ONE YEAR OF INTENSIVE STUDY. A LIFETIME OF BENEFITS. INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE. INTERNATIONAL REACH. A HIGHLY RANKED LAW SCHOOL. A VIBRANT UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY. PURSUE AN LL.M. AT VANDERBILT LAW SCHOOL LEARN FROM LEADING LEGAL SCHOLARS. A CULTURE OF COLLABORATION AND COMPETITION. COLLEGIAL CULTURE. GLOBAL OUTLOOK. EXPAND YOUR OPTIONS. 2 6 8 10 17 25 32 41 For insights into the qualities we seek in Vanderbilt Law students, visit our website at law.vanderbilt.edu and sample the profiles of our students and graduates. CONTENTS
CHRIS GUTHRIE | Dean | John Wade–Kent Syverud Professor of Law
An invitation from Dean Chris Guthrie
In 2001, I visited Vanderbilt for the first time as a faculty candidate—and discovered an environment unique among American law schools.
Collegial and supportive, challenging and academically rigorous, Vanderbilt offers a community where all of the elements required to create a great law school come together in ways that surpass expectations. I joined this community in 2002 because here great scholars and teachers thrive. As Dean of Vanderbilt Law School, one of my top priorities is maintaining the strong sense of community that sets Vanderbilt apart from other law schools.
Experience it and you will find compelling reasons to make Vanderbilt your law school. You’ll find talented students from across the nation and a welcoming network of alumni who live and work around the globe. You’ll find a distinguished faculty of experts who are leaders in their fields, a rigorous curriculum, and a wide array of academic, dual-degree and interdisciplinary programs, in a modern building on a beautiful campus in a vibrant city. Most importantly, you’ll find an extraordinarily collegial and collaborative school culture, the hallmark of a Vanderbilt legal education that our students have treasured for decades.
You’ll discover that Vanderbilt stands apart for the quality of the legal training delivered by our faculty of renowned legal scholars and teachers. Our academic programs go beyond providing outstanding training and connect legal theory to real-world strategies, knowledge and experiences. That approach provides immediate advantages when you interview for legal positions and begin practicing law.
Finally, you’ll find yourself at home in one of America’s most livable cities. Like few other places, Vanderbilt’s Nashville setting lets you balance the rigors of study with abundant opportunities to enjoy a city with a remarkable blend of cosmopolitan sophistication and the feel of a friendly small town.
I invite you to visit Vanderbilt—and discover these things for yourself.
CHRIS GUTHRIE Dean and John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law J.D., B.A. Stanford University; Ed.M. Harvard University
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Each fall, approximately 65 internationally trained attorneys from all over the world come to Vanderbilt Law School for a year of intensive graduate legal study. Students in our LL.M. program spend a challenging and productive year learning about the American legal system, being trained in American legal research methods, and exploring global legal issues in classes with American law students.
As you study alongside students enrolled in Vanderbilt’s three-year Juris Doctor program, you’ll gain valuable insights into how U.S. attorneys are educated as you learn how the American legal system works.
VANDERBILT LAW OFFERS YOU:
One year of intensive study. A lifetime of benefits.
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top-tier education in the American legal system
A stimulating and collegial academic culture
A faculty of leading scholars and specialists in every area of law
Courses that connect outstanding theoretical training to 21st century law practice n A community that promotes professional excellence n A world-class university in a sophisticated, friendly and affordable city
Having classes alongside extremely well-qualified J.D. students at one of the best law schools in the country made a positive difference! I learned a lot from classroom discussions, and I am better prepared to navigate complex business and corporate matters. Coming from a civil-law country, it was amazing to learn how American lawyers think and to understand how a common law system works.
Rafael had earned an LL.M. in corporate law and practiced law in Brazil for six years before earning his LL.M. at Vanderbilt.
Annual number of internationally trained lawyers and judges in our LL.M. program who learn alongside J.D. students
RAFAEL LOBATO | Class of 2022 Law and Business Certificate Associate, Drummond Advisors, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
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ALVARO MANRIQUE BARRENECHEA
Class of 2019 | Lima, Peru Staff Attorney, Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors, Nashville
Peruvian attorney Alvaro Manrique Barrenechea, Class of 2019, worked as an arbitral secretary at the Centro de Arbitraje de la Cámara de Comercio de Lima before moving to Nashville in 2015. He decided to earn an LL.M. after joining the staff of Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors, a legal nonprofit that represents low-income immigrants. “My experience at Justice For Our Neighbors revived my passion for the legal profession,” he recalls. Alvaro passed the New York bar exam in February 2020 and now works as a member of TN-JFON’s legal staff.
Vanderbilt puts LL.M. students in the same classroom with J.D. students.
This is a challenge for students experiencing the class in a foreign language, but it prepares you to practice law in an English-speaking system.
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VANDERBILT LAW | 05 5 Student-Edited Journals n Vanderbilt Law Review n Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law n Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law n Environmental Law & Policy Annual Review – Annual Compendium n Social Justice Reporter – Launching in 2023
Learn from leading legal scholars.
Learning to think like a lawyer remains the bedrock of a sound legal education. Vanderbilt’s faculty is known for teaching students the rigorous analytic and problemsolving skills used by legal professionals. Consistently ranked among the most productive in the nation, Vanderbilt Law professors are known nationally and internationally for their work in such areas as corporate and business law, law and economics, international law, environmental and property law, energy law, intellectual property law, criminal law, complex litigation, constitutional law, law and neuroscience, social justice, health law and policy, and bioethics.
Vanderbilt’s faculty ranked ninth among U.S. law schools in a study, “Scholarly Impact of Law Faculties in 2021: Updating Leiter Scores to Rank the Top Third,” conducted by a team led by University of St. Thomas Professor Gregory Sisk. The ranking is based on citations of faculty work over the past five years.
