My decision to apply to the Masters Program in United States Legal Studies at the University of California Hastings College of the Law was based on two main reasons:
First, I sought to study the common law system at a top tier school in the United States. My goal was to achieve competence in US law because I realized it would be a major step towards my professional goal of working internationally, as ongoing globalization and the increase in international trade require that lawyers be knowledgeable in matters of foreign law and can reconcile their countries’ legal requirements with those of foreign jurisdictions. Additionally, receiving a Masters degree in United States Legal Studies while having a law degree from Germany would allow me to sit for the BAR examination. Having the opportunity of becoming licensed in the United States will further increase my options of working internationally.
Second, I wanted to experience life in a major American metropolis. UC Hastings College of the Law located in San Francisco and constantly rated as a top tier law school offers both and I do not regret signing up for the LL.M. program.
Generally, the LL.M program in U.S. Legal Studies allows you to sign up for lectures of interest to yourself, in addition to requiring basic legal classes that give you an essential understanding of how the common law system works. Hastings presents a challenging legal environment with committed professors, as well as a wide range of excellent lectures. Furthermore, the Hastings Community is engaged in a variety of clinical programs, to get some practical experience.
The university is located in the heart of San Francisco, close to Chinatown and the Financial District, and thus offers endless possibilities that compensate for the slight drawback of not having a university campus.
Personally, I found great friends among my fellow LL.M students, from all over the world, and I get to enjoy the potential that a life in San Francisco offers. Even though San Francisco is an expensive city to live in, it is a great experience and I would always come back. Furthermore, after almost two semesters of legal education here at Hastings I have not only a better understanding of the American common law system but also of the American people. The time here at Hastings was - and still is - a challenging experience. Now, I feel better prepared to achieve my future goals.