Home Away from Home
As a student at UNH Franklin Pierce, Olivia Sun, MCT ’21 expected to thrive in her classes. But the recent graduate found unexpected joy in much of her life outside the classroom.
Sun took advantage of her year in New Hampshire, joining the Outdoor Club, jogging and cooking with friends, and hiking and marveling at the foliage in Concord and in Maine’s Acadia National Park.
“I have found that the most unexpected joy comes from spontaneous adventures,” says Sun, a native of China, who earned her master’s in commerce and technology law last spring.
Her feeling of welcome at the law school began even before Sun arrived on campus. Admissions officers facilitated visa applications and housing. Associate Director of Admissions and International Outreach Sarah Dorner helped Sun and other foreign students connect with professors prior to their arrival on campus.
“The staff here,” says Sun, who worked part-time in the Admissions Office, “do everything they can to make us feel like we are a part of UNH Law’s warm and welcoming community.”
The support continued throughout her time at UNH Franklin Pierce, with the law school arranging Zoom meetings with international alumni, who shared tips on finding work in the legal field in the U.S. Sun also participated in social events with the vibrant UNH alumni community, from lunches to panel discussions to résumé workshops to webinars.
“Alumni offered helpful advice on building a professional legal career and shared their valuable experience in legal practice,” she says. “Our law school created a fabulous networking platform for us to plan our legal practice path. I was given individualized support, and really felt like a part of the community.”
Sun arrived in New Hampshire with a background in accounting. Prior to attending law school, she worked for two years as a financial auditor in a top accounting firm in Beijing. As part of her work, Sun participated in annual audits, did pre-IPO due diligence, and was involved in a mergers and acquisitions audit.
At UNH, Sun most enjoyed the classes that related to her business degree, including IP Evaluation, Security Regulation, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Law, and E-Commerce Law, taught by Professor William Murphy. The class explores how emerging information technologies are changing the future of legal practice, and how technologies are manifesting themselves in the form of new legal problems and economic challenges.
“As nervous I was,” says Sun, “Professor Murphy brought me both deep conviction and intrinsic affirmation that let me know everything would be alright. It has helped me realize the rapid rate at which e-commerce is evolving, and that practicing law in the digital age will be disrupted and diversified compared to how we practice today.”
In Security Regulation, with Professor John Orcutt, Sun was able to delve into the broader category of the regulatory environment startups are confronting in covering both private and public offerings.
“Through studying these practical regulations,” she says, crediting Professor Orcutt with his energetic teaching style and dedication to his students, “I profoundly enhanced my professional competence.”
Though she admits to feeling somewhat homesick when she first arrived in the U.S., Sun is grateful she took the leap to attend graduate school in another country. She credits the experience at UNH Franklin Pierce with honing her independence as well as her critical thinking, problem-solving, and public speaking skills.
“Nothing is absolutely wrong or absolutely right [in law school],” she says. “UNH law provided me an excellent platform to connect with those extraordinary legal professionalis. I’m so excited to be a member of the community, and will embrace my passion to discover more possibilities in my career.”
Learn more about the Commerce & Technology Programs at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law at https://law.unh.edu/commerce-technology-program