As a result, Vanderbilt students learn about the law from some of the nation’s leading legal scholars. Faculty expertise translates into engaging coursework that takes students to the cutting edge of current legal scholarship. More than that, Vanderbilt faculty are committed teachers and mentors, and our school’s small size allows students to enjoy substantial access to faculty throughout their time in law school. The availability of faculty to work with and come to know students as individuals both in and out of class adds greatly to the value of a Vanderbilt legal education.
Vanderbilt stands out for its strong tradition of academic excellence and its open-door policy—professors welcome students after class and during office hours. The faculty exceeded my expectations, and the experience of being surrounded by thoughtful, open-minded professors and colleagues who shared my passion for law was exciting.
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ANNE-SOPHIE VEILLETTE | Class of 2022 Summer Student, Dentons, Montreal, Canada
I definitely recommend Vanderbilt’s LL.M. program to foreign students who want to go back to their home countries. I gained deeper knowledge of my specialty, corporate law, while learning about another legal system, and my LL.M. classes at Vanderbilt pushed my boundaries intellectually. It was fascinating to learn how similar legal systems are, and Professor Yesha Yadav’s Securities Regulation class opened up an entire new career path for me.
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SHREEMOYEE BHADURI | Class of 2017 | Pune, India Law Clerk, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, New York LL.M. Merit Scholar; Research Assistant for Professor Randall Thomas
International presence. International reach.
Law practice is a global endeavor, and when you graduate, you’ll become part of Vanderbilt’s global alumni community. Vanderbilt attracts highly qualified students and faculty from throughout the U.S. and abroad because of its prestige and because it prepares students to have an international impact. Vanderbilt’s LL.M. graduates include leaders in law, government, academia, business and public service in 45 nations. Vanderbilt Law J.D. graduates are represented in the American judiciary, in almost
Number of Vanderbilt Law alumni worldwide
every branch of the U.S. government, as U.S. attorneys and federal defenders, in the U.S. Congress and state legislatures and government agencies, as managing partners of major international law firms, as corporate officers and counsel, on law faculty, heading influential advocacy groups, and in law offices in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and working with law firms, corporations and NGOs in 40 nations.
Ray Liu, Class of 2011, is head of the Beijing office of Dorsey & Whitney, where he is a global partner who practices in the firm’s Commercial Litigation Group and U.S.-China Practice Group. Ray joined Dorsey, where he focuses on international commercial litigation and arbitration and cross-border M&A, in 2013 from an in-house position at Bank of China New York Branch. Born and raised in Beijing, Ray earned his LL.B. from China University of Political Science and Law and achieved the PRC legal professional qualification. After earning his LL.M. at Vanderbilt, he sat for the New York bar exam and is admitted to practice in the state of New York. He was named to China Business Law Journal’s 2019 A-List of elite China lawyers.
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The reality lawyers now face is that an increasingly important share of the global economy is intangible, and that means a much greater role for intellectual property. In addition, a global economy means a flat world in which international law means at least as much as domestic law for many lawyers. Those are the foundations of Vanderbilt’s Intellectual Property Program.
Professor Gervais is the author of The TRIPS Agreement: Drafting History and Analysis, the leading treatise on the treaty that governs international intellectual property rights, now in its fifth edition. His 2019 book, (Re)Structuring Copyright: A Comprehensive Path to International Copyright Reform, proposed replacing the current international copyright system with a much simpler system designed to promote access to creative work and fair payment for use of copyrighted materials. He developed a class, Robots, Artificial Intelligence and the Law, to teach students how to navigate evolving areas of the law and their intersections with established
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DANIEL GERVAIS | Milton R. Underwood Professor Director, Vanderbilt Intellectual Property Program Faculty Co-Director, LL.M. Program
A highly ranked law school.
Vanderbilt has ranked among the top 20 U.S. law schools (between 15th and 18th) since U.S. News & World Report began publishing its annual rankings of law schools. The Princeton Review ranked VLS fifth for classroom experience and sixth for Best Professors in 2022 and 2021.
At Vanderbilt, we pride ourselves on classroom teaching. We deliver a first-rate legal education that is thoroughly engaged with national debates and conversations. We want our students to experience intellectual rigor, and we also want them to feel at home and excited to be in class and to contribute to a community that is genuinely collegial and always encouraging.
Professor Yadav worked as
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YESHA YADAV | Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law Associate Dean and Robert Belton Director of Diversity, Equity and Community Faculty Co-Director, LL.M. Program
legal counsel with the World Bank before joining Vanderbilt’s faculty, where she teaches Securities Regulation, Corporate Bankruptcy and Financial Markets. She is a member of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and
honorary adviser to India’s Financial Services Law Reform Commission and the Atlantic Council’s Task Force on Divergence and the Transatlantic Financial Reform and G-20 Agenda.
In your law classes at Vanderbilt, you will gain new intellectual tools that enable you to thrive in the global legal environment as well as a solid understanding of how the American legal system works and how American lawyers practice. These skills increase your value as a legal professional in any field in which you choose to practice.
You will also find courses that allow you to hone your analytical, problem-solving, negotiation, dispute resolution, speaking and writing skills. In fact, the skills you gain through Vanderbilt’s LL.M. program will benefit you in any professional setting or career path.
The most valuable thing I learned is the rigorous analysis method used to figure out complicated legal problems. I liked the small classes, and studying with J.D. students helped me understand how lawyers in America deal with legal issues.
KEJIA ZHAO | J.D. Class of 2022 | Shanghai, China Associate, Wang Gao & Associates, Metuchen, New Jersey
Kejia came to Vanderbilt with more than 15 years of legal experience in China, where he worked as a government lawyer in Kunming and as a corporate and civil litigator in Shanghai. While taking his LL.M. classes as a merit scholar, he realized he wanted to take a deeper dive into the study of American law and transferred to Vanderbilt’s three-year J.D. program. “When I began taking classes at Vanderbilt, I saw many things I wanted to learn!” he said.
