Loyola Welcomes International LLM Students

Loyola Law School’s LLM for Foreign-Trained Attorneys program welcomed 21 students from across the globe this year. They hail from Argentina, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Nicaragua, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Program Director Joel Mosemann is pleased with the growth of the program, which is only in its second year at Loyola.

“This year’s group is diverse by national origin, by professional background and professional goals,” Mosemann said. Their legal interests include international business and trade, immigration law, entertainment law and tax law. 

Graduates of foreign law schools may apply to the program for a one-year master’s degree in law. Successful completion of an American LLM degree signals a mastery of the English language in a professional context. “Our program gives them a solid foundation in the American legal system and allows them to take courses that meet their individual needs,” said Mosemann. The degree is also an asset to those who specialize in international business transactions.

LLM students are also eligible for externships with academic credit, which enable them to gain practical experience in an American legal setting. "Because of Loyola’s location and history in Los Angeles, we have relationships with a wide variety of renowned legal offices in downtown Los Angeles," said Mosemann. "Our students take advantage of those relationships by gaining valuable work experience without having to travel far."

Valeria Granata has a doctorate of law from the University of Milan, in Italy, where she specialized in bankruptcy and corporate law. During law school, she won a scholarship to attend the summer session at a U.S. law school and learn the fundamentals of American law. “I fell in love with the American legal system and wanted to expand my knowledge with an LLM,” she said, “I chose Loyola because the program allows me to have an externship while taking classes.” Granata has secured an externship with a firm in Irvine, CA this year and says that her goal is to pass the California Bar Examination.

Some students are United States citizens or permanent residents and plan to stay and work in California as a licensed attorney. Others are visiting the U.S. and intend to return to their home countries to practice law. “Loyola seeks to enrich the campus community both culturally and intellectually through the LLM program,” said Mosemann. “The experiences and perspectives of foreign students trained in other countries’ legal systems add to our learning environment, especially when a foreign student shares a different approach to a legal issue.”  

Ramon Lacayo was born in San Francisco and raised in Nicaragua, where he graduated from law school and worked as a public defender. Currently, he is working for the Los Angeles County Bar Association in the Immigration Legal Assistance Project. “My externship reinforces what I learn in class,” he said. “I have one-on-one time with clients doing naturalization, Green Cards and much more.” Loyola’s Jesuit mission attracted Lacayo to the school because of its emphasis on social needs. Lacayo hopes to pass the California Bar Examination and to continue working for underserved communities as an immigration attorney.

Loyola’s LLM for Foreign-Trained Attorneys allows students to build a very flexible course schedule based on their unique legal backgrounds. Students must complete a minimum of 24 units to earn the degree, but only five of those units are from required courses. This allows students to specialize in a particular area of law, take a broad survey of topics or establish bar exam eligibility.