Lawyers from Across the Globe Advance Careers with LLM Degrees

Chiara Wirz (left) and Charlotte Vaudoit (right) traveled from Europe to pursue LLM degrees at UC Law San Francisco, advancing their knowledge of data protection, data privacy, and intellectual property laws.

Looking to broaden her knowledge of data privacy laws and the U.S. legal system, Chiara Wirz traveled over 5,000 miles from Switzerland to pursue an LLM degree at UC Law San Francisco.

“Having a background in European and Swiss employment, data protection, and privacy law, I plan to expand my legal horizon by learning more about the U.S. privacy landscape and gaining hands-on experience in the U.S.,” she said.

Wirz, a Swiss licensed attorney, will graduate this May with an LLM degree from UC Law SF. The LLM is a one-year Master of Laws degree for foreign lawyers, who can specialize in one of eight fields, including criminal law, intellectual property, taxation, environmental law, and health law.

Wirz, who grew up in a small city near Zurich in the German-speaking region of Switzerland, said she was drawn to UC Law SF because of its location in a vibrant and progressive city. She was also enticed by the law school’s innovative Startup Legal Garage Program, which allows law students to work directly with practicing attorneys and technology startups.

“I found it very insightful to work with different startups and Bay Area attorneys, observing how they practice law and communicate with clients,” she said. “The program also expanded my knowledge, for example, about venture capital financing.”

Wirz joined several student organizations at UC Law SF, including the Law & Intellectual Property Association, the Employment and Labor Law Students Association, and the Business Law Society. Through those organizations, she attended thought-provoking panel discussions with practicing attorneys, explored different legal career paths, and grew her professional network.

After graduating in May, she plans to take the California Bar Exam and work in the field of data privacy law. “I enjoy working internationally and in a practice that is constantly evolving and developing,” she said. “The area of data privacy and, in particular employment-related data privacy, is where I want to pursue my career.”

With a passion for intellectual property and emerging technologies, Charlotte Vaudoit decided to leave Paris to join the LLM Program at UC Law San Francisco, citing its proximity to the booming technology sector in Silicon Valley.

“I was eager to surround myself with inspiring individuals who shared my enthusiasm and immerse myself in this hub for innovation,” she said.

Vaudoit, who volunteered this spring with an organization that helps artists with copyright, trademark, and other legal matters, plans to take the New York Bar Exam after graduation and work as an attorney in the U.S.

“The LLM Program makes me think big and makes me believe that, no matter how hard it is, if you want it, you can make it and be successful in the U.S.,” she said.