MANON GUÉDEU | Class of 2020
IP Legal Intern, Louis Vuitton, Paris, France
Manon received a scholarship to study at Vanderbilt through a program available to law students at the Center for Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI) at the University of Strasbourg. In addition to her CEIPI master’s degree in European and international intellectual property law, she holds a master’s degree in intellectual property law from the University of Bordeaux and a B.A. of law from the University of Paris.
Skills that benefit many career paths.
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My career goal is to work in an international law firm specializing in intellectual property and the new technologies. At Vanderbilt, I could earn an LL.M. at a prestigious American law school with a strong IP program and take my classes with J.D. students.
An outstanding classroom experience.
Vanderbilt Law professors use the Socratic method to engage students in thoughtful dialogues during class. By participating in classroom discussions with professors and J.D. students, LL.M. students learn to think on their feet as they improve their legal English and other critical skills.
GANESH SITARAMAN | New York Alumni Chancellor’s Professor of Law Director, Program in Law and Government
Vanderbilt students are creative, thoughtful and engaged in the classroom. As a faculty, we care deeply about teaching, and we challenge our students to improve and grow.
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Professor Ganesh Sitaraman has emerged as a leading public intellectual of his generation. His book The Great Democracy: How to Fix Our Politics, Unrig the Economy and Unite America (Basic Books, 2019) offers a bold, transformative agenda for achieving real democracy. He is also the author of The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution, which was named one of The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books in 2017. His newest book, Network, Platforms and Utilities: Law and Policy, published in 2022, is co-authored with Vanderbilt colleague Morgan Ricks and two other scholars.
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All LL.M. and first-year J.D. students begin their studies with The Life of the Law, an intensive introductory course in which students learn about the structure of American government and the American legal system. They also acquire techniques and strategies for learning the law, such as analytical reasoning, and reading and briefing cases. Finally, the class introduces the Socratic method of teaching and offers small-group exercises.
Choose Your Course of Study
The Vanderbilt faculty’s broad range of expertise allows LL.M. students to study virtually any area of law, including international intellectual property, litigation, constitutional law, criminal justice, health policy and environmental law, through programs that connect rigorous intellectual training in legal theory to 21st century law practice. Students choose one of three tracks within the LL.M. degree program:
n In the Course Track , students focus exclusively on coursework, choosing their courses from the law school’s extensive curriculum. A faculty adviser or a law school administrator will help you tailor your academic program to your career goals and intellectual interests.
n The Law and Business Track is specifically designed for students who seek intensive academic and professional training in corporate law, securities regulation, finance, accounting, and the principles of corporate governance. Students develop an understanding not only of the legal and regulatory environment in which businesses operate, but also of corporate governance, the principles of finance and accounting, and the economic and financial frameworks of transactions. Students enrolled in this track earn a certificate in Law and Business in addition to the LL.M degree.
n The Thesis Track is designed for students who have a well-developed research focus and wish to work closely with one or more Vanderbilt law professors to complete a substantial research project that culminates in a scholarly paper. In this track, you will work closely with a faculty adviser with expertise in your area of study while choosing courses that support your research interests, conducting legal research, and writing a scholarly paper.
Vanderbilt’s faculty is
both U.S. and international law,
Learn how the American legal system works.
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extremely knowledgeable and well-versed in
students allows foreign lawyers with practice experience to improve their legal skills and gain new skills and analytical processes when doing legal work
| Class of 2022 Toronto, Canada LL.B., City University of London
LL.M. and J.D. students start their coursework at Vanderbilt with The Life of the Law, an introductory class all entering students take. The course, which provides an introduction to the American legal system and the study of law, was developed by two Vanderbilt Law professors, Tracey George (right) and Suzanna Sherry, and became the basis for their book, What Every Law Student Really Needs to Know.
TRACEY E. GEORGE
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Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Professor of Law and Liberty Professor of Political Science
Choose among LL.M. Tracks
3Course Track Law and Business Track Thesis Track
Vanderbilt’s LL.M. program provided me with an invaluable cultural experience and the opportunity to explore the basics of common law. Our American clients like to see that we know where they are coming from when working on cross-border matters. I liked the focus on the practice of law, and Vanderbilt’s faculty is exceptional.
SÖREN ALBORN | Class of 2020 Senior Associate, Bird & Bird, Munich, Germany
Sören practiced law at Bird & Bird in Munich before earning his LL.M. at Vanderbilt, which he chose because of its high rankings and strong intellectual property curriculum. “U.S. LL.M. degrees are highly regarded in Germany because it shows employers, both law firms and companies, that you know how to work in an international environment,” he said. “The cultural experience, fluency in English and basic knowledge in a common-law jurisdiction give you a competitive edge.”
Sören especially enjoyed his Intellectual Property Survey class with Professor Joseph Fishman. “Professor Fishman is an amazing teacher, and the course gives you an overview of all of the basics of U.S. intellectual property law,” he said. He described his short course in Trademark Law as “very dense and challenging—you learn what you need to know about U.S. trademark law in a single week!”
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Collegial culture, global outlook
Law graduates must be team players, and Vanderbilt’s wellestablished culture promotes collaboration in a challenging learning environment. Students choose Vanderbilt for its long-standing reputation for collegiality, professionalism and relationship building, and because they recognize that mutual support, teamwork and respect for others’ views are essential to professional success. In fact, our students and alumni consistently say that the strong sense of community among their colleagues here is one of the most valuable and enduring aspects of a Vanderbilt legal education.
Law practice is increasingly global, and Vanderbilt’s LL.M. program prepares graduates for legal practice in a world in which few lawyers work only with the laws of a single nation. Our LL.M. students benefit from Vanderbilt’s broad curriculum, small-school culture, and interactive classes in which they study alongside J.D. students in an enriched learning environment.
