Even though the beginning of school was a few weeks away, the International Graduate Law Program at Miami Law was in full swing with its two-week orientation, which helps international LL.M. students acclimate into their new Miami community and the United States. This year's class is the most diverse ever, with more than 50 students from over 28 different jurisdictions.
During the first week, students participated in several activities and sessions ranging from hurricane preparedness to studying in the U.S. to career planning and sessions with alumni.
Director of International Graduate Law Programs Jessica Carvalho Morris conducted academic advising by meeting individually with each student.
"One of the trademarks of our programs is the individual attention we provide students from the time they apply to graduation and beyond," said Morris.
Students still had time to relax and mingle. The LL.M. Program hosted a networking reception with the Miami Council for International Visitors, as well as a casual party "Cuban Night." Orientation also included a reception as part of the Mentor/Mentee program where incoming students are paired with graduates.
"Students had the opportunity to meet their mentors and talk about issues from living in Miami, taking exams and career paths," said Morris who is focused on helping the students in her ever-growing international programs make smooth transitions.
During the second week, the students took an Introduction to U.S. Law course. As part of the course they visited the Southern District of Florida and had a special tour of the courtroom, judge's chambers and jury room. They also had the opportunity to observe a criminal trial, watch a jury in action and meet Federal judges including Judge Altanaga, Judge Cooke and Judge Jordan who was just nominated by President Obama to the Court of Appeals.
Orientation culminated with a cocktail reception at the Newman Alumni Center on the Coral Gables campus.
Professor Rafael Paz helps Zhenying Li, an incoming LL.M. student from China, prepare for the U.S. classroom. (Photo: Miami Law) Full-Size Photo
The individual attention international LL.M. students receive in their orientation is evident in the video in which the Director of International Graduate Law Programs speaks about the graduating LL.M. Class of 2011 and her department's commitment to personal attention to all its students.