International Aggies: Fort Worth to Ho Chi Minh City: Pham teaches admin law, presents immigration research in Vietnam

July 9, 2014

Huyen Pham, Texas A&M University School of Law associate dean for faculty and research and professor of law, traveled to Vietnam at the end of June to teach and present her research. She taught a condensed course on U.S. administrative law at the University of Economics and Law (UEL) in Ho Chi Minh City, part of the prestigious Vietnam national university system.

“This is an example of international collaboration and the international reach of our research and teaching,” Pham said.

Law in Vietnam is an undergraduate major, and so her Vietnamese students are younger than her students at Texas A&M School of Law.

Pham said, “Vietnam is a civil law system, so the students will understand the U.S. administrative law’s focus on codes. But the U.S. administrative law system depends on having an independent judiciary to check agency power, a structure that doesn't exist in the Vietnamese legal system.”

Texas A&M Law Professor Huyen Pham teaches in VietnamThe Vietnam students gave positive feedback on her course, many of whom wanted the course to last longer. One student, Duy Khánh, said he enjoyed the class discussions and debate the most.

“The knowledge I absorb through your course provides me with some insights into knowing a little more about Vietnamese problems in relation to administrative law,” Khánh said in an email. “I love the lessons of judicial review and rulemaking … through knowing about how the U.S. government works, I get a chance to have wisdom to make the comparison between Vietnam and U.S. on the purpose of discovering the underlying mindset between those two.”

In addition to her teaching, Pham also worked with the university to develop its resources and activities. UEL is developing a center for the study of U.S. commercial law. Pham met with the dean of the commercial law department to discuss activities for the center and future partnerships between Texas A&M School of Law and the University of Economics and Law, including potential professor exchanges.

Texas A&M Law Professor Huyen Pham with the bookcase donated in her honorLibrarian Cyxiem Tran and Huyen Pham in front of the bookcase donated in her honor.

On her trip, she also brought three boxes of U.S. law books, donated from Texas A&M University School of Law faculty for UEL. To express their gratitude, the university placed the books in a special bookcase with Pham’s name and the name of Texas A&M University School of Law displayed and thanked her at a ceremony with the University’s trustees.

Pham and her co-author, Van Pham (associate professor of economics at Baylor University), presented their research, “Domestic Migration and the Divergence in State-Created Immigration Climate,” at the Vietnam Economist Annual Meeting in Ho Chi Minh City, June 24-25. The conference is an opportunity for economists and academics, both from Vietnam and other countries, to present their research. This was the seventh meeting for the conference, and the number of presenters increases with each year.

This isn’t the first time Pham has taught in Vietnam. She received a grant through the Fulbright Scholar program to teach at the University of Economics and Law for the 2010-2011 academic year. Her primary concern is being able to give back to others.

“If you’re a doctor, you can provide medical care for the poor. If you’re a law professor, you teach ... I want to go back to help advance legal education in Vietnam,” she said in a previous law school alumni magazine interview. See the complete article.

Pham’s scholarship focuses on immigration law and the role of subfederal governments — states, cities and counties – in immigration law enforcement. In the immigration policy debate, the question of who enforces our immigration laws can be as significant as what those policies are, and Pham’s most recent projects have explored the divergent immigration climates created by subfederal jurisdictions.

Read Professor Pham's faculty profile to learn more, or explore her SSRN author page.

Texas A&M Law Professor Huyen Pham with her Vietnamese studentsStudents gave positive feedback for Huyen Pham’s course stating that after attending, they had a more thorough understanding of how the U.S. judicial system operates.