Marcella’s firm offered her a scholarship to earn an LL.M. in the U.S. “When I researched law schools, it was clear that Vanderbilt was top-ranked, classes are small, and I would be studying with J.D. students,” she said.
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MARCELLA CRUZ | Class of 2020 Senior Associate, Machado Meyer, São Paulo, Brazil
Studying with J.D. students at Vanderbilt helped me understand the concerns of my American clients doing business in Brazil.
I gained confidence in the English language and in understanding U.S. law, and my professors and classes truly exceeded my expectations.
Vanderbilt LL.M. students benefit from an intensive program designed to provide the language and academic skills they need to succeed in a demanding educational program at a top U.S. law school. The program begins with a four-week introductory course at the law school during the summer, scheduled before your LL.M. courses begin. Provided in association with the Vanderbilt University English Language Center, Vanderbilt’s Legal English program includes intensive instruction in oral and written
communication, small-group discussions, legal research and scholarly writing. You’ll also practice responding quickly and concisely in large-group discussions.
To enhance your academic training, your classes in Legal English continue throughout your year of study at Vanderbilt. These extra classes increase your exposure to the language of U.S. law while you learn American legal principles and precepts in your law classes.
Oscar practices and teaches contract law in Ecuador. He chose Vanderbilt’s LL.M. program because he wanted to learn more about the American legal system and about the Socratic method of teaching. “My professors were brilliant scholars whose work moves the frontiers of the law, and they were also good teachers who were willing to help me and guide me,” he said.
Benefit from intensive legal English training.
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At Vanderbilt, LL.M. students are fully integrated into the law school. I was able to take the classes I wanted, make friends with American students, and visit professors during office hours.
I felt like I truly belonged
OSCAR DEL BRUTTO | Class of 2020 Partner, Coronel & Pérez Abogados, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Learn to conduct legal research in the U.S.
During the fall semester, all LL.M. students take Introduction to Legal Research and Writing in the United States, a course that provides a distinct academic forum in which LL.M. students learn:
n How to conduct legal research in the U.S.
n The fundamental, generally accepted conventions of written legal analysis and citation in the U.S.
n The basic vocabulary of legal analysis and advocacy in the U.S.
I thought the experience of meeting other lawyers from around the world and experiencing a U.S. college experience would be life-enriching. I was right! The caliber of teaching at Vanderbilt is very high—it’s like being in court every day! You have to go to class really prepared. All of my professors were extremely knowledgeable and approachable— they are all dynamic public speakers, and they use the Socratic teaching method to get the most out of every class.
NIKKI CHAMBERLAIN | Class of 2016 Senior Lecturer (Torts, Complex Litigation & Family Property), University of Auckland Law School, New Zealand
Nikki sat for the Tennessee bar exam and taught the LL.M. Legal Writing courses at Vanderbilt during 2016–17 before joining the law faculty at the University of Auckland, where she lectured in torts, privacy and the law of family property. She deferred her admission to Vanderbilt’s LL.M. program for a year to accept a promotion to senior associate at MinterEllisonRuddWatts, the Auckland law firm where she had practiced commercial litigation since 2007 and practiced as a senior associate with the firm from 2019-2021. She earned her LL.B. at the University of Auckland with honors.
PREPARE FOR THE NEW YORK BAR EXAM
Each year, approximately half of Vanderbilt’s LL.M. graduates choose to sit for the New York state bar examination. Vanderbilt ensures that all LL.M. students who plan to sit for the exam take the courses required by the New York bar. You may also choose to take a summer preparation course at Vanderbilt after graduation, which allows you to remain in Nashville and at Vanderbilt while studying for the New York bar exam. Vanderbilt also assists LL.M. students who wish to fulfill the New York bar’s pro bono service requirement while in Nashville.
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Connect theory to practice.
Vanderbilt is a leader in designing innovative academic programs and coursework that connect outstanding theoretical training with 21st century law practice. LL.M. students join first-year J.D. students during orientation week for The Life of the Law, an intensive one-week class in which students learn core concepts relevant to American
legal education, including the structure of the U.S. government and legal system, cross-cutting legal doctrines, and interdisciplinary approaches to legal analysis. The class prepares you for the rigorous theoretical training you will receive during your LL.M. year.
I wanted to learn more about U.S. law in theory and in practice so I could focus on international transactions. I learned so much at Vanderbilt about the fundamentals of American law and the U.S. legal system—and how they affect American society and its view of the rest of the world. My year at Vanderbilt was an enriching experience on many levels.
| Class of 2020 Associate Attorney, Veirano Advogados, São Paulo, Brazil
Yasmim came to Vanderbilt with five years of civil litigation and arbitration experience at her firm. “I took Corporations because I knew it would be useful to learn the basics of how businesses in the U.S. operate, and Professor [Randall] Thomas made me love corporate law—I would truly anticipate class,” she said. “Even if you do not want to practice corporate law, the class provides relevant basic information for foreign lawyers.”
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Professor Vandenbergh co-directs the law school’s Energy, Environment and Land Use Program, which received a $1 million dollar endowment in 2021 to fund development of additional courses, experiential learning opportunities, and research fellowships and projects. He also directs Vanderbilt’s interdisciplinary Climate Change Research Network, through which faculty and students from several Vanderbilt schools work together to influence environmental policy. As a 2022 Carnegie Fellow, he has received $200,000 to support his research into overcoming political polarization to address climate change.
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Preconceptions and ideology play far too great a role in environmental law and policymaking. I encourage students to question underlying assumptions in ways that will help us draft better laws and make better policies.
