Although Zhenying Li currently lives in Shangai, China, she is starting to feel more and more at home at the University of Miami School of Law.
This may sound unlikely, but through the International Graduate Law Programs's online chats, Zhenying – and other prospective LL.M. students all over the world – are getting the chance to get up close and personal with current and future students, faculty, and administration. Having already been accepted to Miami Law's International Law LL.M. Program, Zhenying is a part of the special, private Admitted Students chat.
"The Admitted Student chat is a private chat that is held on the first Wednesday of the month for students who have already been admitted," Assistant Director Cristina Larive says. "This chat helps students with their transition to Miami and answers questions about things like apartment hunting, health insurance, immunizations, visas, etc. It's also an opporunity for them to virtually meet their future classmates before arriving."
"The most exciting thing was getting to know and talking to my future classmates before I get to the United States," Zhenying says. "They are really friendly, and we could discuss many things, like our country, interests and so on – even after the chat closed."
For those students who are still in the decision-making process, International Graduate Law Programs offers a Prospective Student chat as well. The Prospective Student chats are open to the public and are announced on the Miami Law website throughout the year. They are held on the third Tuesday of each month.
"In the Prospective Student chats, we talk about the application process and reasons for obtaining an LL.M," Larive says. "We often invite current students to talk about their experiences and answer questions."
The entire staff in International Graduate Law Programs participates in every chat, enabling them to meet the students and provide personal attention from the beginning of their interest to the time they take their first steps onto Miami Law's campus.
Prospective student Nina Jean-Bouamar, who lives in France, says, "The chat discussion answered all of my questions and solidified my wish to be a current student, because I saw a very good staff that is accessible for the prospective students."
"The most important reason I refused other law schools and chose UM is its unique teaching method," Zhenying says. "UM Law gives special attention to each LL.M. student's development goals. For example, every LL.M. student will have a personal meeting with Director Jessica Morris to make the best plan on choosing courses. Through the online chat, I have the opportunity to make great preparations for my future."
The chats allow students in every part of the world to speak directly with Miami Law faculty and alumni who can answer any questions prospective students have and help them out as they choose which school they want to attend.
"We have Open Houses every other month at UM," Larive says. "However, with our online chats, we are able to reach students everywhere in the world. Our hope is to be available to as many students as possible, even if they live in a different continent than ours!"
To participate in the online chats, go to www.law.miami.edu/iglp/chat. Prospective students are welcome to join on the third Tuesday of the month. There is also a link for admitted students at groupchat02.askadmissions.net/01/Landingpage.aspx?clientname=umiamilaw. The admitted student chat appears on the first Wednesday of the month.