Alumni from across the globe gathered recently to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of California Western’s Master of Laws in US Law (LLM)/Master of Comparative Law (MCL) Program and honor Professor Emerita Jackie Slotkin, the architect of today’s popular LLM/MCL Program for Foreign Lawyers.
In 1998, Slotkin, who was the guest of honor at the Reception, took over a very small MCL Program that had been started by Professor Chin Kim. She expanded the program tremendously, adding an LLM option to the MCL, bringing in students from all around the world.
Before the event, more than 50 alumni had sent in photos and messages for Slotkin expressing how she had touched their lives over the years. These were collected and bound into a special book and presented to Slotkin during the evening, which she acknowledged in her customary unassuming manner.
“I was simply overwhelmed by the 40th Anniversary event and by comments made by past and present LLM/MCL students,” she said.
Current LLM/MCL Program Director Professor Lisa Black opened the proceedings with a welcome address, introducing Dean Niels Schaumann who paid tribute to Slotkin.
“Professor Slotkin, you have been the heart, soul, and engine of this program,” said Schaumann. “It expanded tremendously in both size and scope thanks to your clear vision and strong leadership.”
Following the Dean’s remarks, Black and Assistant LLM Program Director Chinthana Konganda awarded Certificates of Appreciation to six alumni in recognition of their support in helping students connect to the program and ultimately find jobs. The alumni honored were Jesper Andersen ‘17, Suzanne Andersen ‘16, Rodrigo Sayeg ‘19, Jacob Sapochnick ‘99, Alessandra Sgubini ‘03, and Tammy Sumontha ‘00.
In her remarks, Slotkin spoke of the history of the program and how California Western has been at the vanguard of offering programs for foreign-educated lawyers. More than 600 students from upwards of 60 countries have successfully graduated from the program underpinning its continued success.
“Starting the program was a challenge, but giving the opportunity and opening the door to study U.S. law to the many hundreds of foreign lawyers who joined the program was my greatest professional and personal achievement,” said Slotkin.
When asked about what the future holds for the program, Black was upbeat.
“We plan to continue our current program while exploring the possibility of adding more specialized LLM/MCL degrees, including one specifically for students who are planning to take the bar exam,” said Black. “We are also discussing the creation of joint programs with some leading universities in other countries.”
For more information visit California Western’s LLM/MCL Program