MICHAEL VANDENBERGH | David Daniels Allen Distinguished Professor of Law Director, Vanderbilt Climate Change Research Network 2022 Carnegie Fellow
EDWARD CHENG’S search for innovative alternatives that would promote more discussion among scholars of legal evidence law led him to launch a podcast, Excited Utterance, in fall 2016. The podcast’s name alludes to a wellknown exception to the “hearsay rule” in evidence law, and the format is simple: In each podcast, Professor Cheng interviews another legal scholar about their current research. He now has more than 8,000 subscribers, and the more than 100 podcasts produced since he launched the program address such topics as profile evidence, fingerprint evidence, the implications of body cameras worn by police officers, problems with the quality of evidence produced by police laboratories, expert testimony and the use of scientific evidence in court. Professor Cheng hopes the podcast will make scholarship focusing on evidence law more accessible to a wider audience. “A lot of research gets lost in journals because people have to invest the time in finding and reading lengthy articles,” he said. “Our listeners can become exposed to a wide variety of evidence research in 25 minutes a week, perhaps while they’re commuting or doing household chores. It’s a good format that allows the ‘evidence community’ to connect.”
EDWARD K. CHENG | Hess Professor of Law
Vanderbilt was a natural intellectual fit for me because it has a really amazing concentration of scholars who do interdisciplinary research.
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VLS faculty ranked fifth in academic impact in the “Inclusive Citation Rankings of U.S. Law Schools” based on citations of their scholarly work, Matthew Sag, 2021
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15Vanderbilt Law faculty are members of the American Law Institute, an independent organization of legal scholars, practitioners and judges that promotes the clarification and simplification of U.S. common law.
INGRID (WUERTH) BRUNK, speaking above, who holds the Helen Strong Curry Chair in International Law, is currently serving as one of two editors-in-chief of the peer-reviewed American Journal of International Law. An expert in foreign affairs, her recent work explores the future of federal common law of foreign relations, which she says “has been on decline for decades.” Professor Brunk has been honored with Vanderbilt’s student-selected teaching awards seven times for her first-year Civil Procedure class and her upper-level classes.
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Law practice is increasingly specialized, and Vanderbilt offers several well-established academic programs that allow LL.M. students to gain in-depth exposure to fastevolving technical and complex areas of law.
Law and Business. Build expertise in business law, corporate management and commercial transactions through an intensive upper-level curriculum that includes transactional seminars. Faculty include experts in corporate and commercial transactions and litigation, bankruptcy, antitrust, tax, arbitration and economics. Students may earn a certificate in Law and Business in addition to the L.L.M. degree.
Intellectual Property. Focus on copyright and patent law, both domestic and international, through an array of courses taught by international intellectual property expert Daniel Gervais, who serves as faculty co-director of the LL.M. program, as well as patent law expert Sean Seymore, copyright law scholar Joseph Fishman and noted practitioners.
Energy, Environment and Land Use. Explore energy, environment and land use regulation through courses taught by regulatory experts. Students may also take advantage of interdisciplinary research opportunities through the Vanderbilt Climate Change Research Network, a team of faculty and graduate and professional students representing several Vanderbilt University schools and academic departments.
Litigation and Dispute Resolution. Gain both a practical and conceptual understanding of the various methods the U.S. justice system employs to resolve disputes through an array of advanced courses taught by leading scholars, practitioners and judges.
International Legal Studies. Examine cutting-edge topics in international law, ranging from international mergers and acquisitions, commercial transactions and securities regulations to conflicts of law, criminal law, intellectual property, energy and environmental regulation, human rights and constitutional law. Gain opportunities to work on substantive projects on behalf of governments, international institutions and courts, and NGOs through the International Practice Lab.
Criminal Justice. Focus on international criminal law, criminal theory and practice, criminal procedure, juvenile justice, mental health law and other areas through courses taught by noted scholars in fields such as evidence, criminal procedure, human rights, law and neuroscience, the law of war, and juvenile justice.
Social Justice. Explore the role of law in creating, perpetuating and eradicating hierarchies of power and privilege through a curriculum that includes seminars and directed research projects along with ample opportunities for pro bono legal work.
Law and Government. Prepare for careers in public law and policy through a comprehensive curriculum taught by faculty with nationally recognized expertise in constitutional and public law.
Law and Innovation. Anticipate the opportunities created by changes in law and legal practice. Launched in 2015 to train the next generation of lawyers to succeed in tomorrow’s legal environment, this program offers curriculum and activities focused on four related themes: the legal industry, legal technologies, legal innovation and entrepreneurship, and access to legal services.
Number of short courses taught by judges and highprofile lawyers in 2022–23
Expand your options.
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Renowned Law and Business Program
Drawing its curriculum from Vanderbilt’s outstanding Law and Business J.D. Program, Vanderbilt’s Law and Business LL.M. Track offers intensive academic and professional training in corporate law, securities regulation, finance, accounting and the principles of corporate governance, with the goal of producing lawyers who understand the legal and regulatory environment in which businesses operate. The program includes classes focusing on such topics as corporate governance, the principles of finance and accounting, and the economic and financial frameworks of transactions.
Graduates may use their Law and Business training to pursue careers in business law, as government regulators,
or in other international posts that benefit from an excellent understanding of business law and corporate management. Because Law and Business graduates understand how businesses operate, they return to their home countries prepared to work effectively with business executives, managers and directors to navigate laws and regulations governing business activities.
Law and Business students take a core curriculum of required courses and may choose their remaining courses from among Vanderbilt’s rich array of electives, including courses in corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, bankruptcy law, antitrust law, and secured and global transactions.
Thomas applied to Vanderbilt after Meyerlustenberg colleague Ricardo Schlatter ’15 recommended its LL.M. program. “I work in transactional law in Switzerland, and we have lots of U.S. clients,” he said. “The courses required to earn the Law and Business Certificate help you gain a better understanding of the way they think and their needs. You also take Accounting and Finance classes, which you really need to understand when you work as a business lawyer. Those courses were really helpful.”
