School of Law LL.M. Program Attracts Students From Around the World
Since 1992 the CWRU Office of Foreign Graduate Legal Studies has produced more than 800 alumni from more than 60 countries in the Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree. The one-year graduate degree for lawyers who have earned their first degrees in law at universities abroad focuses on American common law, U.S. legal research and writing, working effectively in various legal environments, and meeting the needs of international clients.
The program which started in its first year with three students has now grown to over 70 students per year. Professor Lewis Katz, John C. Hutchins Professor of Law and Director of the Office of Foreign Graduate Legal Studies, credits the growth to “two newly accredited programs for students wanting more specialized master’s degrees: LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law and LL.M. in International Business Law.”
In June, 56 LL.M. alumni with initial law degrees from 20 different countries (Germany, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, India, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Vietnam) gathered together at the law school for a reunion. The group enjoyed various local social events and law seminars offered by prominent Cleveland international attorneys who have been longtime supporters and affiliates of LL.M. program.
The School of Law, backed by the multi-million dollar endowment for the Cox International Law Center, is ranked 15th best in International Law in this year's survey of law professors conducted by US News and World Report.
International Friendship Family Program Connects Students With Local Families
Ms. Vachirapron Chanprasert (LLM, 2014) was matched with Fred Franks (MBA, 2010) and his wife, Nissa, and their two sons.
Adjusting to life in the US can be lonely and challenging for international students. The International Friendship Family Program works with CWRU alumni living in the Cleveland area to help international students with the transition into a new country and culture. The program matches over 30 international students each fall with a local family where they enjoy an occasional home-cooked meal, learn about American holidays, and visit Cleveland’s cultural and entertainment attractions. The most likely students to sign up for the program are those who are in the US for the first time as well as newly enrolled graduate students who do not have the benefit of living with American students in the university resident halls. The benefits are equally shared as Friendship Family members learn about different cultures, languages, cuisines, and more.
Families and their international students get together at least 2-3 times each semester. Mr. Shih Feng Sun, a PhD student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science writes, “They invited my wife and I to see a football game, to hike in the evening, to have Thanksgiving meal at her mother's house with her family, and to join her birthday party. We also invite her to taste Chinese food at our apartment. This program is fantastic. Please keep holding this program, which provided me with a good way to know American culture.”
The match is officially made for just one year; however, many of the international students and their friendship families stay in contact, enjoying their international friendships for months and years to come.
Interested alumni who would like to participate should apply between July 1 and October 1.
Newly enrolled international students who would like to participate must apply between September 1 and October 1.
The program is coordinated by CWRU staff volunteer, Liz Woyczynski, with support from the Center for International Affairs. Questions about the program should be addressed to