Q & A with Rene
Why did you decide to pursue an LL.M. degree?
I needed the degree to become a professor in banking law, and I also wanted the extra classes that we don’t have in the J.D. curriculum in Puerto Rico. This program offers incredibly specialized classes. In fact, some of them can’t be found anywhere else. For instance, BU has a course in microfinance that’s completely unique.
Why did you choose BU?
I spoke with previous BU LL.M. students, and they loved the School and its faculty. That was one of the factors. All of the professors on the banking program’s faculty have great backgrounds and have worked in the field for many years.
The program’s staff is great. They make your life a lot easier, and we got to speak to them even before coming here. That helped with making the decision.
The other thing is location: when you’re choosing between schools in different states and cities, Boston is distinctive.
What has been the biggest change between law school and your classes here in the LL.M. Program?
I went to law school at the University of Puerto Rico. The biggest difference is the way professors interact with students. Here, it’s more of a peer-to-peer conversation where students are expected to contribute to the class; it’s an open dialogue instead of the professor just dictating. In Puerto Rico, it’s just the professor speaking —there’s just a lot less interaction. Here at BU, we get to choose the topics discussed in class.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
In the short-term, I’m expecting to work for a few years as a professor. I’ll start teaching an insurance law class in Puerto Rico this fall. I also plan to get involved with a project which aims to link the banking and financial systems in different Latin American countries.
What have you enjoyed most about living and studying in Boston?
I would say getting to know my classmates, who come from various backgrounds. I’ve had great conversations with them; it's opened my eyes to the rest of the world, and I've got new contacts to go visit.
I do like the weather. I like having four seasons. We don't have that in my country.
I also love the fact that the city is oriented toward sports. There are sports events all the time. Everyone loves and follows football, basketball, baseball and hockey. This is huge, and I do love that. I also love being so close to ski resorts.
Do you have any advice for students applying to BU Law's LL.M. Program?
For at least a few hours each week, put down your books and enjoy yourself! Try to spend some time discovering the city, and maybe travel around the Northeast. To any international student – this may be your only opportunity here, so take advantage of it. Get to know your fellow students. These people might be your future partners in business or in law firms, so get to know them.
Look at options in school for other things besides the LL.M. Program. Always check out what’s happening with the Student Government Association, all the activities offered, because they have tons of activities in law school. You should take advantage of the activities, the clubs, even all the classes that the J.D. program offers that might be related to your program. You might love them.