Georgia Law welcomes LLM-linked partnership with Fulbright in Hungary

sonjajokaybpest2016cropA new partnership between the University of Georgia School of Law and the Hungarian-American Fulbright Commission will provide exceptional scholarship opportunities for qualified Hungarian law graduates who wish to pursue a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree.

Georgia Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge and Dr. Károly Jókay, Executive Director of the Hungarian-American Fulbright Commission, signed the agreement. It follows meetings among representatives of both institutions, including the October 2016 meeting in Budapest between Jókay, depicted above at right, and Georgia Law Professor Sonja R. West (prior posts).

Administered by the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center, the Georgia Law LL.M. degree has deep historical ties in Europe, as well as an active network of graduates there. This Fulbright partnership promises to enhance intercultural exchange not only for foreign-trained lawyers who come to Athens to earn their LL.M., but also for the J.D. students with whom they interact, inside and outside the classroom (prior posts).

The Fulbright Program – established in 1946 under legislation introduced by J. William Fulbright, then a freshman U.S. Senator from Arkansas – funds international educational and cultural exchanges for students and scholars. It is administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. State Department in more than 150 countries.

We look forward to welcoming Hungarian students and strengthening our connection to both Central Europe and the Fulbright Program.

LLMs’ behind-scenes courthouse tour

photo-6_2A group of our Georgia Law LL.M. students walked downtown to the Athens Clarke-County courthouse yesterday to visit with several of our law school alums.

Assistant District Attorney Paige Otwell (JD’88) welcomed the group, which included her mentee in the LL.M. Class of 2017, Nelly Sandra Ndounteng.

Associate Magistrate Judge Ben Makin (JD’04) explained his role in the judicial system and discussed subjects ranging from arrest warrants and jail bonds to small claims court.

Ryan Hope (JD’00), who serves as Chief Assistant Solicitor  in the county’s Office of the Solicitor General, told the students how he became interested in the court system through his work at the public defender clinic in law school. In his remarks he touched on Clarke County’s accountability courts, such as DUI court, which integrate treatment and “quick, limited punishments” with the goal of reducing recidivism.

The Honorable Ethelyn N. Simpson (JD’90), Chief Judge of the State Court, related how her early experience clerking for Superior Court judges allowed her to see “a lot of good lawyers and a lot of bad lawyers,” preparing her for an unexpected career on the bench. Her enthusiasm about “the greatest job” was infectious.

After meeting with the alumni, the LL.M. students were escorted into the courtroom to view victim testimony in an ongoing trial. For the students, who come from Cameroon, Venezuela, Nigeria, Iran, Ghana, and the Bahamas, the experience was informative and rewarding. Special thanks to ADA Otwell and Dean Rusk International Law Center Student Ambassador Deborah Nogueira-Yates, a member of the Georgia Law J.D. Class of 2018 who earned her LL.M. here last May, for organizing the visit!

(Pictured above: front row, from left, Philicia Armbrister, Gilbert Oladeinbo, Valerie Mills, Nelly Ndounteng, and Assistant District Attorney Paige Otwell; top row, Noj Oyeyipo, Johann Ebongom, Javier Gonzalez, Laura Kagel (Director of International Professional Education), and Hamed Moradi Roodposhti)

Center’s Laura Kagel to meet with prospective LLMs in Austria, Croatia

llmLaw students in Austria, Croatia, and nearby regions will soon have the opportunity for talk with a Dean Rusk International Law Center staffer about pursuing a degree at here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Early next month yours truly, Laura Tate Kagel, the Center’s Director of International Professional Education, will take part in LL.M. fairs in Vienna, Austria, and Zagreb, Croatia. Sponsor of the fairs is EducationUSA, an arm of the U.S. Department of State.

I’ll be on hand personally to discuss the career benefits and special advantages of earning the Master of Law, or LL.M., degree at Georgia Law. (See prior posts about our current LL.M. students, as well as our hundreds of LL.M. alums, here.)

You can contact me directly at, and you can register for the fairs via the links below:

Wedne1sday, November 9, Vienna: 16:00 – 18:00, Amerika Haus, Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 2, 1010 Vienna. Registration:

Thursday, November 10, Zagreb: 18:00-20:00 at the Sheraton Hotel, Ul. kneza Borne 2, 10000 Zagreb. Registration:

Hope to see you there!