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THOMAS NIETLISPACH | Class of 2020 | Law and Business Certificate Senior Associate, MLL Legal, Zurich, Switzerland
I wanted to learn about corporate law from an American perspective, and Vanderbilt offered the Law and Business Certificate. My Corporations class provided a good
of how the different legal entities available under American law work. For transactional lawyers, the M&A course with Professor [Randall] Thomas is a must because of his detailed analysis of various transactions from both legal and business perspectives.
RANDALL S. THOMAS
John S. Beasley II Professor of Law and Business Director, Law and Business Program Professor of Management, Owen Graduate School of Management
Professor Thomas joined Vanderbilt’s law faculty in 2000 to launch the Law and Business Program, which now attracts students from throughout the U.S. and abroad. Articles he has authored or co-authored have frequently been selected as among the “Top 10 Corporate and Securities Articles” by The Corporate Practice Commentator, an annual compendium of leading scholarship in corporate law.
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Law and business are inextricably linked; lawyers work in teams with executive managers, board members and investment bankers. We foster that relationship with our Law and Business Program.
My Vanderbilt LL.M. was intellectually challenging, and I learned new things in every class, even in subjects where I had some prior knowledge.
MAITY | Class of 2017 Desk Referentin Officer, German Federal Ministry of Finance, Berlin
CHUTIAN WANG | J.D. Class of 2021 | LL.M. Class of 2019 Law and Business Certificate Corporate Transactions Associate, JunHe Law Firm, Beijing, China
After earning her LL.M. with merit scholarships from both the China Scholarship Council and the China University of Political Science and Law, where she earned her LL.B., Chutian transferred to the J.D. program, which required an additional two years of study, to learn more about the American legal system.
Vanderbilt Law School has three 1L classes of approximately 51 students each.
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Vanderbilt has an excellent corporate law faculty, and America has the most advanced corporate law system in the world. Lawyers from many countries can learn from that system. The Law and Business Certificate prepared me to practice corporate law as a transactional lawyer.
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VLS ranked fifth in Above the Law’s “Top 50 Law Schools 2020.”
A strong focus on international law
Vanderbilt’s strength in international law provides our LL.M. students an important advantage: ample opportunities to take courses that will immediately inform your legal practice in your home country. Through our highly regarded International Legal Studies Program, you will have access to courses that allow you to gain expertise in such key areas of international law as corporate law, transactions and finance law, trade policy, intellectual
VLS ranked second for Quality of Life in The Princeton Review for 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018.
property law, tax law, foreign relations, comparative constitutional law, litigation, human rights law and criminal law. The program is directed by Michael Newton, who teaches International Law Practice Lab. In addition to its acclaimed full-time faculty, the program also includes experienced attorneys, judges and policymakers who teach short courses here each year.
Vanderbilt’s LL.M. program far exceeded my expectations—the number of courses, their in-depth content and the academic rigor. I acquired a solid foundation in trademark, copyright and international intellectual property law. I was also trained to use the tools needed to meet the challenges posed by artificial intelligence and robots and blockchain and quantum computing.
RAPHAËLLE DONNET | Class of 2019
Attorney, Intellectual Property Law, Re:Sources, Paris, France
Raphaëlle received the Vanderbilt Law School – CEIPI Université de Strasbourg LL.M. Scholarship Award, which includes an opportunity to work as a research assistant to intellectual property expert Daniel Gervais, who is faculty co-director of the LL.M. program.
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MICHAEL A. NEWTON | Professor of the Practice of Law
Students in Professor Newton’s International Law Practice Lab have completed legal work supporting the U.S. Departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security and Defense, the International Bar Association, the International Criminal Court, and a number of United Nations and global human rights organizations.
Gain concrete experience in Vanderbilt’s International Practice Lab.
Students in Vanderbilt’s innovative International Law Practice Lab do substantive legal work under Professor Michael Newton’s direction for such clients as the United Nations; the U.S. Departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security and Defense; the governments of Ukraine, Israel, Iraq and Uganda, among others; and international tribunals such as the European Court of Human Rights and the International Criminal Court. They have also supported domestic attorneys and judges in Kenya, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Vanderbilt students have supported the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking and acts of terrorism and helped litigate cases on behalf of the American Bar Association’s Justice Defenders Program.
The work my students have done is reflected in treaties, statutes, decisions and negotiating histories across the globe.
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A culture of collaboration and competition.
Even as they challenge one another in an intensive learning environment, Vanderbilt Law students have gained a reputation for collegiality, professionalism and building relationships. That culture permeates every aspect of the law school.
In the classroom, professors take a strong interest in students and work closely with them to promote their success. Outside class, students develop as leaders and as team players by engaging in one or more of the 40 student organizations.
When you enroll in Vanderbilt Law School, you become a member of the Vanderbilt Bar Association, which manages the law school’s student
organizations and coordinates social activities. For example, the VBA matches incoming LL.M. students with J.D. mentors who share their interests, as well as providing study tips, outlines and advice on summer job interviews and student activities. Vanderbilt’s student organizations serve as a hub for social events, provide co-curricular support for what students are learning in the classroom, and enable students to meet others with similar career interests and cultural backgrounds. Connecting with other students through involvement in professional, social and volunteer organizations also helps students make a healthy adjustment to the rigors of law school.
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Number of student organizations
The right balance
While free time during law school can seem scarce, most students find it important to balance the demands of study by joining one or more organizations for professional advancement, personal development, community service and professional networking. Nonprofessional student organizations devoted to everything from soccer to religious fellowship to knitting are encouraged and supported. Vanderbilt University provides a wide array of services to meet your academic and personal needs. LL.M. students also receive support from a dedicated international student services coordinator.
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Vanderbilt is, first and foremost, a student-centered law school. Our small size relative to other top law schools affords a more intimate learning environment, and our LL.M. program is founded on a core strength Vanderbilt has maintained for decades—quality teaching.
