Center’s Laura Kagel meets with prospective LLMs in Mexico

portada_esLaw students in Guadalajara, Mexico will have the opportunity to talk with a Dean Rusk International Law Center staffer about pursuing a degree at here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Laura Tate Kagel, the Center’s Associate Director of International Professional Education, will give a presentation for students this evening, Friday, October 18, at 7:00 p.m. about the LL.M. degree at the University of Georgia.

She has spent the day at the Expo CEEAD (Centro de Estudios sobre la Enseñanza y el Aprendizaje del Derecho), speaking with prospective students about 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.)

If you’d like to learn more about the LL.M. degree, please email LLM@uga.edu. EXPO CEEAD information is available here.

Introducing our LL.M. Class of 2020

LLMs 2019-20_forweb

From left, top row:  Arif Iqbal; Esra Aydinoz; Emmanuel Kyei; Gordon Oduor; Kingsley Opia-Enwemuche; Jessica Atatigho; Romario Lee; Cindy Hawkins Rada. Bottom row: Florence Nalukwago; Tahmineh Madani; Rayan Yassin; Hiance Castro; Jie Zhang; Mahbub Islam; Shiyang Liu; Maisha Tahsin. Not pictured: Ashish Joshi, Amir Tanhaei

We are proud to introduce the University of Georgia School of Law Master of Laws (LL.M.) Class of 2020.

The group of 18 includes lawyers from 14 different countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, including: Bangladesh, China, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey, and Uganda.

They join a tradition that began at the University of Georgia School of Law in the early 1970s, when a Belgian lawyer became the first foreign-trained practitioner to earn a Georgia Law LL.M. degree. In the ensuing four decades, the law school and its Dean Rusk International Law Center have produced over 500 LL.M. graduates, with ties to 75 countries and every continent in the world.

Side by side with J.D. candidates, LL.M.s follow a flexible curriculum tailored to their own career goals – goals that may include preparation to sit for a U.S. bar examination, or pursuit of a concentration affording advancement in their home country’s legal profession or academic institutions.

The application for the LL.M. class of 2021 is now open; for information or to apply for LL.M. studies, see here.

Update from Nigeria: attorney Chukwudi Ofili, LLM Class of 2018, reflects on his post-graduation year

This is one in a series of posts by University of Georgia School of Law LLM students, writing on their participation in our LLM degree and about their post-graduate experiences. Author of this post is alumnus Chukwudi Ofili, a member of the Class of 2018.

Chudi photoIt has been an eventful year for me. In January 2018, during my last semester at the University of Georgia, I began a corporate in-house counsel externship – an experiential learning opportunity open to qualified Georgia Law LLM students – at Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta There, I had the opportunity to work on issues such as cybersecurity, imports, and Office of Foreign Assets Control compliance.

Following graduation, I took the New York bar examination in July.  When I learned that I had passed, I was in London, participating in the highly selective International Lawyers For Africa (ILFA) 2018 Flagship Secondment Programme (IFSP), which each year places lawyers from various African jurisdictions at highly reputed international law firms and corporations for a period of three months. I was placed with Trinity International LLP, a niche project and corporate finance firm focusing on energy, infrastructure, resources, and industry. During my secondment, I worked on some international transactions, with focus on financing power and infrastructure projects across the African continent.

Chudi speechIFSP was an enriching and exciting experience. It included training programs and networking events that introduced the participants to some of the brightest minds in the international legal market, in diverse practice areas. In particular, the networking opportunities were immense and may not be replicated in our lives on such a scale. I was pleased to selected to deliver the valedictory address for the London IFSP cohort at the ILFA Gala Night, which marked the end of the program.

I am now happy to be back in Nigeria at Bloomfield Law Practice, in the Corporate, Securities, and Finance practice group. I was recently interviewed for an article in THISDAY Newspaper Nigeria Legal Personality of the Week. In the interview, I expressed my hopes for good prospects in 2019. The year is already off to a good start: I’ve just completed a co-authored article,  Recognition and Enforcement of Cross-Border Insolvency; Nigeria in Perspective.

