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    01.19.18 Law School Welcomes LL.M. Students for First January Session
    Law School Welcomes LL.M. Students for First January Session

    The Law School welcomed five new LL.M. students in January as part of its newly expanded program. Salah Shawa ‘19 of Syria by way of Dubai, Kinga Kurzyna ’18 of Poland, Pranvera Xhafaj ‘19 of Albania, Bindiya Krishnan ’19 of India, and Muhammad Ahmad ’19 of Pakistan began their program with an intensive course in Fundamentals of American Law.

    “This is the first time we have LL.M. students starting in January,” said Julie Sculli, Director of International Programs. “LL.M. students, who are often practicing lawyers, come from all around the world, from different professional backgrounds and educational systems where they don’t necessarily have a natural break in the summer like we do in the U.S. Many don’t want to put their plans on hold for an entire year if they are unable to start in August. So, for many, the January start works better.” This option has proved to make a big difference to the new students.

    Xhafaj moved to the U.S. from Albania a year ago and was eager to begin studying at Brooklyn Law. She graduated from law school in her home country in 2006 and spent time as a practicing lawyer, an assistant professor of law, and working at the Ministry of Economy. In 2016, she earned her Ph.D. in Albania, but soon decided to come to the U.S. “The most exciting news I got from Julie Sculli was that I could start in either January or August,” she said. “That information had one important meaning to me: not wasting time.”

    Kurzyna, who obtained a master’s degree in law in Poland in 2010, wanted to become a prosecutor but was discouraged by the civil system in her country. She spent some time as a flight attendant, traveling the world and broadening her horizons, before deciding to continue to pursue law in the U.S. She has spent the past year working as a paralegal at a firm in Manhattan where she met two graduates of the Law School who encouraged her to continue her education here. Her university in Poland was late sending her transcript to the Law School last fall, delaying her start date, so it was a relief to be able to begin classes in January instead of waiting until August.

    “One of the benefits to starting in January is the ability to have an internship between semesters,” she said.

    LL.M. students beginning in January can take a legal English course in July or doctrinal courses during the summer. They will be joined by 30 to 40 more LL.M. students in August.

    “The January start provides more flexible options to students from different academic systems and life circumstances,” said Sculli. “Sometimes they aren’t available to be here until October, and to wait an entire additional year is a long time when you’re ready to move forward with your education and career.”