J.D., Boston University
B.A., Cornell University
Why did you decide to pursue an LLM degree?
I was graduating from the JD program, and I thought the LLM degree would give me an advantage in the market, given the fact that there are so many people looking for jobs. Having my JD from BU Law is an advantage on its own, but I thought that the LLM and the practical experience I gained from the program would separate me from my competitors. I earned my JD and my LLM through the seven-semester program, I fulfilled approximately half of my LLM requirements during my time as a JD.
Why did you choose BU?
It’s clearly one of the top schools and is continually rated as having the best professors, which was one of the main reasons. I found that the Graduate Program faculty really wants to teach, as opposed to pursuing research. They are working professionals, and their perspective is very much the way it is in the real world. It is not purely academic, so you really understand and talk about things that you will face in your career. I was truly swayed by the fact that learning practical skills from experienced practitioners would be an excellent way to compete in the down market. Also, I’m from Boston originally, so I was able to speak to graduates of the program, who had absolutely amazing things to say about their educational experience.
What has been the biggest change between JD classes and your classes here in the Graduate Program?
The biggest difference is the practical aspect. JD classes are based on case law and theory while LLM classes are based on problems encountered by banking lawyers in the workplace, which students work through by talking to the professor and thinking like an attorney (and not so much like a student). Another big difference is the composition of the study body – you are in classes with people who do not go straight to the LL.M from the J.D. You are with people who are also working professionals and from different countries – so you have access to some really unique perspectives.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
I’m either going to be staying in Boston or New York. I’m considering potentially looking into international work, having made a good deal of international contacts through the program. I definitely want to stay in the financial sector of law and practice corporate law.
What have you enjoyed most about living and studying in Boston?
I’m originally from Boston— I grew up here. I left briefly to complete my undergrad studies at Cornell, but I think Boston’s a great city to be in. It’s not too big like New York can seem, but it still has a lot of things going on, so you definitely can enjoy yourself. As a graduate student, we tend to be older and more cultured than undergrads, and there are definitely a lot of museums to visit. It’s also a friendly city, so you don’t feel like you’ll get lost here, whereas in some other cities you could.
Do you have any advice for students applying to the Banking Program?
I strongly recommend the program. I think it’s a good way to gain practical experience, especially right now when the market’s tough. It’ll certainly give you an advantage over people who don’t have the degree. Obviously, it’s not the same knowledge that you would attain by working, but it would give you enough knowledge that you maybe don’t have from your J.D. You also meet a lot of diverse and experienced lawyers. It’s a great networking opportunity. I left the program knowing that the friends I made would be my friends the rest of my life.