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Emory University: A legal academic experience like none other

Few universities can offer an experiential learning experience to budding lawyers the way Emory University can. Its top-ranked School of Law is a prime example.

Here, the subject is spellbindingly vivid, thanks to a range of foundational courses that can be tailored around the areas of impact that matter to students the most. Students are given the tools and skills to chart their own career path, from business to healthcare to international relations — there’s a lot to discover. Thankfully, Emory’s world-class faculty are experienced in answering any and every burning question.

That’s not all. Here are four other attributes that make Emory Law a dynamic institution:

The opportunity-filled city of Atlanta

Once students set their sights on Emory, it’s hard to look elsewhere. Excellence aside, the School of Law is strategically located in Atlanta, Georgia — a global city renowned for its southern hospitality, breath-taking views and most importantly, its reputation for being a booming business hub.

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The University’s neighbours include Fortune 500 companies, regional offices for many federal organisations, ambitious start-ups, acclaimed chefs, cultural museums, and some of the most impactful political figures in history (such as Congressman John Lewis — an honorary Emory Law degree holder).

However, it is also the perfect destination to balance out the rigours of a thorough law degree. Atlanta has many quiet neighbourhoods, sidewalks, corner markets and beautiful parks for those who need an occasional break from the hustle and bustle.

With a diverse population of over five million, forging connections or simply feeling at home has never been easier. “Atlanta has everything that an international student would want,” says Master of Law (LLM) student Julietta Ethe. “When you wanted the strict American way, it’s there. The Asian way, it’s there. The African way, it’s there. Atlanta is a fusion of cultures of nations. It is indeed an international city.”

Diversity and inclusion

Emory Law emulates its surroundings by being accommodating to new students. When Ethe first arrived at the School of Law, she immediately felt like she belonged. “In this community, we may come from diverse backgrounds, but for Emory, we are all scholars,” she says. Every class and activity in which she has taken part has entailed fusing her culture with everyone else’s to “enhance the atmosphere.”

Such collaborations aren’t surprising at an institution with diversity at its core. Here, student resources span a wide range of cultural, gender, philosophical, faith, and political interest. Their initiatives include Access, Disability Services & Resources; Bias Incident Reporting; Center for Women; International Student & Scholar Services; Office of LGBT Life; and the Preferred Student Name Policy.

Ample support gave Ethe the sense of comfort she needed to thrive academically alongside like-minded individuals. “I have continually been intellectually engaged in all my engagement, my classes, my relationships not just with the faculty but with my fellow students,” she says. “It’s been a great experience for me.”

International perspectives abound

With a multinational cohort comes valuable, global perspectives. Since Emory Law houses some of the brightest minds from across the globe, LLM student Naomi Nwokolo from Nigeria built enduring relationships with colleagues from Germany, Norway, China, India, and more.

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Source: Emory Law

“This gives us the opportunity to understand the legal system from various parts of the world, and then narrow it down to the US legal system,” she explains. “It’s really interesting to share experiences. It helps you to learn more, broadens your scope on international law, and shows you how different countries connect in the legal world.”

Nwokolo is a human rights lawyer with eight years of legal experience. She is also the executive director of the United Nations Global Compact network Nigeria. She chose Emory Law to advance her existing knowledge alongside a world-class faculty that cares. “They really want to instil the international knowledge that you need to advance your career,” says Nwokolo.

All legal aspirations welcomed

Emory Law believes every budding lawyer can make a difference with the right academic degree — so it offers several. There’s a Juris Doctor, Juris Master, Doctor of Juridical Science, various Joint Degrees and of course, the highly-customisable LLM. Classrooms are diverse and collegial, meaning all graduate students interact through the courses they choose.

“The postgraduate programmes at Emory Law are what you make them, and there are so many interesting and topical courses a student can pick from,” confirms LLM graduate Lerato Oguntoye.

Oguntoye’s choice is especially ideal for those looking to specialise in law. The 24-credit-hour programme was designed to build on legal backgrounds for professional excellence and scholarly advancement.

Students are given various options to structure their curriculum around their interests — through a general course of study or by focusing on one of the School’s many areas of strength: Business and Transactional Law; Law and Religion; Human Rights Law; Vulnerability and the Human Condition; Public Law and Regulation; as well as Child Law and Policy. Nwokolo specifically chose the LLM to learn more about international trade and development.

All routes lead to experiential opportunities that focus on building practical legal skills. Through simulation courses, volunteering, “Doing Deals” courses, and more; graduates leave Emory Law ready to uphold justice more effectively in the US, their home country, or wherever their passions lead them.

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