NEW ORLEANS –
Tulane Law School’s master’s program ranks among the best in the United States
for foreign attorneys studying here, according to International Jurist
cited in the magazine’s list of top LLM programs for academics and career
opportunities. The schools listed were not ranked. Schools were also judged in
the categories of law-school experience and top value. The magazine article
says the study used information from the American Bar Association, law schools
and other sources in making its selections.
The LLM program has 40 international
students. Countries represented include India, Italy, Bolivia, Greece,
Nigeria, Panama, Senegal, Albania, Australia, China and Germany. Tulane
has a dual curriculum in civil and common law, as well as programs in
maritime/admiralty law and comparative law.
Larson, executive director of international legal and graduate programs at
Tulane and a senior professor of practice, told the Louisiana Record the number of international students has been consistent for the past four or five
has been at Tulane in some capacity since 1992, said there are several ways in
which the school attracts international students.
Tulane has the 12th
oldest law school in the United States, according to the school’s website, with
the law school’s establishment coming in 1847. That means many there is a number of people worldwide in universities and government positions who were
trained at Tulane. As an example, Larson cited India, where senior partners at
several firms earned advanced degrees from Tulane.
recommendation for any school is for someone who went there who is your professor
to say, you know, ‘I attended this school, I enjoyed it, I got an excellent
education, I would recommend you consider it,’” Larson said. “That carries a great
deal of weight, particularly in specialized fields like energy law, environmental
law and maritime law.”
has exchange programs with 23 schools, he said, which brings in students from
across the globe. Tulane also has LLM or graduate-school fairs, flyers and
brochures with the worldwide organizations Education USA and online guides to
help draw international students.
has a unique status in law, Larson said, describing the state as “an island of
civil law in an ocean of common law in the United States.” At Tulane, he said,
they’re comfortable going back and forth between common and civil law.
that, in many instances, makes students from around the world comfortable
coming to Tulane, because we understand what their background is and we also
understand how to teach common law to people who come from a civil-law
tradition,” Larson said.
transitioning from another country, Larson said Tulane’s LLM programs can start
as early in June for students whose language skills need to meet minimum levels.
Those students would be required to come to Louisiana early and have three
weeks of intensive language courses and legal terminology in English. All
international students have to participate in Tulane’s-three-and-a-half-week course that
introduces them to United States law.
the international students to become a cohesive group and gain an understand
what it’s like to be in an American law school and get a taste of an American legal
education, which Larson called “one of the most demanding in the world in terms
of the demands of taking on a large amount of materials and being able to think
true for many students who come from schools where rote memorization is a standard,
memorization will not get you through law school in the U.S.," Larson said. "You have to learn
to think critically. You have to learn to think analytically."
the school would like to expand its international reach “slightly and
carefully.” He cited the school’s areas of strength in environmental law as
being a draw for students in countries around the Caspian Sea, such as
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
visiting Southeast Asia in December, Larson said he would like to see students
coming to Tulane from countries there such as Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and
Myanmar. Societies there are opening themselves up to notions of free markets,
he said, which increases the need for people trained in international
commercial activities. Also, that region has a huge population of people
younger than 30.
have very many students coming to the United States yet, and it would be nice
to basically be … among the first group to have students come over to the U.S.,”
students have been a boon to other students at Tulane, the professor said.
“You can’t practice law without being exposed to
international ideas and principles and systems,” Larson said. “The presence of
these students is a reminder that these systems do exist and it’s way to sort
of gain entree to them.”