Enamored of L.A., Italian Lawyer Uses Loyola LLM to Transition
Studying law in Italy, Federico Stea was sure of a couple of things: He wanted to practice law in Los Angeles, and Loyola Law School was the place to learn how.
“Loyola is the best school to go to for international students who want to practice law in California,” said Stea, who is set to earn his LLM degree in December. “You get to be 100 percent involved in what goes on in the school,” he said.
One Loyola advantage is that international LLM students mix freely with JD students and take classes alongside them. “It’s a great thing because you get to build connections and relationships,” Stea said.
Another advantage is top-notch faculty who are eager to meet with and help their students. “I come from a very different system,” Stea said about his Italian legal education. “We’re not used to interacting with professors in class or outside class.” Loyola professors, in contrast, willingly spend time with a student to clarify a tricky issue or help with problems.
For instance, when Stea recently ran into a former professor, she asked him to drop by her office just to discuss how he was doing. “I want to hear about you,” she said. Others have provided such help as résumé advice.
“At Loyola, you learn how to deal with people and to discuss issues with people. It’s not something we’re accustomed to back home,” Stea said.
Because he wants to practice litigation, Stea is focusing on classes such as Evidence and Trial Advocacy. He also hopes to take advantage of Loyola’s Bar Track LLM offerings, which include classes on bar-exam writing and more.
Stea is reassured by the accessibility of the extensive list of Loyola professors who regularly provide bar review lectures and write California Bar Exam questions. “I really have a wide range of people I can go to,” he said.
A native of Milan, Stea fell in love with Los Angeles as an exchange student in high school. Then, in 2013 — about midway through his six years of Italian law school — he spent about eight months as an intern in an Orange County law firm. Currently, Stea clerks at a premiere civil litigation defense firm in Los Angeles and serves as a research assistant for Loyola professor and ADR expert Hiro Aragaki.
“I don’t want you to be just good students. I want you to be to be good lawyers,” Stea recalled one professor proclaiming. With Loyola’s help, Stea plans to be just that.