Graduate Programs


Student Link

Meet the Staff

The Graduate and International Programs Office (OGIP) serves as the central administrative office for BU Law's LL.M. in American Law Program, LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law Program and foreign exchange programs.  It is, in many respects, the "home away from home" for most of the dozens and dozens of international graduate students whom BU Law welcomes each year. The OGIP is committed to furthering BU Law's long-standing tradition of welcoming people of every race and ethnicity, encouraging the exchange of ideas, and the formation of relations that transcend national boundaries.

Prospective students should direct all application-related questions to this office.

Contact Us:

Graduate and International Programs Office
Boston University School of Law
765 Commonwealth Avenue,Suite 525
Boston, MA 02215
Tel: 617.353.5323



John N. Riccardi
Director and Assistant Dean for Graduate and International Programs

John N. Riccardi is BU Law's assistant dean for Graduate and International Programs and director of the Graduate and International Programs Office. He received his A.B. cum laude from Harvard College and his J.D. magna cum laude from BU Law in 1991, where he was an editor of The Boston University Law Review, a G. Joseph Tauro Scholar and a recipient of an American Jurisprudence Prize for his academic achievements.

For several years, he was an associate at Ropes & Gray, one of Boston's largest law firms, where he specialized in health care law, intellectual property and public financing. Before returning to BU Law in 1997, he was a principal in the Cambridge, MA, consulting firm of Vogt Associates, where he advised lawyers, law firms, in-house legal departments and law schools on professional development, marketing and strategic planning issues.

His responsibilities at BU Law include directing the School's LL.M. in American Law, LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law, Summer Legal Institute in London and study abroad programs, and overseeing the School's graduate programs, international initiatives and marketing and communications. He has taught the survey course in American law for LL.M. students.



Shannon Balliro
Assistant Director, Graduate and International Programs Office

Shannon Balliro is the Assistant Director for the Graduate and International Programs Office. She serves as the primary contact for American Law Program, Intellectual Property Law Program, & Visiting Foreign Exchange students and oversees admissions for our five residential LL.M. programs! Shannon deals mainly in academic advising, student affairs, student events, and every other form of support students need to succeed here at BU Law; she is an amazing resource for all students, faculty, and staff with questions large and small. A student herself, she recently earned her second graduate degree (Master of Education: Higher Education Policy, Planning, and Administration) in May 2013 after having completed her Master of Arts in English in May 2012. She is now working toward her Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

Prior to joining the OGIP, Shannon worked in the Boston University Residence Life Department helping undergraduate students acclimate to life on-campus. Shannon's knowledge of Boston University's academic, social, and professional resources makes her a one-stop-shop for incoming students. Please stop by the OGIP and say hi to Shannon the next time you are on campus!


Cara Hebard

Cara Hebard
Senior Program Coordinator

Cara Hebard is the senior program coordinator for the Graduate and International Programs Office. She is the front-line contact for American Law Program and Intellectual Property Law Program students, providing academic and administrative support on matters large and small, including registration, immigration, add/drop, OPT, and more! Cara is also the primary resource for all incoming LL.M. students for visa matters, as she works with our International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) to ensure that all incoming students receive their visa paperwork in a timely manner. Cara loves meeting new and prospective students, so stop by the office and say hi the next time you are on campus!  

Cara brings a broad range of student support and administrative experiences within higher education to Boston University. Prior to joining the OGIP, Cara worked at Bryant University as an undergraduate admissions counselor. She also worked at Boston College Law School in Alumni Relations and Development. She received her B.A. in Sociology with a minor in psychology at Quinnipiac University in 2010. During her free time, Cara enjoys staying active, travelling, and going to the beach (in the summer of course).  



Spencer T. Hitchner
Graduate Admissions Specialist

Spencer is the Gradudate Admissions Specialist for the Graduate and International Programs Office. He is the primary contanct for applicants to our LL.M. programs, he administers the systems and procedures of LL.M. admissions, and he is the primary contact for all admissions and application related issues. Spencer also specializes in and maintains various applicant databases, and generates departmental admissions statistics reports.

Spencer received his B.A. in International Relations from Boston University in 2008. Prior to joining the OGIP,, he was an English instructor in Fukui, Japan, leading classes ranging in level from elementary school to professional programs. Upon his return to the United States, he ran an internship and activities program for an ESL school in downtown New York, linking students with professional internships. Spencer has also served as a Senior Program Coordinator for Boston University's Center for English Language and Orientation Programs (CELOP). He is currently pursuing an MBA at Boston University's Graduate School of Management. Needless to stay, Spencer is an invaluable resource for applicants and administrators alike--feel fre to reach out to him at any time!


Lane Marder

Lane Marder
Senior Program Coordinator

Lane is the senior program coordinator for the Graduate and International Programs Office. She provides administrative support to our study abroad programs, Summer Legal Institute in London, professional development services, marketing activities, alumni relations and outreach efforts, and cross-LL.M. program initiatives. 

Lane joins us from Language International, an educational advising firm in Cambridge, MA, where she was a senior student advisor and admissions manager.  Prior to that, she worked as a cultural ambassador and North American language assistant with the Ministry of Education in Spain. Her placements were in secondary schools in Ciudad Real and Burgos, Spain.  Lane graduated summa cum laude from Colby College in 2008, where she pursued a double major in Spanish and music. As a student, she spent a semester abroad at the University of Salamanca in Spain, competed in Track and Field and was a violinist with the Colby Symphony Orchestra.    


Sara Marshall

Sara Marshall
Associate Director for Professional Development

Sara Marshall is the associate director for Professional Development at Boston University School of Law. She is available to meet with current LL.M. students and alumni throughout the academic year. After law school, Sara worked as an attorney in the Boston office of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, PC, where she practiced corporate bankruptcy, restructuring and commercial law and was active in the firm's recruitment program. After practicing law, Sara expanded her career into academic and career advising and worked in the Career Development Offices of MIT and BU Law. At BU Law, Sara has worked as a career advisor for both J.D. and LL.M. students. She most recently worked in the Boston office of WilmerHale as a Professional Development and Training specialist where she helped develop and manage corporate training programs and the firm's Women's Leadership Initiative.

Sara advises BU Law LL.M. students on all areas relating to career and professional development. She counsels students on job search strategies, interviewing skills, resume and cover letter preparation and other aspects of professional outreach. Additional services include online access to professional development workshops and career panels during the academic year. We encourage you to take advantage of our professional development services, as they are specifically designed to meet the needs of LL.M. students.  



Jordan Smock
Assistant Director, Marketing and Operations

As the Assistant Director for Marketing and Operations, Jordan Smock oversees many different programs and initiatives. In addition to developing and managing operational guidelines for multiple LL.M. programs, Jordan creates and implements marketing initiatives across five LL.M. programs and a suite of legal english programs offered by BU Law. Prreviously, Jordan acted as Interim Assistant Director for the Graduate and International Programs Office as well as Interim Production Manager for the Office of Communications and Marketing. Needless to say, she is an amazing resource.

Prior to joining the OGIP in 2009, Jordan owned and operated her own catering company where she was Director of Marketing and Sales. She received her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in history here at Boston University in 2007. When not at work, Jordan can be found all along the South Shore of Massachusetts trying fabulous, new restaurants or traveling to exciting new places.