On a balcony towering over Biscayne Bay, Miami Law's LL.M. graduates toasted to a productive year and new beginnings with family, friends, and Miami Law faculty.
Following the morning's graduation ceremony, the newly minted LL.M. (Master of Laws) graduates ventured to the DoubleTree Grand Hotel in downtown Miami for a dinner reception in their honor, hosted by Miami Law.
The post-graduate LL.M. programs at Miami Law provide attorneys from all over the world with advanced training and targeted studies. With international law specializations in U.S. and Transnational Law for Foreign Lawyers, International Arbitration, General International Law, and Inter-American Law, students gain the expertise needed to direct their career paths in the desired direction.
"This was a very special class; the largest LL.M. class we have ever had comprised of lawyers from 25 different jurisdictions," Jessica Carvalho Morris, Director of the International Graduate Law Programs, said. "I remember meeting each one in August of last year when they first arrived and discussing their career and personal goals. Now, to witness their great accomplishment is a true privilege. I am very proud of each of our students."
It was a bittersweet ceremony for many of Miami Law's foreign LL.M. graduates, like Jacques Sultan and Victor Hugo Cristancho.
"Unfortunately none of my family could make it to the graduation, as they were all in the UK," Sultan said. "My family means so much to me and they have all given me so many opportunities in life, to allow me to accomplish the goals I have. They are all truly special to me and I will continue to thank them in their absence today."
Cristancho, from Colombia, also had no family attend the reception, but was happy that his friends came to show their support. "I found a lot of good friends here," Cristancho said. "The diversity at Miami Law was the thing I most enjoyed during my time here, and I met many different people."
During the reception, LL.M. graduates conversed with family and friends while Dean Patricia White and Director Jessica Carvalho Morris mingled with all of the evening's guests. Both Dean White and Director Morris made remarks at the reception noting how proud they were of this year's graduates.
Froilan Monteverde, a Venezuelan graduate of the U.S. and Transnational Law for Foreign Lawyers LL.M. program, attended the reception with his parents and grandfather. "Miami Law was a great experience for me," he said. "I overcame so many personal obstacles. Being at the law school was a great motivator."
Now that they have graduated, many of the foreign graduates plan on taking a small break by visiting friends and family in different countries while finishing up projects and looking for jobs.
"I'm going to finish my doctorate thesis for my legal Ph.D. back home in Hamburg, Germany," Michael Volks said. "Since I specialized in comparative law, I will start the American component in Miami and complete the German section at home."
Other graduates, like Victor Hugo Cristancho, still have some unfinished business at Miami Law. "I still have to finish up the moot court program for our competition in June," he said. "But after that, I'm heading back home to Colombia."
For more information on the International Graduate Law LL.M. programs at Miami Law, visit the webpage at www.law.miami.edu/iglp.