Professor Edwards highlighted important information that Panamanian students should know if they want to study law at a law school in the U.S.
He addressed how students should choose the best U.S. law school and LL.M. program for each student, the possibility of considering school or LL.M. program "ranking" in making decisions to apply to or attend specific schools, tips on specializing in specific law areas, the LL.M. application process and getting admitted, English language requirements, U.S. law school teaching methods, sitting for a bar exam in the U.S. after students receive their LL.M. degree, and fulfilling career aspirations after graduation.
Professor Edwards also discussed scholarships and grants available to help students defray the high costs of obtaining a U.S. law school degree.
EducationUSA – U.S. State Department Program -- Panama
At the EducationUSA Advising Centre, Professor Edwards was hosted by Mr. Paul Alba, who is the resident EducationUSA Adviser. Mr. Alba, who is a former intern at the U.S. Embassy - Panama, was joined by Ms. Allison O’Brien who is a student at Cardozo Law School (New York). Ms. O’Brien is a current U.S. Embassy – Panama intern.
EducationUSA is responsible for providing information to Panamanian students who wish to study in the U.S. Each of its 450 Advising Centers in almost 200 countries offers services to students at any level and in any field. Anyone in Panama with interest may visit the EducationUSA Advising Center located in that city. Unlike some EducationUSA Advising Centers that are located at a
Mr. Alba noted that many Panamanians are interested in studying law in the U.S. He said he would like to share U.S. law school and LL.M. program information with Panamanians widely, and that he wants “to give U.S. law school program presentations to students at different law faculties in Panama”.
Professor Edwards said “I am happy that Mr. Alba and the Fulbright Commission and EducationUSA Panama have taken the lead to promote U.S. legal education for Panamanian students. Mr. Alba, law faculty members, students and others with interest are welcome to contact me for further information about studying law in the U.S.
University of Panama Faculty of Law
At the University of Panama Faculty of Law, Professor Edwards was hosted by the Dean, Dr. Gilberto Boutin. Dean Boutin led a U.S. legal education round-table discussion with faculty, staff, and students. Professor Edwards again presented about U.S. law school opportunities for Panamanians, and fielded many questions about the application process, success in a U.S. law school, scholarship opportunities, and work post-degree. He was joined by co-presenters Mr. Alba and Ms. O’Brien.
Dean Boutin expressed full support for his students traveling to the U.S. for advanced law degrees. He also expressed strong interests in the Faculty of Law establishing further links with institutes and programs at U.S. law faculties. It is hoped that a U.S. law professor could travel to the Faculty of Law in Panama to help prepare students for their LL.M. program in the U.S. by instructing on, for example, legal English.
Professor Edwards explained that Panamanian students can benefit greatly if they join a U.S. law school program that affords the students an opportunity to get involved in experiential learning opportunities, such as working on real-life, pending criminal or other law cases.
Dr. Virginia Arango Durling, who is a law professor at the University of Panama, commented on the importance of international human rights law, which is an area of law in which she has expertise. She is widely published in the field, with many of her publications and teaching materials being available on her website: Pensamiento Juridico Panemano. She too recognizes the importance of experiential learning.
One Panamanian student explained that she is now convinced that attaining a law degree in the U.S. is an achievable goal for students from her law school class.
In both Panama presentations, Professor Edwards recognized the value of students receiving an overseas law degree.
He said “When you are studying at a U.S. law school, you will acquire knowledge and skills that will be useful in your legal careers, wherever you choose to work. You will share with your U.S. law school colleagues your Panama experience, and you will bring back to Panama what you have learned in the U.S., inside and outside the law school classroom”.
Professor Edwards hopes to return to Panama for additional presentations. He said “It was exciting to learn of Panamanians’ high level of interest in U.S. law study. I look forward to returning to Panama for further discussions. If any Panamanians have further questions, they should feel free to contact me. They can also check our website, www.LLMRoadMap.com.”
Professor Edwards is The C.M. Gray Professor of Law at Indiana University McKinney School of Law, and the law school’s Special Assistant to the Dean for Inter-Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations. He is also Faculty Director (Founding) of the law school’s Program in International Human Rights Law.
Professor Edwards is also the author of LL.M. Roadmap: An International Student’s Guide to U.S. Law School Programs (624 pages). He is also the creator of the book’s website: www.LLMRoadMap.com.
For additional information, you may reach Professor Edwards at LLMRoadMap@yahoo.com.
For information about EducationUSA or Fulbright in Panama, please contact:
Adviser – Director
EducationUSA Panama City
U.S. Department of State Network
Office: +507 380-2200/2202