Fijian student Seruwaia Nayacalevu came to the School of Law at Emory University (Emory Law) to broaden her horizons, both personally and professionally. With a Master of Laws (LLM) programme that could be tailored to her interests and the many memories she created with her diverse cast of collegiate cohorts, it wasn’t long before she achieved her goal.
While working on her LLM, Nayacalevu covered a wide variety of topics, from business law and civil procedure to family law and legal writing. “I told myself I would do other law courses that I normally don’t practise as a way of challenging myself personally. At the same time, I took up subjects that aligned with the law I already practise,” she says.
At Emory Law, students experience a combination of academic rigour and practical learning opportunities within a global environment. Students may structure their postgraduate curriculum around their professional interests and ambitions, allowing them to pursue the career path they want — either within the US or in the world of professional possibilities available outside.
“Emory Law’s LLM provides the opportunity for those with a first degree in law to develop additional specialised skills and training. Students get the opportunity to participate in class alongside Juris Doctor (JD) students and to integrate more fully into that community,” says Rebecca Purdom, who is Professor of Practice as well as Executive Director of Graduate and Online Programmes.
Build a foundation for excellent legal service
Nayacalevu now applies her knowledge and experiences from Emory Law as a lawyer that practises in the area of family and civil law in Fiji, and as a seasonal consultant lecturer with the University of the South Pacific. She shares, “I was given the opportunity to be the face-to-face coordinator for the legal drafting course and teach at the Fiji campus. It was funny because legal writing was one of the areas I wanted to improve on at Emory, and now I am teaching it!”
Her story reflects how Emory Law sets its graduates up for professional success through their student-centred, innovative programmes. Students can look forward to a wide range of practical courses both on and off campus, according to fellow LLM graduate Eileen Liu, originally from China.
Liu landed an externship at the Georgia Senate as well as an internship at a non-profit firm, which allowed her to soak up various lessons for her current career, delving deep into insurance law. “Pursuing an LLM from Emory is worth it because of the good environment and vast resources for all students. You can choose from six majors; if you have a solid career plan and want to improve yourself in any of these fields, Emory is the right choice because of its thoughtful class settings,” Liu attests.
Professor Richard D. Freer, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law agrees that the LLM curriculum provides substantive background for lawyers to better serve their clients. “It also gives you exposure to the skillset that’s necessary to leverage that knowledge. The real special part is the faculty because the faculty at Emory is dedicated not just to scholarship — which is true of any research institution of this calibre — but it’s dedicated to teaching,” he says.
Unlock opportunities in a global business city
HuiHui Dong is from Shanghai, where an American legal education is popular among the country’s ambitious young lawyers. When she arrived at Emory Law, she found out why.
Aside from excellent facilities and faculty support, Dong discovered the law school boasts various networking opportunities with peers and faculty members from all over the world. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, they are also surrounded by Fortune 500 companies, including Home Depot, Delta Airlines, UPS, and Coca-Cola. Law students benefit from the university’s active partnerships with industry leaders and local authorities.
Fellow alumna Liu experienced the same, adding, “We could invite professors and experts to speak at Emory every time the law school had events. That’s how I ended up having lunch with the vice president of Coca-Cola; Emory taught me to embrace super-speedy networking.”
Today, Liu is an associate at Jincheng Tongda & Neal – one of the largest law firms in China — and Dong is now qualified to practise law in New York after passing the state’s bar. The many hours poring over cases, notes, and past-year questions at Emory Law’s Hugh F. MacMillan Law Library are paying off for both of them.
Dong shares, “My experience at Emory opened my perspective about the world and made me feel more confident; when I talk to my clients, they can trust me.”
Take the leap at Emory Law
At this every student joins a welcoming community where they are encouraged to interact with fellow students, faculty members, alumni, and other professionals in the city.
This contributes to a well-balanced postgraduate experience, which then becomes the platform from which graduates launch fulfilling careers. In Freer’s words, “We want to see our students succeed and excel not just as professionals, but as people.”
Seize your chance by registering for the spring semester here. Apply now to begin your degree in January or August 2021.