Italian Student Pivots Back to Legal Roots with Loyola LLM
Armed with a law degree from Italy and an international LLM degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, Georgia Anderson was admitted to the State Bar of California last year. Within days, she was arguing a motion in Los Angeles Superior Court.
“I jumped right into it. I hadn’t even received my bar card yet,” she says. “Then I won the motion.”
Anderson got the case, a complicated family law matter, as a referral from the Los Angeles Incubator Consortium, or LAIC, which is a collaborative project between Loyola, other area law schools and local legal aid groups that helps new lawyers open their own law offices. LAIC’s attorney development director, Maria Hall, offered the advised Anderson on strategy.
The consortium gives its competitively selected member lawyers detailed training and support in setting up a law office, client communications, ethics and business practices, as well as weekly support meetings and free access to computerized legal research tools.
“It’s nice to be part of a group because when you set up a practice, you’re alone,” Anderson said. “With the consortium, you feel like you’re part of a group.”
Her Loyola classes also contributed significantly to her success in the case and in launching her own family law practice. Particularly important was her Marital Property class taught by Professor Charlotte Goldberg.
“Professor Goldberg was always on-point. She would tell us things that I now find come up in practice all the time,” Anderson says. “I know a lot of things that other lawyers don’t know.”
Anderson credits her Loyola professors with imbuing her with the knowledge she needed to hit the ground running. “They were so dedicated, and they explained everything so well. Their teaching is very practical and connected to the real world.”
Before coming to Loyola, Anderson had been a futures and currency broker and adviser. Yet she was pleasantly surprised by all she learned in Professor Elizabeth Pollman’s Business Associations class.
“I was in business a long time,” she says. “But after that class, things made more sense.”
A native of La Spezia, a port city on the Italian Riviera coast near France, Anderson earned her law degree from Universita degli Studi di Pisa in 2004. Soon after, she moved to San Diego, where she had been an exchange student during high school.
In 2006, she found a job with an Encino futures and foreign exchange trading company that needed an intelligent, hard worker fluent in Italian.
Four years later, she went out on her own as a trading adviser and commentator. She also wrote an introductory book on currency trading and launched a successful social network for traders.
Anderson soon realized that she wanted to return to being a lawyer. She chose Loyola’s international LLM program because of the school’s excellent reputation, beautiful campus and high-tech classrooms. “You can even go back and listen to classes again,” she said.
Particularly impressed with professors’ accessibility as a student, Anderson finds that she continues to consult with her teachers now that she is an alumna. And she continues to expand her practice. Since joining the consortium, Anderson has added criminal defense and personal injury representation to her repertoire.
A single mom of a young son, Anderson said that in her family law practice, she can help make sure judges understand the struggles of being a single mother. “I would like to make a little bit of difference in the world, to say that in my life, I contributed to something.”
That is an attitude she learned from Loyola’s professors. “The way they taught, they communicated a lot of hope that lawyers can actually change things and that it’s powerful to be a lawyer,” she says. “They basically made me love the law.”
Learn more about how you can use an LLM from Loyola to make a difference in your career or apply now!