BU Law LLM Program Facilitates International Connections among Alumni

Doris Lau (LLM’00), Octavio Moura Andrade (LLM’09), and Gustavo Viseu (LLM’01) highlight the common ground of a BU Law education.

BU Law LLM program alumni make international connections.For many, Boston University School of Law’s LLM in American Law program represents not only a degree from a highly ranked law school, but also an experience that gives international practitioners common ground beyond graduation.

As a judge in the Berlin district court (Landgericht Berlin), Doris Lau (LLM in American Law’00) oversaw Steven Leunert (LLM in American Law’11) as her judicial clerk (referred to as “referendariat” in German law). While Lau and Leunert did not know of each other previously, the BU Law experience they shared in common provided a platform upon which they could build a deeper professional relationship.

“I was delighted to have Mr. Leunert as a “referendar” not only because of his profound legal knowledge but also because I quickly found out that he is a Boston University alumnus,” says Lau.

In addition to expanding her professional connections, the LLM in American Law Program gave Lau a new perspective on the connections between the American and German legal systems.

“In general, a broad education in a foreign country widens your knowledge and ability in whatever profession you choose.  While the American and German legal systems are quite different from each other, there is also much common ground,” says Lau. “In the classes I took, I really liked and benefited from discussing the pros and cons of legal arguments in court decisions.  Balancing and weighing civil rights is also a main part of my current work.”

For BU Law’s graduates, the LLM degree opens up a new world of alumni connections and, as a result, a broader range of professional opportunities. Take Octavio Moura Andrade (LLM in American Law’09). Now the head of the agribusiness practice at the Brazilian law firm Viseu Advogados, Moura Andrade credits BU Law for providing him with an extensive international network to build upon after graduation.

“I personally believe that BU Law’s American Law Program provides a great alumni network for any international lawyer,” says Moura Andrade. “I have contacts with great professionals from all over the world from the Philippines, to Dubai, Italy, Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Mexico, Uruguay and many other places.”

One of those connections was fellow alumnus, Gustavo Viseu (LLM in American Law’01), who started Viseu Advogados in 1993.

Viseu and Moura Andrade met through a headhunter, but it was their shared backgrounds at BU Law that helped distinguish Moura Andrade’s candidacy at the firm, according to Viseu. “Moura Andrade’s BU degree was an advantage on his admission process with our firm,” he says. “He is playing an important role developing the agribusiness sector.”

Looking back, Lau, Moura Andrade, and Viseu all stress how their experiences at BU Law helped them build critical connections after graduation. “The student community was one of the best and most enriching parts of my time at BU Law. The law school organized several events where LLM students had a chance to get to know each other,” says Lau. “We quickly became friends by studying together and we learned a lot about different cultures and backgrounds. I am still in touch with some of my classmates and am sure that reconnecting with those I lost contact with would be easy—also thanks to Boston University's alumni network.”

“I would say to new and current students: enjoy BU Law and the town, both the academic and social life,” says Viseu. “Make friends and have fun, and don’t forget that you are there to study and to have one of the most fantastic experiences of your life.”

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