How does it feel to be an Emory lawyer? Moving overseas to pursue your studies can feel daunting. It’s difficult to imagine what life will be like in your future destination.
This is why we spoke to three students at Emory University’s School of Law, hoping they can assure you that you will be welcomed, fulfilled and able to excel when embarking on your studies here.
Vandyke Kotoroka-Yiadom, originally from Ghana, began studying at Emory at the start of this semester. He’d heard that Emory was one of the top-ranked law schools in the US, but he also chose this school for its diversity and inclusive environment.
So far, Vandyke has found that both students and staff are genuinely friendly and respectful. He comments on the sense of optimism felt throughout the faculty, noting how people are always willing to extend a helping hand whenever you’re struggling.
The School of Law is well known for its friendly attitude, especially towards international learners, with professors and students chatting in the hallways and encouraging each other.
There are numerous extracurricular activities available at Emory, helping you pursue your hobbies and interests outside of class time. Vandyke even helped establish a new society called the Emory International Arbitration Society (EIAS). Having attended three different law schools, Vandyke is proud to have played a part in the establishment of a new society at Emory Law.
He’s also involved with the Black Law Student Association (BLSA), making the most of its Annual Lectures Series and attending the event presented by Judge Cynthia Stephens, in which she shared her remarkable experience as a Judge.
“I learned that whatever I achieve out there in the world, I have to come back to share with the Emory Law community,” she says.
Out of all the other law schools Vandyke has attended, he finds that the Emory Law environment to be so productive and positive that he spends much more time on campus.
Whilst in five years’ time, Vandyke envisions himself as a business owner and partner of an international law firm in Atlanta, he still aims to make the most of the great alumni network Emory has throughout Atlanta. To achieve his goals, he’ll meet Emory alumni to learn from their experience and seek guidance, also using the Emory Simplicity careers tool to aid his job search.
“My advice to prospective students is to be ambitious and never stop asking questions,” Vandyke explains.
Wu Min came from China to study at Emory. She was drawn to the School of Law because of its significant alumni network. This feature of the university helps current students understand what their career will look like and allows them to carve their own career pathway by providing links to significant firms and companies.
Wu also comments on Emory’s excellent professors, faculty and classmates who are all very friendly, ensuring her and her peers felt welcome and supported.
Wu was moved by her oath ceremony in August, held on the school’s stunning campus. During the ceremony, students recognise their duty as law professionals, instilling pride in being a part of Emory Law and the legal discipline itself.
Xintong Guo, who also came from China at the beginning of this semester, gives more insight into what the life of an international Emory Law student is like.
There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to find a seat when you’re trying to study, but Xintong hasn’t found this to be an issue at Emory. She praises the Law School’s library, which has five floors and plenty of comfortable space. The School of Law also boasts lots of classrooms not just for teaching but also conferences and events, plus a hall with tables and chairs for everyone to use.
Again, Xintong cites the kindness of the staff, contributing to what she calls the “perfect environment” in which to focus on learning and make the most of campus life.
She has really benefited from social events designed to help students meet each other and integrate – something that’s especially helpful for international students. There’s often a live band, tasty snacks and drinks. It’s the perfect place to destress and hang out with classmates after a long week at the library and in lectures.
She comments that studying at Emory Law isn’t easy because the professors have high standards and expectations. You won’t be spoon fed but if you study hard, ask questions and learn from your professors’ expertise, you will excel in your studies.
For international students coming to the US for the first time, a foundation program is held in July to help you adjust to the new environment and practice your English before regular classes begin.
Emory Law is highly regarded by many international law firms and many firms in China. This means that job opportunities for Emory graduates are more lucrative than other law schools due to its esteemed name.
Professors such as Richard D. Freer and Teemu Ruskola are particularly well-known in the Chinese law circuit. Having a qualification awarded by this highly-regarded institution will be an excellent first step in your career.
After she graduates, Xintong would like to be a lawyer in a foreign law firm in China, gaining more experience before continuing her studies in the American Legal system, where she hopes to gain her Juris Doctor degree.
With a beautiful, well-equipped campus filled with friendly staff and distinguished faculty members, plus opportunities to participate in a host of extracurricular activities and immerse yourself into highly-ranked law programmes, Emory Law is waiting to receive you with open arms.