Making the Most of Your LL.M. Experience


Friday, November 5, 2021

UNH Franklin Pierce hosted an information packed webinar on making the most of your LL.M. degree, featuring an alum and current students. Wach the webinar and read about the unique, hands-on experience you receive at our school.

Immersion and engagement at many levels are the two biggest keys to making the most of an LL.M. experience at UNH Franklin Pierce.

According to Professor Ashlyn Lembree, director of the Intellectual Property and Transaction Clinic at UNH, getting to know your cohort of LL.M. candidates, embracing the American language and culture, sharing one’s own distinct cultural experiences, becoming involved in clubs and organizations, and getting acquainted with professors contribute greatly to a positive outcome.

Ashlyn Lembree

“I tell LL.M. candidates to join a student group — or several,” Lembree says. “The Diversity Coalition hosts Chinese New Year and Diwali celebrations every year. The Outdoor Club hosts group hikes, ski trips, and other outdoor activities. A wide variety of other student groups can grow a student’s interest in constitutional law, licensing, patents, sports law, and entertainment law, among other topics.”

In terms of engagement, Lembree also recommends that international students get to know one another, as they will form the support network of associates and resources. As part of joining an international community, understanding American language and culture not only impresses colleagues in the United States, but also provides a foundational knowledge for foreign attorneys working on cases within the American legal system, Lembree notes.

From a student perspective, “Being in a classroom of diverse students and engaging with the community gives you a broad perspective of legal systems, culture, and challenges faced by various countries around the world,” says Mithra Thiruchangu, LLM ‘22 of India, who is the Co-President and a Founding Member of UNH Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA) and the Class Governor for the Student Bar Association. “As a lawyer, this global view is invaluable.”

Professors are also an excellent resource for LL.M. students, with their many connections to alumni and potential job opportunities. Meanwhile, career services is another resource that can help students maximize their LL.M. experience. The office assists with interviewing and networking skills, offers résumé and cover letter support, and sponsors job fairs and lectures.

Mudassir Husain speaking during the International Student Seminar

Mudassir Husain speaking during the International Student Seminar

“We try to do everything we can to support students in their pursuit of an LL.M. and beyond,” says Interim Dean of Career Services Neil Sirota. “That means networking, chances to meet guests at the law school, and connecting our graduates with employment opportunities.”

Many law schools also support LL.M. graduates who choose to remain in the U.S. for Optional Practical Training (OPT). OPT facilitates the extension of student visas for up to a year, allowing new graduates to gain work experience in America, a great option for students who are looking to add valuable work experience to their CV. At UNH Franklin Pierce, LL.M. students work with a dedicated immigration advisor from the University’s Office of International Students and Scholars, while Career Services supports students through the OPT job search process.  

Another chance to maximize the LL.M. experience is by participating in the clinics offered by the law school. Clinics offer hands-on learning and the chance to focus on a specialized area of the law, while taking on real casework under the supervision of licensed attorneys. Lembree runs the Intellectual Property and Transaction Clinic, through which students work under her guidance on actual cases involving intellectual property issues, including trademark and copyright registration, counseling, contract drafting, business formation, and proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the USPTO.

For international LL.M. students who do not get admitted to a bar in the U.S.,” Lembree adds, “this clinic may be their only opportunity to directly represent a party before the USPTO. We also have a weekly seminar structure class to discuss lawyering methods, strategies, and ethics. We work as a law firm team, and students really like working in the clinic.”

The front of the law school reflecting in the White Park pond

Outside of classes and clinics, the international community forged among LL.M. candidates is among one of the more appealing aspects of the program at UNH Franklin Pierce. Students often travel together during their breaks, share meals at each other’s residences, and support one another through the challenges of attending school away from home.

“The overwhelming impression I get from the international LL.M. students is that their favorite aspect of being here is the community of people,” Lembree says. “The international graduate students are very close-knit, regardless of the country they come from.”

UNH Franklin Pierce has been a powerhouse for nearly five decades, offering a top-ranked US legal education in global innovation and the #4 Intellectual Property Law program in the US. Supported by an internationally recognized faculty and alumni in more than 80 countries around the globe, UNH Franklin Pierce’s LLM programs prepare students for the next steps in their legal careers. To learn more about how to make the most your LL.M. experience, contact Sarah Dorner, Director of Graduate and International Admissions, at sarah.dorner@law.unh.edu or on WhatsApp at +1-603-513-5300.