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Released on Mar 20, 2023
Monday Morning Message 3.20.23 Our Masters of Law

“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“The world has only one border. It is called humanity. The differences between us are small compared to our shared humanity.” – Nadia Murad

While it is widely known that law schools offer a J.D. degree (Juris Doctor), many people are unaware of another law degree offered by some U.S. law schools: the LL.M. degree, an internationally recognized postgraduate law degree. LL.M. is an abbreviation of the Latin Legum ("of Laws") Magister (“Master”), or Master of Laws.

We are very proud to have an LL.M. Program. Students enrolled in our LL.M. program must have a J.D. or LL.B. If your J.D. is from the United States, the LL.M. is a great way to deepen your expertise in an area of law, but most of our LL.M. students are international students. In fact, 80% of LL.M. students at U.S. law schools are international students. International students who want to pursue an LL.M. are required to have earned a first professional degree in law, such as a LL.B., or an equivalent credential, that permits entry into legal practice in another country. The LL.B. is an undergraduate law degree in many other countries. LL.B. is an abbreviation of the Latin Legum Baccalaureus, or Bachelor of Laws.

For some international students, they obtain the LL.M. degree to learn about the United States legal system so they can return to their home countries and enrich their legal careers, but all of our LL.M. students are seeking full-time employment in the United States once they graduate, and most of them plan to take the Ohio Bar Exam and practice law in Cleveland. 

Our outstanding LL.M. students come from over 9 different countries and speak many languages. The rich diversity, extraordinary talent, and unique lived experiences of our LL.M. students contribute significantly to the educational experience of all students at our law school.

If you are interested in speaking to any of our LL.M. students please contact Julie DiBiasio, Director of Graduate Studies and Professional Development (j.dibiasionull@csuohio.nulledu), or Professor Milena Sterio, Director of the LL.M. Program, (m.sterionull@csuohio.nulledu).

This morning, I want to highlight some of our LL.M. students.

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LLM Students

Fernanda Balog
Fernanda is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the first person in her family to have a degree. Her primary interest is immigration law.

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Fernanda Balog

Miriam Kobella
Miriam was born and raised in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico and is a naturalized American. She studied law and communication science in Mexico, and is licensed to practice law in Mexico. Her legal experience includes real estate, family law, and contracts. Her primary interests are civil litigation and international law.

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Miriam Kobella

Daysi García Lisiewski
Daysi is from Paraguay, graduated law school at the Catholic University Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, and is licensed to practice law in Paraguay. She has worked as a paralegal and Spanish interpreter at a Cleveland immigration firm.

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Daysi Garcia Lisiewski

Forstina P. Gongbah
Forstina is from Liberia and earning his LL.M. is a lifelong dream.

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Forstina P. Gongbah

Samira Valadkhan
Samira is from Tehran, Iran, and earned her Judicial Law Degree from Tehran Azad University. Her practice in Iran focused on business litigation, commercial transactions, corporate structure, and real estate law, and expects to practice in the same areas in the United States.

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Samira Valadkhan

Jessica Abou Rjeily
Jessica is from Lebanon and worked as a corporate lawyer in Lebanon for six years.

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Jessica Abou Rjeily

Clayton Papenfus
Clayton is from South Africa where he obtained a bachelor of laws degree and a master of laws degree. He expects to practice corporate law.

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Clayton Papenfus

Mohamed Marzouk
Mohame is from Egypt, where he was an Associate Professor of Civil Law. He practiced law in Egypt with a focus on contracts, employment  law, and property law.

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Mohamed Marzouk

We are very proud that these talented students have chosen CSU|LAW to earn their LL.M. degree.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Committed to Living Justice.

Have a great day. Have a great week.

My best,

Lee

Lee Fisher
Dean, Cleveland State University College of Law | Cleveland State University
Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law

For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages.

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