- I received my LLB degree at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and practical legal training at the National Judicial Branch and in various law firms, but always knew that a global perspective was necessary to achieve quicker and more complete results in any area of work or study. Believing that law is a way to reach positive social change, both in my country and worldwide, I looked for an international experience that would help me reach a deeper legal knowledge and clearer understanding of the role of international players in Argentina.
- I wanted to improve my academic and professional skills and to study in the United States. The main factors I looked at in LLM programs were the school’s location and standards; the skills of the faculty; the tuition and living expenses; the activities and resources of the main university campus; and the area’s cultural and social life.
My attraction to LSU Law was that Louisiana is the only civil law jurisdiction in the United States and one of the few places in the world where the common law and continental Roman systems cohabitate. The school has a rigorous "bijural" curriculum, a true "melting pot" of law that no other school offered. Lastly, they have a small LLM program, so each student receives a great deal of personal attention to develop their own course of study.
- Once at LSU, I could choose any course offered each semester, which made my decisions very free and flexible to reach the required 26 credit hours. Most courses are two to three credits; students typically take four courses each semester. The courses were very enriching, with faculty members open to in-class and after-class discussions.
Rooted in the civilian tradition, my main interest area, LSU gave me the opportunity to acquire new research techniques crossing the disciplinary boundaries between the common law and civil law. To meet the writing requirement, I wrote a thesis. The guidance and resources I needed were always at hand.
Socially, both the Law Center and the main campus were very receptive to LLM students, organizing cultural events (lectures, symposiums, debates) and recreational events (visits to museums, football games, pick-up soccer games, movie nights, international cultural meetings). The International Cultural Center and the International Hospitality Foundation were great resources to meet local Louisianians and other international students.
- The LLM added many memorable human experiences to my life, including new friends and cultural learning. Professionally, I acquired new tools to understand legal issues with a broader perspective and produce higher quality scholarly work, both in English and Spanish, even publishing an article in a U.S. law journal. Once I complete my doctorate in law (SJD) and graduate studies in history, I will pursue an academic place within the global legal community and know I will draw heavily from my LLM experiences forever.
Agustin Parise is a Research Associate at the Center of Civil Law Studies, LSU Law Center. He has published numerous articles in Argentina, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, United States, and Uruguay. He is the coordinator of the Digest Online Project, making the Digest of 1808, ancestor of the Louisiana Civil Code, accessible online: www.law.lsu.edu/digest.