To Do List for your LL.M. graduation

Spring semester is almost over and with it, for many, the LL.M. program. Some of you will go back to your home countries, some will take a bar exam, some will start an internship, some will work as a foreign associate, and others will use their OPT to seek employment. Whatever your plans, don't forget to enjoy your accomplishments before you move on to your next adventure. Congratulations on this wonderful achievement!   

I often hear from graduates that the LL.M. year was one of the best years of their lives. What makes the LL.M. so special — interacting with professionals from many different cultures — does not have to end with graduation. 

If you haven't yet done so, create a spreadsheet of contacts you have made during the past year. Include a little note about how you met and what your last interaction was. For those reading this before or during their LL.M., start creating that spreadsheet now. Then make sure to keep in touch. The network you have built during your LL.M. studies is the most valuable asset of the LL.M. program. The degree alone does not come near the value of the network you have built. 

This is also a good time to express gratitude to those who have helped you in the past months. Don't forget the seemingly “little” efforts others exerted on your behalf. Law school staff and faculty, LL.M. and J.D. classmates, legal professionals outside the law school, your roommate, the doorman, the waiter at your favorite diner — whoever was part of making your LL.M. year special. Make sure they know that you appreciate what they have done and to share your plans with them.

Don't wait for your law school to do so — take the initiative to schedule reunions with your former classmates. An LL.M. graduate recently told me that his classmates still meet every other year in a different country, ten years after graduation.

You can make sure that your LL.M. program will be so much more than a nice memory and that it remains a valuable part of your career. After all, that’s what networking is all about.

 Desiree Jaeger-Fine, Esq, is a regulat contributor to The National Jurist and principal of Jaeger-Fine Consulting, LLC, The Hub for Foreign Legal Talent™ - helping foreign lawyers seek employment in the U.S.