Students have been drawn to the LL.M. in Law and Government from highly diverse backgrounds. Incoming classes have included new law graduates and experienced attorneys from throughout the United States and from numerous other countries. Here are a few words from graduates about their experiences in the Program.

  • Jessica Baker

    Contract Law Clerk, U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Educational Opportunities Section

    Why did you decide to pursue the LL.M. degree?
    I wanted to work for the Federal Government and knew the Law and Government program could provide me with the administrative law background and job/internship opportunities in the D.C. area I needed to work in the public sector.

    Why did you choose the Law & Government Program at WCL?
    I chose WCL because of its location (I wanted to work in the DC area after graduation), the diversity of faculty and staff, and the program curriculum. I looked for a LL.M. program that would build on my knowledge of administrative law, but also develop my understanding of agency politics and procedures.

    Describe a unique experience or opportunity you had while you were a student at WCL.br I loved the opportunity to tour the Department of Transportation and meet with various officials there. Wanting to work for an agency myself, I really appreciated the chance to sit across from DOT management and learn from them.

    What courses or internships/externships helped prepare you for your current position?
    Each of my internships while at WCL prepared me for my current position in different ways. As a Law Clerk at Legal Services Corporation in the Office of Legal Affairs, for example, I developed a broad understanding of rulemaking procedure and regulation interpretation. My internship at the National Fair Housing Alliance sparked my love of advocacy and civil rights work, which I then continued to pursue in my current position with the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.

    Name a faculty or staff member who was particular helpful during your time at WCL. How did they help you?
    Everyone in the Law and Government office was a phenomenal help to me, even the faculty I didn’t personally know. They are always willing to help with the job search and reach out to connections they might have—they go above and beyond to help their students and it’s really appreciated.

    What advice do you have for current and prospective students?
    Make the most of the resources you’re given. Participate in the LL.M. events, talk to faculty and network with your colleagues. The program goes by so fast that, if you don’t hit the ground running, you might miss out on some valuable opportunities.

  • Ubaid ul-Haq

    Associate Legal Advisor, DHS Office of the Principal Legal Advisor

    Why did you decide to pursue the LL.M. degree?
    I wanted to find some way to set myself apart from my peers. I knew that I wanted to specialize in immigration law and policy, but I faced the ultimate Catch 22. In order to get a job, I had to have experience. In order to acquire experience, I had to have a job.

    Ultimately, after consultation with the immensely helpful WCL staff, I was able to appreciate the utility of the LL.M. degree and accordingly decided to enroll. The one year at WCL opened more doors than my three years in law school. The combination of instruction, externships, networking, and career-advising at WCL launched my success in the public sector. The contacts I made while at WCL endure even today and have been responsible for my professional development since.

    Why did you choose the Law & Government Program at WCL? WCL is one of the few schools in the nation that has a widely-renowned LL.M. program, and is among an even shorter list of law schools that offers the degree in immigration law and policy. The beauty of the Law & Government LL.M. is that it is an extremely flexible program that you can tailor to your prospective employment, particularly in the public sector, to make yourself exceptionally marketable for hiring.

    Describe a unique experience or opportunity you had while you were a student at WCL. Nowhere else would I have had the opportunities for such diverse externships. I managed to stay on board with each of my externships long enough to complete several draft briefs. The world is a small place – one of the decisions I drafted was litigated by an attorney who would later interview me for a position with the Department of Homeland Security. Another brief I drafted resulted in a published win for the federal government, giving me my first legal accomplishment. These and similar opportunities are readily available for all students who enroll in the Law and Government program.

    What courses or internships/externships helped prepare you for your current position? I had two externships at WCL – one with the Headquarters Executive Office for Immigration Review in Falls Church, VA, and one with the Office of Immigration Litigation, Appellate Section, both falling under the Department of Justice. These were critical in providing substantial experience in the federal public sector. I also solidified my specialization in immigration and nationality law and networked with key figures involved in federal immigration litigation. Additionally, I had the opportunity to draft several writing samples which I would later use to secure employment with the Department of Homeland Security. I enrolled in Immigration Law, Immigration Issues in Family and Employment, Asylum and Refugee Law, and Administrative Law, all which were relevant to the position I hold today. Each course balanced the right amount of theory and practice, and I highly recommend them for students seeking a career in this discipline.