The law school building, which is one of the most modern and well-designed in the United States, offers universitywide Wi-Fi, high-speed networking, well-equipped classrooms, a computer lab and onsite support presence,
a new Student Services suite and comfortable student lounges. In the Massey Law Library, you’ll find quiet, comfortable study areas and staff who can help you identify available resources and find information you need in printed or electronic format.
Vanderbilt’s LL.M. program director provides year-round, personalized support to individual students, and the university’s Office of International Student and Scholar Services offers a wide array of services to meet your personal needs.
VITTORIA BRUSCHI SPERANDIO | Class of 2020 Associate Lawyer, Castro Law Firm, Londrina, Brazil
Vittoria practiced law for three years before earning her LL.M. at Vanderbilt. “I wanted to boost my career, and Vanderbilt’s LL.M. is professionally focused and academically challenging,” she said. “Vanderbilt is also known for offering a healthy environment for students. Students and faculty work together as a community.” She recommends LL.M. students take Civil Procedure. “You must be willing to work hard, but you will acquire a broad notion of American legal procedure you can apply to almost all of your other courses,” she said. “It is an important course if you plan to work in an American jurisdiction and is a heavily tested subject on the New York bar exam.”
My year at Vanderbilt was one of the most challenging years of my life, and my LL.M. was a turning point in my career—
I have job opportunities now that I did not have before.
I feel prepared to meet my clients’ needs in a broader way, and I also built a network of international connections.
A community focused on your success
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Vanderbilt is a community of students and scholars, all working to understand the law. Our daily interactions with each other make us all better at what we do.
CHRISTOPHER SERKIN Elisabeth H. and Granville S. Ridley Jr. Professor of Law
Professor Serkin has received Hall-Hartman Awards for Outstanding Teaching for his first-year Property class and his upper-level class in Land Use Planning.
VLS ranked sixth for Best Professors in The Princeton Review for 2022 and 2021.
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A leading law school at
Founded at Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt Law School has trained distinguished and influential lawyers, policymakers and public servants for almost 150 years. Consistently ranked among the top law schools in the United States, Vanderbilt attracts students who seek an intellectually rigorous legal education that also instills the values of leadership, personal integrity, collegiality and teamwork for which Vanderbilt is known.
Beyond our challenging curriculum, Vanderbilt offers every LL.M. student ample opportunities to pursue intellectual and professional development outside of the classroom. You may choose to join student organizations that focus on specific areas of law, attend lectures by influential policy makers and legal practitioners, or work directly with law faculty as a research assistant.
A vibrant international community
Each year, the 10 schools that comprise Vanderbilt University attract almost 1,000 international students and postgraduate scholars from more than 90 countries around the world. Vanderbilt University is home to the Divinity School, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, Owen Graduate School of Management, Blair School of Music, Peabody College of education and human development, the School of Engineering, the College of Arts and Science and the Graduate School as well as Vanderbilt Law School. In addition to meeting students from many other countries at the law school, you’ll have opportunities to meet students from every part of the world through campuswide academic and social organizations.
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a leading university
Vanderbilt LL.M. graduates include leaders in law, government, academia, business and public service across 49 nations.
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Where do you go from here?
Interdisciplinary and highly innovative
Vanderbilt’s commitment to programs that integrate rigorous training in legal theory with contemporary law practice is reflected by our faculty’s many connections across the university—and in Vanderbilt’s commitment to initiatives that encourage faculty and students from
its 10 schools to work together on issues that demand an interdisciplinary approach. The law school’s location on the university’s campus, adjacent to top-ranked graduate schools of medicine, business, engineering and education, makes it an especially vibrant interdisciplinary learning environment.
3Number of Vanderbilt Law faculty with joint appointments at Vanderbilt School of Medicine
The Weaver Family Program in Law, Brain Sciences, and Behavior was endowed in 2022 to support research at the intersection of law and brain sciences. The program is directed by Owen Jones, whose research emphasizes legal decision-making.
The Vanderbilt Climate Change Research Network, directed by Michael Vandenbergh, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Professor of Law, integrates faculty and students from six Vanderbilt schools.
Robots, AI and the Law is a great class because of Professor [Daniel] Gervais’ exceptional teaching. It touches many topics we will be concerned with in the very near future and poses basic ethical questions, which is exciting and exhausting at the same time.
SÖREN ALBORN | Class of 2020 | Munich, Germany
Vanderbilt University faculty who have joint appointments at the law school
Professor Ruhl began his blog about the future of legal practice, Law 2050, in 2013—the same year he debuted his Law 2050 class, which focuses on the ways in which delivery of legal services is changing due to technology, client demand, innovation and entrepreneurship. He established and directs the Program on Law and Innovation, launched in 2015.
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Vanderbilt’s Program on Law and Innovation is designed to equip our students to successfully navigate and influence the ways in which law and legal practice are changing.
J.B. RUHL | David Daniels Allen Distinguished Professor of Law
Energy regulation expert Jim Rossi teamed up with land use expert Christopher Serkin to propose a novel reform to land use and energy law aimed at underwriting the costs of expanding the energy grid to support new development. Their co-written paper, “Energy Exactions,” won the 2020 Morrison Prize for the most impactful sustainability-related article published that year. Professor Rossi is one of the foremost experts on how the national energy grid is regulated, and Professor Serkin is a nationally recognized expert in land use law.
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Environmental Law rankings
Number of J.D. and LL.M. students at Vanderbilt Law School
I loved being in class with the J.D. students. As foreign students, we felt included in class, and we learned a lot about how American lawyers think. The program also provided targeted classes and tools for LL.M.s and helped me build a strong network of classmates all over the world.