I came to Georgia Law after working with my firm, Bloomfield Law Practice, having graduated with first-class honors from Babcock University in Nigeria. At Georgia Law, I was the recipient of a prestigious graduate research assistantship, and participated in the Business Law Society.

I will always recommend the Georgia Law LLM curriculum, as it is tailored to each student’s career goals; for example, preparing to sit for a U.S. bar exam, or pursuing a concentration. Plus, students come to find out that Athens (which is just about an hour away from Atlanta) is a lovely place for studies, with friendly people.

Honored again to be honored for excellence in international law

Delighted to share the news that the just-released 2020 US News rankings place our international law curriculum here at the University of Georgia School of Law at No. 19 in the United States.

By our count, this marks the 5th time in recent years we’ve been among the top 20 or so US law schools for international law.

The achievement is due in no small part to the enthusiastic support and hard work of everyone affiliated with Georgia Law’s 40-plus-year-old Dean Rusk International Law Center. As chronicled at this Exchange of Notes blog and our Center website, these include:

► Superb members of the law faculty, including: Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, an international arbitration expert; our Center’s Faculty Co-Directors and Director, respectively, Professors Diane Marie Amann, an expert in security governance fields including the laws of war and international criminal justice, Harlan G. Cohen, an expert in global governance and foreign relations law, and and Kathleen A. Doty, a specialist in arms control and the global Women, Peace & Security agenda; Professors Christopher M. Bruner, a comparative corporate governance scholar, Anne Burnett, foreign and international law librarian, Jason A. Cade, an immigration expert, Melissa J. Durkee, whose expertise includes international and transnational law, Lori A. Ringhand, a scholar of comparative constitutional law, current U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Scholar at the University of Aberdeen, and recent visitor to Israel’s Bar-Ilan University as part of our faculty exchange there, Kent Barnett, Sonja West, and Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, who have presented overseas on administrative law, media law, and civil procedure, respectively, Walter Hellerstein, a world-renowned tax specialist, Nathan S. Chapman, a scholar of due process and extraterritoriality Michael L. Wells, a European Union scholar;

► Talented students pursuing JD, MSL, and LLM degrees, including: the dozen or so who work with us as Dean Rusk International Law Center Student Ambassadors; the staffers and editors of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law who produce one of the country’s oldest student journals, and who led our March 2018 conference, “The International Criminal Court & the Community of Nations”; the advocates on our Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot and Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court teams; participants in our full-semester NATO Externship in Belgium and in our Global Externships and Global Governance Summer School; and the student leaders of our International Law Society;

► Superb Center staff like Laura Tate Kagel, Amanda J. Shaw, Mandy Dixon, and Christian Lee;

► Visiting scholars like Professor Yanying Zhang of China’s Shandong University, Dr. SeongEun Kim of Korea’s Konkuk University, and Jiang Xi of China’s Jilin University of Finance and Economics;

► Academics, practitioners, and policymakers, from all over the world, who have contributed to our events – conferences and lectures, as well as our International Law Colloquium and Consular Series;

Graduates who excel as partners in international commercial law firms, as heads of public law entities like the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, as in-house counsel at leading multinational enterprises, and as diplomats and public servants – and who give back through mentoring and other support;

► Our valued partnerships, with Georgia Law student organizations; with institutions like the Leuven Centre for Global Governance at Belgium’s University of Leuven; with organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross, the American Society of International Law, the American Branch of the International Law Association, Global Atlanta, the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, the Atlanta International Arbitration Society, and the Planethood Foundation; with professional groups including the Georgia Asian and Pacific American Bar Association and the Vietnamese American Bar Association; with university units like the School of Public & International Affairs, the Department of Comparative Literature, the African Studies Institute, the Institute for Native American Studies, the Latin American & Caribbean Studies Institute, and the Willson Center for Humanities & Arts.

With thanks to all, we look forward to continue strengthening our initiatives in international, comparative, transnational, and foreign relations law – not least, in the preparation of Georgia Law students to practice in our 21st C. globalized legal profession.

