The Admission Interviews, are meant to provide insights into LLM admissions right from the law school itself. The idea behind this series is to provide that little bit of extra information that may not be available on the law school’s website.

In this edition, I speak with Helen Rho, the LL.M. Admission Officer and Academic Coordinator, International Programs at UC Davis School of Law.

Helen Rho, the LL.M. Admission Officer at UC Davis School of Law. 
Helen Rho, UC Davis School of Law.

I know that the Fall semester plans are uncertain at the moment, but anything that you would like to communicate to prospective LL.M. applicants from India who are looking to enrol at UC Davis?

UC Davis School of Law will be open and will offer on-site classes with physical distancing beginning in August. All classes will also be available be online and most classes will be recorded.

While not all of the details are currently available, the law school will follow the guidance of the UC Davis campus and Public Health Agency in determining the number of people in a classroom, the configuration of classes, and which classes will be on-site.

We will work very closely with each student as everyone has specific needs.

In your experience, what have been some of the advantages of a US LL.M. for the international lawyer? And how has UC Davis facilitated this?

There are many benefits from pursuing a US LL.M. degree such as, learning the common law system, strengthening your legal English language skills, developing specializations, diversifying your prior career track, extending your professional network, and gaining independence and self-motivation.

The LL.M. program at UC Davis School of Law focuses on your individual professional and academic goals.  You will design an individualized curriculum with the support of one on one advising with our Associate Dean.  You will participate in many workshops including bar preparation and career services.

Many of our students also participate in Optical Practical Training, which provides invaluable work experience.  Most of our students tell us that they were able to receive better job offers when they returned home with their US LL.M. degree from UC Davis School of Law.

When it comes to prospective LL.M. applicants, does UC Davis prefer those with some work experience? Or to put it differently, what are some of the advantages of applying with a bit of PQE as well as fresh out of undergrad?

We believe all applicants have many unique strengths and talents.  Some have a wealth of experience; others are just starting their careers.  Our focus is helping each applicant pursue their individual academic and professional goals. We work with each person wherever they are on their personal and professional journey.

The UC Davis School of Law looks to create a LL.M. cohort with different backgrounds. We welcome fresh graduates, applicants with some work experience, and legal professionals with significant experience.

What advice would you have for LL.M. applicants who are not sure of how to go about writing the personal statement?

It is your time to shine!

We want to learn more about you other than what we read on your transcripts. Generally, our applicants share information about their personal, academic, and professional background. They also address why they want to pursue a LL.M degree and why at UC Davis School of Law.

We do not require interviews, but think of what you might want to share if you were meeting with our admissions committee.  I have read many amazing personal statements – the ones that really stand out are the ones that are personal.

Lastly, given the short nature of the course, how do you think LL.M. candidates ought to make the most of the LL.M. experience?

LL.M. students make a great investment to pursue an advanced degree away from home.  You want to make the most of your experience and gain the most from your investment.  Network! You will meet amazing colleagues from around the world.  Our fall 2019 class had students from 23 different countries.

As you return to your practice, you will benefit from knowing attorneys from all across the globe.  Get involved!  UC Davis School of Law is renowned for its sense of community, and you will find a friendly, vibrant, and active student body at King Hall.  More than 50 student organizations and their activities are at the heart of academic and social activities, which include softball leagues, intramural sports clubs, and the annual student talent show.

With so many exciting groups and programs, our students enjoy endless opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities and explore varied interests. King Hall is a place where students, faculty, and staff take pride in a strong sense of community and encourage a supportive academic environment.

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