematics and statistics, so finding a way to combine that with his biggest passion — sports — was a deciding moment in his pursuit of a career in sports business management. Gui Leite An international student from Brazil, Guilherme “Gui” Leite is an ASU Law MSLB fall graduate. Download Full Image

“I knew my next step would be to join a program where I could expand on those skills and learn more about the business of sports,” said Leite, an Arizona State University undergrad who went on to apply to and will graduate this fall from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law with a Master of Sports Law and Business (MSLB) degree.

As an international student from Brazil, Leite said he was most surprised by the “incredible presence of international students attending ASU,” and the opportunity it presented to be able to meet people from different parts of the world and make many connections that way.

Leite plans to continue to grow his experience through internships and projects after graduation. “I want to have enough knowledge, experience and a strong resume, so eventually I land my dream job, which would be working on business analytics for any of my favorite sports teams,” he said.

Question: Why did you choose ASU?

Answer: I did my undergraduate studies in business management at ASU, and I truly loved the experience. I have also always planned on attending some form of graduate school. After seeing all the Sports Law and Business program has to offer, including facilities and professors, it was an easy choice to make to attend ASU Law.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: My sports analytics Professor Daniel McIntosh taught me many important lessons. One of the ones that stood out the most to me was the importance to not simply practice things, but of "perfect practice." People say practice makes perfect, but in reality, if you practice something the wrong way, you will do it the wrong way. The more accurate statement is that "perfect practice makes perfect."

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Enjoy your time in school and don't be so hard on yourself stressing too much about the future. Although most of us don’t realize this, we are still young and have time to make mistakes and find our true calling. Do not stress but make the most of your time in school, day-by-day setting yourself up for success.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I don't think $40 million would be enough to end world hunger, so I would probably use that money to tackle and promote the importance of mental health. I think this is a very important issue in our generation and one that really came to the spotlight during the pandemic. I think young people nowadays face a lot of pressure and it is important to take care of and watch over what goes on in your head.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: My favorite spot on campus has always been the Sun Devil Fitness Complex. Although students haven't been able to go there lately due to COVID-19, the SDFC is an amazing spot to relax and work on your physical and mental fitness.

Julie Tenney

Director of Communications, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law