Alumna Anita Ninan speaks to LLM students on business immigration

Last week, attorney Anita Ninan (LLM’91) spoke on “The Road to U.S. Employment: F-1 Visa Work Options and Onwards” here at the University of Georgia School of Law. Her remarks acquainted foreign-educated lawyers studying for their Master of Laws (LLM) degree with opportunities and challenges associated with obtaining U.S. work authorization.

Ninan, a member of our Dean Rusk International Law Center Council, outlined the available work visas, discussed the impact of an April 2017 executive order on immigration, and explained the details of Optional Practical Training.

An expert in corporate and business immigration law, Ninan advises corporate clients and foreign nationals regarding all aspects of employment-based U.S. immigration law. She is a dual licensed attorney, admitted to practice law in both the State of Georgia and India.

Ninan has worked as Of Counsel with Arnall Golden Gregory LLP and Greenberg Traurig LLP in their Immigration and Compliance Practices in Atlanta. Previously, she served as in-house Legal Counsel with Standard Chartered Bank, a British multinational Bank, in Mumbai and New Delhi, India.

President of the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, Ninan also serves as an Honorary Legal Advisor to the Indian Consulate General of Atlanta.

LL.M. students take professional development trip to learn about accountability courts

LLM courthouseLL.M. students at Georgia Law took a professional development trip to the Athens-Clarke County courthouse for an introduction to the local justice system. Organized by Paige Otwell (J.D.’88), Assistant District Attorney, the students were treated to a panel on Accountability Courts.

In Georgia, voluntary participants in these innovative judicial programs plead guilty to the offense with which they have been charged and agree to enhanced supervision, including mental health or substance abuse treatment measures, in exchange for reduced terms of confinement and sometimes shortened periods of probation. For the large majority of the foreign attorneys present, this approach to criminal justice was unfamiliar.

llm courthouse2The students heard from Nicole Cavanagh, Felony Drug Court Program Coordinator; Will Fleenor, Chief Assistant Solicitor General, who discussed DUI/Drug court and Veterans Court; and Elisa Zarate, the coordinator of the Treatment and Accountability Court Program.

The panelists stressed the high level of success of these courts, both in terms of the decrease in re-arrests among participants as well as anecdotal evidence of the positive impact on participants’ lives. Describing the non-adversarial, team approach of the courts to the LL.M. students, Cavanaugh remarked that prosecutors, defense attorneys, and court personnel are “all trying to work together to get people to succeed in the program.”

The LL.M. students will have the opportunity to visit the courthouse again in the coming months to watch a trial.

Learn about Georgia Law LL.M. degree at Atlanta info session Tuesday, Feb. 5

llm ad_Persons who have completed legal studies overseas are invited to learn about earning a University of Georgia School of Law Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree at a free information session this month at Atlantic Station in Atlanta.

The session will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, and hosted at the offices of Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, 171 17th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30363 (click here for directions).

The LL.M. is a one-year, full-time degree designed for lawyers who trained in countries outside the United States and wish to study at the University of Georgia School of Law, a 160-year-old institution that is consistently ranked among the country’s top law schools.

Georgia Law LL.M. candidates study alongside J.D. candidates. Each LL.M. student pursues a flexible curriculum tailored to his or her career goals, including preparation to be eligible to sit for the Georgia or other U.S. bar examination. Details about this decades-old initiative may be found at our website and in posts at this blog of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, the law school unit that administers the LL.M. degree.

Among those speaking at the information session will be our Center’s Associate Director for International Professional Education, Dr. Laura Kagel, as well as graduates of the LL.M. degree, who will talk about the student experience at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Other topics to be discussed at the information session include:

  • benefits of obtaining an LL.M.
  • putting together a strong application
  • costs and financial aid
  • career options for LL.M. graduates
  • steps toward preparing to take a U.S. bar examination

Interested persons are invited to register at no cost. Light refreshments will be served.

We look forward to seeing you and answering your questions there!