Andreina Gutierrez: Why I pursued an LL.M.

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[Editor’s Note: In the Fall issue of National Jurist magazine, six current or recent LL.M. students told us how they furthered their education and improved their career prospects, both in the U.S. and abroad. You can read their stories here. Throughout the year, we will feature the stories of more students and graduates.]

 

Andreina Gutierrez

Venezuela

Florida International University College of Law 

I am a J.D. candidate at Florida International University College of Law (a foreign-trained lawyer from Venezuela). At the same time, I’m a mother of a five-year-old girl and a mom to be of another girl coming at the end of this year. I am also a wife and a Venezuelan attorney with a second career in Management and Administration, and a specialization in International Business.

Growing among many successful professionals in my family made me a person who truly appreciates the value of knowledge, commitment and hard work. After more than 10 years of a successful career in law and academia, I was forced to leave my country and start all over again. Leaving my country was heartfelt due to our strong family values and close family ties, but Venezuela is currently the country with the deepest humanitarian and economic crisis in Latin America. So, I decided to come to the U.S. for a better future for my family and myself. 

As an immigrant, I fully understand what it means to go through challenging experiences. First, I completed my LL.M. degree in 2020. During my one academic year as an LL.M. at FIU College of Law, I was fortunate to be guided by exceptional human beings and illustrious professors, and I enormously appreciate every opportunity I was given. This challenging master demanded personal sacrifices and many hours of hard work. But it was absolutely worth it. I graduated in the middle of a pandemic with the highest GPA of my 2020 class, which made me worthy of the LL.M. Outstanding Academic Achievement Award.

Once I completed my LL.M. program, and because of my outstanding academic performance, I successfully achieved my transfer to continue to the J.D. program at FIU, where I’m still working and studying hard to be an outstanding student as I am. 

Since I got admitted as a J.D., I has been dedicated to strengthening aspects that I consider important to become an exceptional American attorney. Specifically, I have worked on three areas: high-quality education, good standing academic performance and voluntary work within FIU College of Law. 

Right now, I am on my final academic year, and I’m working side-by-side with FIU Immigration Clinic in a unique and phenomenal project, led by Professor Juan Carlos Gomez, created to bring hope to hundreds of Venezuelans living in South Florida who need help to complete their Temporary Protected Status applications. As a Hispanic attorney and a Florida resident, I feel responsible to serve this community and to promote justice with distinction and pride.

At this point in my life, I am ready to set a new goal preparing to take the bar exam. I look forward to practice in America with a depth-knowledge of both Latin and North American legal systems as well as with my bilingual communication skills, my motivation, strength and determination that will allow me to contribute positively to the American society and improve its immigration and corporate fields. 

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