The UC Hastings LL.M. program offers attorneys licensed outside of the U.S. and individuals who have completed a first degree in law outside of the U.S. a world-class education culminating in an opportunity to practice law in the U.S.
Now, with new programs, new faculty, and superstar students, here are three more ways the UC Hastings LL.M. program continues to innovate and excel:
UC Hastings has launched a new LL.M. track for its award-winning Startup Legal Garage, a cutting-edge program in which law students provide legal work for early stage Tech and BioTech startups.
The LL.M. track facilitates LL.M. student participation in this innovative experiential learning program by giving them the option to begin the fieldwork component of the program in the spring term. The new track affords our LL.M. students maximum flexibility to incorporate the Startup Legal Garage into their busy one-year schedules and an opportunity to acclimate to the U.S. law school environment and take foundational courses before doing fieldwork with live clients.
Professor Jessica Vapnek received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and B.A. from Yale University. She teaches Legal Research and Writing to Masters Students in the fall semester and advises LL.M. students on academic matters. Professor Vapnek brings decades of international and legal experience to her work at UC Hastings. Prior to joining UC Hastings, she served as a Regional Technical Director at Tetra Tech DPK, implementing US Government-funded rule of law projects and helping write proposals.
Previously, she was a Legal Officer with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome and wrote several books and articles on legislative drafting, agriculture, and natural resources. She continues to serve as an expert for various international organizations and advises international students on international careers.
Ismaël H. Najar is a French law student from University Panthéon Assas, in Paris. He was born and raised in Paris, but both of his parents are from Tunisia. At the age of eleven, he spent 6 months in a summer camp in Los Angeles and has since always dreamed of coming back to California to pursue his education here. While studying law in France, he always knew that he was going to come back to the United States to live “the American law school experience.”
Lisa Schnackenbeck always wanted to work in International Business Law. She spent a semester abroad at the ESADE Law and Business School in Barcelona, attended the European Economy and Law Conference in Paris, and interned at a law firm for international transactions in Frankfurt. She also interned in Taipei where she worked with startups from all over the world that wanted to benefit from the fast-growing tech market in Taiwan. After taking the bar exam in Germany in 2016, she worked at a law firm in Berlin specializing in advising startups on corporate and IP law issues.
Why did you choose UC Hastings?
Ismaël: I chose UC Hastings because of its great reputation and well appreciated LL.M. program that offered an “International Business & Trade” specialization. My University in Paris has a partnership with UC Hastings and provided a lot of information about the program. They made it very easy for me to apply here.
Lisa: I chose UC Hastings because of its Startup Legal Garage Clinic and its location near Silicon Valley. It enabled me to provide legal work for early stage tech and biotech startups, while still learning doctrinal and skills in class. Being so close to Silicon Valley gave me the opportunity to participate in numerous exciting events about many topics regarding early stage companies.
Why did you enroll in an LL.M. Program?
Ismaël: I decided to apply for an LL.M. program because I wanted to practice law as an attorney in California. Being specialized in business law, it is essential for me to obtain a comparative view of American law and add an international dimension to my legal career.
Lisa: I decided to enroll in an LL.M. program because it is the perfect opportunity to pursue my interests while earning eligibility to take the California bar exam and practice law here. An LL.M. program also provides a fascinating exchange of international experiences and different cultures. I greatly enjoy working and learning in an international environment.
What do you plan on doing after you receive your LL.M. degree?
Ismaël: I plan on interning at a firm this summer to put into practice all the knowledge that I acquired at UC Hastings. I want to have the full experience of the business and corporate law here in the United States. I will need to go back to France for one year to finish my studies, but will be back to sit for the California bar exam and practice here in the future.
Lisa: After receiving my LL.M. degree, I will prep for the July California bar exam. Then, in August, I begin a job at a San Francisco-based law firm at their office in Berlin. Germany requires me to spend two years in the country in order to get my law license, but hopefully after that I will be able to transfer to the San Francisco office.