    What advice do you have for current and prospective students? If you are seeking a job in the public sector, a LL.M. at WCL is a huge asset that will elevate your application above your peers. Take advantage of the program flexibility and the multitude of externships offered for credit. Network as much as possible, save, redact, and edit your writing samples, and use all these opportunities to craft your resume to reflect the needs of any open position to which you apply. Finally, humility may be a virtue, but your job interview and your resume is not the time for it. Know your worth and do not be afraid to express your qualifications.

  • Hyun Jin Lee

    Legal Counsel, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.

    Why did you decide to pursue the LL.M. degree?
    I wanted to give myself an opportunity to pursue a focused and advanced study of the area I had always been interested in and to network with the lawyers from all over the world with similar interests and vision.

    Why did you choose the Law & Government Program at WCL?

    After years of experience in law, I came to realize in whatever field I practice law, it is crucial to understand how the government actually functions and how it affects and is affected by law.

    Why WCL? Besides its prominence, WCL is the only law schools offering a program in Law & Government in Washington, D.C. Classes are taught by the high-level decision makers from all three governmental branches and various international organizations.

    Describe a unique experience or opportunity you had while you were a student at WCL.
    It is hard to pick one as my time at WCL was so eventful, but the fieldtrip to the UN Headquarters in New York was one of the most memorable. We met a number of Chief Officers from different UN agencies, who were willing to share with us the insiders’ stories and even self-criticism.

    What courses or internships/externships helped prepare you for your current position?
    Through the WCL career fair, I gained an internship opportunity with the U.S. Law Library of Congress as a Legal Research Intern, and it was a big plus when I was offered the current position. My former colleagues at the Library still helping me with my research efforts from time to time!

    Name a faculty or staff member who was particular helpful during your time at WCL. How did they help you?
    Professor Amy Tenney is always accessible and encouraging. If I approached her for advice, she would come up with all kinds of different ideas for me to consider. This is still true even years after my graduation.

    What advice do you have for current and prospective students?
    Enjoy your time there and take full advantage of what WCL has to offer. You will realize how one year at WCL could deeply enrich your life.

  • Nicholas Giles

    EEO Adjudicator, USDA Office of Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights (OASCR)

    Why did you decide to pursue the LL.M. degree?
    I decided to pursue my LL.M. because I wanted to give my Juris Doctorate degree a marketable focus (i.e. concentration or specialization) in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law.

    Why did you choose the Law & Government Program at WCL?
    I chose the Law & Government Program at WCL because it was of the very few, if not only, programs of its kind offered by any law school. I did not discover my passion for Civil Rights and Constitutional Law until approximately midway through my JD program. At that point, there was an insufficient amount of remaining credits for me to take prior to graduation in my area of interest. WCL had not only a vast array of courses for me to cultivate my interest in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law, but through its offering of an LL.M degree, it provided me a fresh opportunity to explore my passion and prospectively shape my career through a concentration.

    Describe a unique experience or opportunity you had while you were a student at WCL.
    An experience that I recall is attending a panel held at WCL on the U.S. Supreme Court case, Shelby County v. Eric Holder. At the event, I listened to a range of esteemed panelists that included attorneys from the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division and other seasoned attorneys. In their discussions, the panelist explored how the Shelby decision could change the political landscape for years to come. What I remember most was being inspired by the vast possibilities and ways that my legal career could impact not only our nation but the world.

