Getting Hired in COVID times: Three stories of UNH Franklin Pierce LLM graduates
This article was originally published on Bar & Bench
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The University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law has earned an international reputation as a leader in Intellectual Property Law. The school attracts talented students from all over the world through both the quality of its coursework and the community support it provides. Moreover, the school’s resources and network enabled international students thrive even in the COVID-19 era of employment.
As you’ll read below, the school’s curriculum is designed to develop the employable 21st century lawyer. From technology-focused research to immersion experiences like their Silicon Valley Course, Franklin Pierce ensures students have a front-row seat to developing issues in law.
Outside the classroom, students have opportunities to develop their professional identities through the Academic Success Program, networking events hosted by the Career Services department, and educational events hosted by the school’s Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property.
Franklin Pierce Dean, Megan Carpenter is well-versed in how to change legal education to meet today’s employment market.
Find out why three recent international LLM graduates - Danielle, Sommer, and Vinicius - chose Franklin Pierce for their degrees and how they built careers in the field of IP law.
Danielle Alroy – LLM in Intellectual Property, 2020
Danielle travelled to UNH from Israel to study Intellectual Property.
“I wanted to learn from the best in the profession about IP. An LLM is extra education for an attorney, and I wanted to specialize in the field that I was most interested in.
I also chose this program because of the location. New Hampshire is a lovely state and I wanted to experience country living, the outdoors, and snow for the first time in my life.”
She said she was also drawn to the program due to the assistance she received during her enrolment process. “Since my first inquiry, the school was open and transparent about everything regarding signing up for the program, which program was best suited for me, what classes I should take and so on.”
Once she arrived, Danielle immediately enjoyed the depth of her coursework. “I loved all my IP Classes,” she said. In particular, she recalls three courses she found both useful and rewarding.
In her Technology Licensing course, Danielle said she received applicable tools for practice.
“In Entertainment Law, I loved learning about the different issues that accrue in entertainment and practice negotiations and writing about entertainment law. It was like a dream.”
She also enjoyed the E- commerce and the Law course because, “it opens your mind about current topics and helps prepare you to be a lawyer in the 21st century.”
She also appreciated how Franklin Pierce provided a platform for her to make connections. Not only did these connections help when she was preparing her job applications, but they also played a vital role in finding employment in the US.
After she graduated last year, Danielle found a job at a law firm in Veron, Connecticut as an attorney. “I’m practicing a range of civil and commercial matters, including intellectual property,” she said.
Danielle started searching for a job in January 2020. “Then COVID-19 hit and no one was hiring for a while,” she said. “I knew I wanted to stay in the US and find a job in Connecticut. I started to call every law firm in the greater Hartford area, asking them if they are hiring. One said yes and called me for an interview.”
“You only need one yes,” Danielle said. “I would recommend other students take on work or internships to gain experience in the US. It shows employers you are committed to the profession and serious about working in the US market.”
“I also recommend staying connected to UNH grads. I knew that I would find a job once I graduate no matter what and I always kept my focus on that goal. If I could find a job in a successful law firm during a pandemic, you can too!”
Sommer Blackman, LLM in Intellectual Property, 2020
Sommer Blackman, who studied her LLB at Cardiff University, chose to attend Franklin Pierce because she was impressed by the professors’ IP scholarship, the school’s small class sizes, and the school’s scholarship offerings. “I first visited UNH for the Mosaic Conference in 2018 and met a few of the professors and members of the school administration. I envisioned myself attending the school shortly after and am happy that I made that decision,” she said.
Sommer was also the first LLM student to join Franklin Pierce’s law journal, IDEA, as an editor. “This experience improved my writing and critical thinking skills as well as increased the breadth of my knowledge in IP topics,” she said. “It also highlighted my ability to multi-task and served as an example of my leadership skills. I was honored to take on this role and help create a path for future LLMs to immerse themselves in UNH's scholarly journals.”
In the classroom, Sommer found the coursework gave her confidence and practical knowledge. “Although I have five years of experience practicing law, immersing myself here was essential to my pursuit in a career in Entertainment & IP law,” she said.
Sommer found work in the United States soon after graduation. “During the school year, I networked with several lawyers,” she said. “At the end of every conversation, I made it a point to ask if that person had one or two people in mind that I could speak with. This helped me keep the momentum of meeting new people.”
After graduation, Sommer moved to New York City to continue her networking efforts. “I had two phone calls set up for the first week that I arrived,” she said.
She quickly secured an Associate position at a New York law firm, where she practices entertainment, trademark and copyright law – exactly what she studied at UNH Franklin Pierce.
Her advice for future students is simple – start networking as soon as possible. “Stay positive and communicate with others about your goals. You're not alone on this journey.”
Vinicus Silva Damasceno– LLM in Commerce and Technology Law, 2020
Vinicus (Vini) wanted to build a career in commercial and business law, with a focus on new technologies. “UNH has always been on the edge of innovation, so their LLM program in Commerce and Technology Law was perfect for my goal,” he said.
He also felt right at home on campus. “International students have access to everything!” he said. “The library is amazing, the faculty members are always there to help, and most important, the professors are very accessible! Every professor is just a knock on the door away, and they help us in many ways.”
For Vini, the LLM program gave him the opportunity to work closely with professors who are experts in their fields. As a result, he was able to increase his knowledge in crucial areas of commercial law. Beyond specialty courses, Vini found support in preparing for his career as an attorney in the United States.
“The professors also helped me prepare for heavily tested areas in the Bar Exam, thereby helping me to prepare myself to become a U.S. attorney as the next step of my career,” he said.
After graduation, Vini secured a position as a Law Clerk at Celedon Law, a law firm in Massachusetts. “Finding a job after graduation is not easy, but it is possible,” he said. “To help me fulfill my goal, I tried to establish a network with many legal professionals that provided helpful information, especially in applying for the right positions and in the proper way. I also had fantastic help from some UNH professors, who provided me with excellent advice in approaching the companies and networking.”
He advises future students to network as soon as possible in the area. “Seek advice from as many legal professionals as you can,” he said. “Applying for a job in the U.S. is probably different from applying in your home country, and it is very useful to understand how some of the processes work before starting to apply. It is not about applying to as many jobs as you can but applying for the right positions in the right way.”
Ready for UNH Franklin Pierce to help you launch or further your legal career? Contact the Office of Admissions to learn more about the school’s LLM programs. The office can be reached at email@example.com or on WhatsApp at +1-603-513-5300.