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 Professor Eric Talbot Jensen, a professor of law at the Brigham Young University.
I ask this all the time – what do you see is the value of a US LLM from the perspective of an international lawyer? And how does BYU Law deliver this?
Our program is specifically not intended for LL.M. students who plan to remain in the US and take a State bar. So, the value of our LL.M. program may be different than others.
We anticipate that our graduates will return to their home countries better prepared to incorporate US legal doctrines and to work in conjunction with US interests in strengthening their own community, government, and legal profession.
I am also curious to know what drove you towards not one but two LLMs? What were your own expectations from the graduate degree and were they met?
The first LL.M. was an effort to specialize. The second was to make me more interesting when I entered the teaching market.
Is there a particular profile of candidate that BYU looks for in their LLM applicants? What are some of the more common characteristics of successful LLM applicants?
I think the most particular aspect of a successful candidate is a commitment to return to their home country and build on the experiences they had here to make their own situation better.
How do you think international lawyers can make the most of their LLM experience given the relatively short nature of the course itself?
We also offer an extensive OPT program to give our grads a practical experience in a US law firm. We think that is an important aspect of what we are trying to accomplish.
Lastly, how has BYU Law adapted to the Covid pandemic, and what advice would you have for the Indian law graduate who is considering an LLM in the US?
We have adjusted our class teaching methodology to a mix of in person and online teaching. Overall, I think it will make us better because we have become too complacent and not committed to engage in innovative ways to teach our topics. This is helping us rethink all of that.
Even in the post-Covid world, I can’t see myself going back to all face to face teaching. There are too many other great options out there that can help maximize the learning experience.
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