    Name a faculty or staff member who was particular helpful during your time at WCL. How did they help you?
    Of many who have had a significant impact, I must say Professor Amy Tenney and Professor William Yeomans were instrumental in the development of my career. Amy Tenney was more than a career counselor to me but a psychiatrist in many ways as leaned heavily on her at times to discern paths to achieve my dreams and overcome personal obstacles. Professor Yeomans was not only my professor but a friend that I could always deliberate with on a variety of issues (i.e. both personal and general). He possessed an abundant amount knowledge and experience that he was always willing to share. Although Professor Yeomans always encouraged free interchange of ideas, he was also great on keeping my ideas on track with his candidness and sarcasm—other words, I could always trust Professor Yeomans to always let me know when an idea was stupid with either a question, joke or a simple look of confusion.

  • Pedro Etcheverrigaray

    Chief of Clerks at the Environmental Law Unit of the Attorney General’s Office Buenos Aires, Argentina

    What is your current position title and employer name?
    - Adjunct Professor at University of Buenos Aires School of Law
    - Legal Advisor at the Commission for the Monitoring of the Compliance with the Inter American Convention Against Corruption.

    Why did you decide to pursue the LL.M. degree?
    As an international student, I knew an LL.M. would provide me with exciting opportunities. First, it would enable me to face a different legal culture, with the unique challenge of learning from a different legal systems and approaching diverse cultural perspectives. Second, I could engage in a more experienced and sophisticated level of debate and analysis with professors and other attorneys. Finally, I was able to network with lawyers who have similar professional interests and objectives.

    Why did you choose the Law & Government Program at WCL?
    I chose the Law & Government program at WCL after receiving a number of recommendations from Fulbright scholars all over the world. Their common opinion proved to be right. The academic excellence of the professors, the warmth of each member of the Program team, and the awesome opportunities students are given to engage with Government officers, members of Congress, and the Judiciary are why I chose WCL.

    What courses or internships/externships helped prepare you for your current position?
    The courses I believe helped me prepare the most for my current positions, were related to environmental law (Comparative Environmental Law, International Environmental Law, Environmental Law, and Environmental Advocacy), and courses in administrative law (Administrative Law and Contemporary Topics on Administrative Law).

    Name a faculty or staff member who was particular helpful during your time at WCL. How did they help you?
    Even when I find it extremely hard to select some over many great faculty, I would say that both Professor Jeffrey Lubbers and Professor David Hunter were of great help during my experience at WCL. Their constant advice and interest on my personal inquiries turned my days at WCL into an enriching personal, educational and professional experience.

    What advice do you have for current and prospective students?
    If you are interested in government issues or you want to pursue a career in public law, and you want to be a step ahead from other attorneys, the Law and Government Program at WCL is the right move to make. Not only will it allow you to study and network where the authorities of the federal government of the United States are settled, but it will enable you to take your perspectives on public law, public policies, and government to a whole new level of analysis and expertise.

  • Krista Dolan

    Assistant Public Advocate, Post-conviction Branch Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy

    Why did you decide to pursue the LL.M. degree?
    I was applying nationally in a very competitive public interest job market and I thought the LL.M. would provide me with the opportunity to gain both an added credential, and additional public interest work experience.

    Why did you choose the Law & Government Program at WCL?
    WCL’s Law & Government program was the only program in existence geared at my specific interests – My concentration was in civil rights & constitutional law, and my specialization was in criminal law. I also thought that there would be no better place than D.C. to have the occasion to work for refutable public interest organizations.

    Describe a unique experience or opportunity you had while you were a student at WCL.
    I had a number of unique experiences and opportunities as a student at WCL, but one of the standouts was a chance to attend a film screening at the White House.

    What courses or internships/externships helped prepare you for your current position?
    I interned with both the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project while completing my LL.M. I work as a post-conviction public defender now and both internships were relevant to my current position.

    Name a faculty or staff member who was particular helpful during your time at WCL. How did they help you?
    Initially, when I struggled with what direction I wanted to go with the program, Amy Tenney was abundantly supportive in getting me on the right track. She also served as my advisor for my independent study paper, which won that year’s Outstanding Research and Writing Award, and was published in the Criminal Law Brief.

    What advice do you have for current and prospective students?
    Go in with a plan to make the most of all the available opportunities; if that plan doesn’t work out, keep an open mind and stay flexible.