LL.M. in Comparative Law welcomes eight students
Each year, the LL.M. in Comparative Law Program brings a handful of foreign law students to the UF College of Law to study and experience living in another country. Through the LL.M. program, which is directed by Professor David M. Hudson, these students are offered a diverse curriculum and faculty to assist them in a program tailored to their specific interests.
“The students in the comparative law program are looking for a better understanding of the American legal system so that when they return to their home countries, they can better serve their clients who may have business interests or investments in the United States,” Hudson said.
The program also allows students in the full-time J.D. program to meet law students from other parts of the world and interact with them in academic and social settings, Hudson said.
This year, eight students from various countries, including Zimbabwe, Columbia, Saudi Arabia and China, joined a talented student body of approximately 1,200 full-time J.D. students and about 100 lawyers in the Graduate Tax Program. Although students in the comparative law program — which requires 26 hours to be completed over three semesters — are enrolled in regular J.D. courses, their grade point averages are not calculated into the overall average of the course, for reasons stipulated by the UF Graduate School.
Ryan Kitcat, from Mutare, Zimbabwe, became interested in the comparative law program offered by the UF Levin College of Law during his final year of studying law at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. Although he has only been in the program a month, he feels extremely fortunate to be a part of it.
“Practically, given the challenges and opportunities connected to developments in the 21st Century, a comparative and international approach is becoming increasingly important to any legal education,” Kitcat said. “It helps to broaden one’s perspective and raises one’s awareness of the larger context surrounding issues. I think meaningful exposure to comparative law can play a beneficial role in shaping how lawyers think and act — both in responding to change and in shaping change — in the coming decades.”
Although he hopes to remain abroad — possibly in the United States — for a few years following completion of the program, his future career plans include working for an international organization and using his legal education to benefit his hometown.
“There is a great deal that needs to be done in Mutare, Zimbabwe, Southern Africa and Africa,” Kitcat said. “I hope to make a meaningful contribution through the practice of law generally, and to specialize in international trade and environment law.”
The Levin College of Law is affiliated with international universities and programs in 60 countries around the world, including Cape Town.
The new students, as pictured above from left to right, are Ryan Kitcat, Edith Esthela Gastoz, Veronica Musa, Aitza Haddad, Andrea Pinzon, Samia Marouvani, Giselle Ferreira and Abdulraham Alajlan.