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MANON GUÉDEU | Class of 2020 | Paris, France
Number of schools that comprise Vanderbilt University
Number of students in all Vanderbilt schools
Vanderbilt ranked fifth for best classroom experience in The Princeton Review in 2022 and 2021.
A vibrant university community
Founded in 1873 with a million-dollar endowment from Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, the university that bears his name now comprises 10 colleges and schools, including one of the nation’s top medical schools. Vanderbilt draws its more than 13,500 students from all 50 states and dozens of nations around the globe. Approximately 10 percent of Vanderbilt students are international.
There’s always something interesting to do or see here— whether it’s Southeastern Conference football, basketball or baseball games (and a host of other sports); the Performances at Vanderbilt series, which brings in top artists; movies at the on-campus Sarratt Cinema or plays in the university theater; free concerts at the Blair School of Music; or lectures by worldrenowned scholars and leaders at the law school or elsewhere on campus.
Law students can unwind at the Vanderbilt recreation and wellness center, which offers seven acres of outdoor space, including tennis courts and soccer fields, and 130,000 square feet of indoor facilities, including a swimming pool, fitness training facilities, racquetball courts and classes in weight training, rock climbing, dance and yoga, among other options.
The intramural program includes more than 40 sports, and law students regularly form teams to participate. They also enjoy the camping, rock climbing, spelunking and kayaking trips sponsored by the Outdoor Recreation Center.
Vanderbilt University comprises 10 schools, all on the university’s Nashville campus. In addition to Vanderbilt Law School, the university includes: Blair School of Music Owen Graduate School of Management
Peabody College of education and human development
College of Arts and Science Divinity School School of Engineering School of Medicine School of Nursing Graduate School
Carol Browner, who served as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama, delivered Vanderbilt’s inaugural Distinguished Lecture on Climate Change Governance in September 2022. Browner’s lecture was sponsored by Vanderbilt Law School’s Energy, Environment and Land Use Program and made possible by the Sally Shallenberger Brown EELU Program Fund, endowed in 2021 by Martin Shallenberger Brown ’92 in honor of his grandmother, a pioneering environmental conservationist.
Students enjoy watching Vanderbilt’s athletic teams face off against opponents in the Southeastern Conference. Vanderbilt has a long and storied college football history, and students have prime seating for men’s and women’s basketball games in Memorial Gym, a venerable venue that has been dubbed “the Fenway Park of college basketball.” Vanderbilt is considered one of the top universities for baseball.
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Cool city. Hot prospects.
They still call it “Music City,” but Nashville has earned a few other distinctions. It’s perennially on the list of America’s friendliest cities. It has been named the nation’s No. 1 smartest place to live.
With more than 100 health care companies, it has been called the industry’s “Silicon Valley.” It’s an insurance capital. A publishing capital. A financial capital. A tourist destination. And a dynamic state capital.
Meanwhile, it’s a vibrant, cosmopolitan place that blends a growing international flavor (more than 80 languages are spoken here) with traditional Southern hospitality and the laid-back feel of the West Coast.
All of that helps make Nashville a great place to gain your legal education.
In Nashville, you always have a banquet of tempting options. Take your pick of buzzing nightspots and incredible live music, from downtown honky-tonks to the famous Bluebird Café, a world-class symphony, bluegrass legends at The Station Inn, club shows of every persuasion or whoever’s playing tonight at the historic Ryman Auditorium.
Beyond Nashville’s famous hot chicken, there are so many must-try restaurants—representing a broad array of genres, innovations and corners of the world—that The Wall Street Journal calls Nashville “a culinary powerhouse.”
Savor four distinct seasons in Nashville’s beautiful parks and on hundreds of miles of trails and greenways. Take in an NFL game with the Tennessee Titans or an NHL game with the Nashville Predators. Or major league soccer. Or minor league baseball. Or big-time college sports just a stroll across the campus.
Sure, you can be bored here. But you’ll have to work very, very hard at it.
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People in the Nashville MSA
Nashville is a young, vibrant city that offers amazing artists performing every day throughout the city. There is a lot to see and explore, from museums to outdoor activities with amazing parks and views. And there are sports, too! The Predators (professional hockey) are big, and the Nashville Sounds (baseball) and Nashville Soccer Club offer great outing experiences.
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ALVARO MANRIQUE BARRENECHEA | Class of 2019 | Lima, Peru, and Nashville, Tennessee
WE’D LIKE TO MEET YOU.
We’d like to know you better as a prospective student—and for you to learn more about Vanderbilt.
That’s why we invite you to interview with a Vanderbilt Law admissions officer via Zoom and to meet Vanderbilt Law admissions staff and alumni virtually at information sessions and virtual events held in several major cities in Asia, Europe and South America each year.
For additional information and to register online for a Vanderbilt international event, please visit our website: law.vanderbilt.edu/prospective-students.
If you would like to arrange an interview via Zoom or schedule an appointment to meet with an admissions representative, please contact us by email: llm.program @ law.vanderbilt.edu.
FAST FACTS ABOUT VANDERBILT LAW SCHOOL’S LL.M. PROGRAM
n Length of program: 10 months (2 semesters) of full-time study
n Three tracks: Choose the Course Track, the Thesis Track, or the Law and Business Track.
n Language of instruction: English
n Pre-orientation program: A four-week course in legal English begins in July.
n Program prerequisite: You must have or expect to receive a university degree in law from an accredited institution outside the United States before enrollment.
My Vanderbilt LL.M. has helped me understand better and in greater depth the challenges and concerns of my U.S. clients. I recommend Vanderbilt’s LL.M. program to any student that wishes to get a cutting-edge legal education from a school that is dedicated to going the “extra mile” to give students an exceptional international education in law.
FLORIAN ROTH | Class of 2021 Senior Associate, WalderWyss, Zurich, Switzerland
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Nashville, Tennessee 37203 Email: email@example.com Telephone: (+1) 615-322-6452 law.vanderbilt.edu