Where's Georgetown University

Experience report on the LL.M. degree at Georgetown University Law Center (GULC) in Washington, D. C.

With my LL.M. degree at the GULC in the USA, a long-awaited dream came true in 2012/2013. I wanted to gain more experience abroad while studying. Because of my ties to the USA, an LL.M. degree was the ideal combination there. From the LL.M. I have, among other things, hopes that I will be able to study the American views on legal issues in the areas of intellectual property, information technology (IP / IT) and media law. I also wanted to get to know people from other countries. I achieved both goals.

Life on campus

Like many other law schools in the US, the GULC has a "Summer School" offered. Students from all over the world and various US law schools take part in these preparatory courses.
My LL.M. class consisted of students from over 70 countries and ages from early 20s to late 50s. "Summer Schools" provide a great opportunity to meet new fellow students and get used to campus life before it really gets going. Since everyone initially lives on campus, I was able to take care of my future living situation from there.

During this time the courses had to be put together. I have the so-called "General Studies LL.M." and was therefore free to choose my courses. These were predominantly related to IP / IT, e.g. B. Data ProtectionR, PatentR and CopyrightR. GULC also offers more specialized LL.M. programs, e.g. B. "Global Health" and "Securities & Financial Regulation".

At first I was surprised that the lecture schedule looked very "narrow" at first glance. However, the difference between a German and a US university quickly became clear: Typical for LL.M. programs in the US are very extensive and demanding homework ("Assignments"), which are an important part of the lesson. This is very interactive and intensive discussions and case studies with the professor and fellow students are the norm.

The speed of teaching and the depth of the subject as well as the intensity of the discussions represent a great challenge and take getting used to.
A US law school is less about “right or wrong” when analyzing facts. Rather, we should learn to develop and be able to formulate arguments for one or the other view. It is precisely this ability that is the main component of the often feared final exams. Yet nobody needs to be seriously afraid of these. In contrast to the German system, the failure rates are very low. Those who argue conclusively and well-versed have a very good chance of surviving.

Due to the close proximity of the Law School to the Capitol, there were almost weekly visits and lectures of more prestige "Guest Speaker" from politics, business or science on the plan. The student body itself is also very active. So were z. B. organized weekly meetings on campus for exchange and mutual learning. This is admittedly relatively small, as the law school is located outside of the main campus of Georgetown University, which, however, favored a pleasant and familiar campus life.

Personally, I spent almost every day on campus during the week. This one offers everything you can imagine. A large fitness center with pool, many common areas, a large cafeteria and a small, cozy café. I always tried to get in touch with Americans. The LL.M. students are basically in courses with "J. D. "-Students, that is, with American law students. In addition, the courses are always relatively small and the learning atmosphere is very intense. For Americans is "Networking" extreme important. Hence, numerous "Get-together" offered. I didn't know that from law faculties in Germany.

Life outside the campus

A very important part of my LL.M. year was off-campus life. Together with fellow students, I did a lot in and around D.C. and also traveled a little around the USA. The LL.M. was certainly not a vacation year, but the learning curve is not comparable to that for an exam. I lived in a one-room apartment in Arlington. Unfortunately, life in D.C. is expensive. Northern Virginia is slightly cheaper, but the overall cost is high. GULC offers a "Campus Housing", however, the offer is limited and hardly cheaper. The LL.M. cost a total of almost € 80,000. The "Tuition Fee", including student insurance, made up the majority of this.

Résumé

I would go back to Georgetown anytime. I would also like to encourage everyone to embark on this adventure when the LL.M. fits your own wishes and goals. The financial hurdle is high, but not insurmountable. Z. B. the LL. M. Education Fund.
The grades vary in weight depending on the law school's own standards. In addition, these are "Personal Statement" and personal contact with the university is of crucial importance. In Germany there are z. B. the LL.M. seminar of the German-American Lawyers Association (DAJV). For German prospects, the chances are better than ever!

In addition to improved legal and English skills, the LL.M. helped to argue more freely and better understand American jurisprudence. Thanks to the alumni network, a Georgetown alumni from the respective country can almost always be approached specifically for cross-border legal issues in order to find out his / her assessment.

Hoya Saxa!

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