February 21, 2018

Moritz Master of Laws Celebrates Ten Years

by James W. Lewis, Lane Alton & Horst, LLC and Co-Chair of The Moritz College of Law LL.M. Advisory Council; and Jennifer Magro Algarotti, Moritz International and Graduate Affairs Fellow

It's a small world. Dozens of lawyers from every corner of the globe are right here in Columbus, available to local private practitioners for transactional consultation, special projects, document translation, networking and potential employment as they pursue Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees at The Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law.

The Master of Laws program is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year. The first LL.M. students graduated from Moritz in 2008 and the class size stayed relatively small, with about 10-15 students each year, until 2013. The incoming class has grown to around 40 students and this year, students represent 15 countries, including Canada, China, Colombia, DR Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Israel, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Turkey. The program now has over 190 alumni from over 50 countries working around the world, and right here in Columbus.

James W. Lewis

Jennifer Magro Algarotti

Moritz's Office of International and Graduate Affairs (OIGA) coordinates the LL.M. program for foreign-trained lawyers and the Masters in the Study of Law (M.S.L.) program for non-lawyers. In addition, it runs the education abroad programs for Juris Doctor and LL.M. students, a visiting research scholars program, and international partnerships. In the past two years, OIGA has added five new education-abroad opportunities for JD students, in addition to its 31-year running Oxford Summer Program.

OIGA also works with local and international legal organizations to facilitate networking, externship, internship and employment opportunities for LL.M. students. This work is supported by the LL.M. Advisory Council, a group of 18 dedicated attorneys and business professionals in Columbus and around the world.

Last summer, Moritz welcomed eight Brazilian law students from The University of Brasília as part of an exchange program in which eight Moritz JD students traveled to Brazil for two weeks. The Brazilian students also took part in the college’s three-week American Law and Language Program, a content-intensive program that exposes students to the foundations of U.S. law and the legal system. Through a variety of classes and sessions with Moritz faculty and local attorneys, the program gives participants an overview of U.S. corporate law and international business, and provides hands-on lawyering skills, all while helping participants hone their legal English language abilities as they become accustomed to U.S. law school culture. Now in its third year, the program is intended for both law students and experienced attorneys alike, and includes private discussions with federal, state and municipal judges and tours of various courthouses. Participants were also hosted by Isaac Wiles for a meet and greet luncheon and tour of their law offices.

The Moritz LL.M. program has produced some new Columbus lawyers as well. Shweta Chaubey, from India, is an associate with Murray, Murphy, Moul & Basil and currently chairs the CBA's International Law Committee, whose previous chair, Kessia Cericola, hails from Brazil. And Katja Garvey, who comes from Germany, is now an associate with Kegler, Brown, Hill + Ritter and co-chairs Moritz's LL.M. Advisory Council.

While a few of the visiting lawyers have U.S. permanent residency or citizenship, and may work anywhere, most of them are available to work in any legal setting for up to 12 months following graduation (Optional Practical Training). All these lawyers greatly welcome the mentorship of local private practitioners and the opportunity to network.

Yes, it's a small world. Lawyers interested in joining the Moritz LL.M. Advisory Council, mentoring or obtaining additional information about this LL.M. program or any of these international programs, are invited to visit http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/international or call (614) 292-1241.