During the fall semester, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Hamburg, Germany. I studied at Bucerius Law School, the top law school in Germany. At Bucerius, I participated in their International and Comparative Business Law Exchange Program and their Law Firm Management & Leadership Certificate program.
As an International Exchange student, I was a part of a cohort of 90 students from all over the world, including South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. The program is designed to support law students wishing to broaden their understanding of the forces shaping international business law. By participating, I expanded my professional network globally. I also gained insight into legal practice involving German, European, Chinese, and transnational frameworks.
The courses that I completed highlighted the actualities of working in a corporate law firm or in-house legal department that handles international matters. My coursework included negotiation, transactional drafting, international commercial arbitration, and corporate governance.
As a student in the Law Firm Management and Leadership Certificate program, I developed leadership skills that will be advantageous in a global law firm setting. The certificate program curriculum intertwined law, economics, and management. The courses included "Law Firm Strategy and Policy" and "Law Firms of Tomorrow".
The "Strategy and Policy" course utilized case studies on the management of multinational corporations and firms as a framework for studying the growth of law firms and risk management. The "Law Firms of Tomorrow" course pushed us to be forward thinkers in an ever-evolving business and legal world.
Overall, both courses addressed the challenges faced by global law firms in an environment that is increasingly digital, where large corporations are increasing the size of their in-house legal departments while scaling back on their use of outside counsel, and where online legal service providers are increasing their footprint on the market.
Another great aspect of the program was the extra-curricular activities. The International Office at Bucerius coordinated events and outings. The events included an International Dinner, where students brought dishes that represented their nationality. I brought home-cooked macaroni and cheese to the dinner. Another event was Hansewiesn, an Oktoberfest celebration under a large tent, where we dressed in the traditional dirndl dress and lederhosen while having mass bier and lebkuchen.
The outings included visits to local attractions as well as other cities. An exciting local attraction was the Eblphilharmoni (“Elphi”) a new concert hall with an impressive glass facade and wave-like rooftop in Hafencity. We had an emotional experience visiting a former concentration camp in Neuengamme. We also visited Berlin, the capital of Germany. Near the end of the program, we visited the medieval towns of Luneberg and Lübeck. In the medieval towns, we went on walking tours and learned about the history of Germany. Specifically, on our trip to Lübeck we tasted their famous marzipan and enjoyed the Christmas markets.
This experience was my first time studying abroad and visiting Germany! One of the best things about studying abroad in Germany was its location in Europe. Because Germany is so close to other countries I was easily able to travel throughout continental Europe, to London, and to Morocco in North Africa!
I am so grateful that Rutgers Law School chose me to participate in this program, and I know that it will benefit me when I join Fried Frank LLP, a global law firm, at their headquarters in New York City next fall.