Ok, so there I was contemplating grey hair in this room full of bright young things eager to start their LLM at UCHastings School of Law. Twenty-one of them as a matter of fact with a ration of 17 women to 4 guys. I think the number of countries involved is about fourteen which includes, but is not limited to Norway, Brazil, Ivory Coast France, Germany, Japan, China, Poland, Russia, India, Israel (?Mexico, Iran, Italy?). They seem to range in age from 22 to 27 years old. George didn’t understand why I was surprised at the youth involved. I hadn’t been thinking about someone going directly from law school to a Master’s Program in the US. Rather, I had been thinking about it like an MBA – first get a few years of practice, then do a specialty that will get you ahead of your peers. It probably does make sense from the point of view of being young, mobile, and likely in the best command of the English Language. Not saying that legalese is English by any means but you get the idea. Several have been in the US for months to several years; this is a way to further their education, potentially find a job/green card and increase their chances of passing a Bar Exam (California and New York both allow graduates of foreign law schools to sit the exam. After about a five month process of proving both educational credentials and morals (seriously – morals. lawyers?).
Since I am the only one of me, it seemed stupid to require that my advisor create a special orientation just for me and so I elected to join all these bright and shiny young faces at their orientation. At least for those subjects which I am interested in. Skipping the Visa discussions, career counseling, and several other things on the list. Today is the first day of the two weeks which is expected to turn us from random but intelligent strangers into some kind of group with a modicum of understanding of the US Legal System.
Today we heard from some of the Dean’s Staff, the Library/IT, the Health Service, the Diversity Services, the Security Staff and a panel discussion from five former LLM students. And they fed us, I forgot to mention breakfast, snacks and lunch. I don’t expect this amount of largess to continue.
But my most fun of the day – other than bailing off BART at Embarcadero and hiking down Market Street to 200 McAllister was meeting the IT crew. The young man who helped me with getting a student ID was a young 56 and his supervisor looked to have a good ten years on him. Punch cards were us, along with card sorters. Friendly folks with a sense of humor. Much appreciated. Perhaps it is because they are located with the library staff on the 4th floor rather than buried in the basement somewhere?
Anyway, I finished up, chatted with a few people and headed home on BART. I don’t need to arrive till 1230 tomorrow…