Meet the Graduates

Meet the Graduates

Graduates talk about their experiences at Virginia Law

Julia Katharine Rupp

Julia Katharine Rupp '16


"I enjoy how open-minded, friendly, outgoing and engaging people are here. I immediately felt at home. Furthermore, I think the classes are amazing. I like the American method of learning and teaching. And I especially enjoy all the extracurricular activities UVA Law offers."

Carlos Ibarguengoitia Zugarramurdi ’16

Carlos Ibarguengoitia Zugarramurdi '16


“There were many reasons for me to come to UVA, among others: its academic excellence; its flexibility to design a high-quality, multi-disciplinary program; and the fact that UVA seeks to create a true community (with all that that implies). Although in the past I came many times to the United States as a tourist, the experience of being part of the community has been wonderful — so much to learn, contribute and enjoy.”

Satoko Miyashima

Satoko Miyashima '16


“I worked for five-and-a-half years as an associate at one of the leading law firms in Japan. My practice focused mainly on structured finance, real estate investment trusts and private equity. UVA Law offers a lot of courses concerning business organization and finance, which are strongly related to my current practice. In addition, the number of members in the LL.M. program at UVA Law is quite small in comparison to other law schools. This has helped me proactively involve myself in the UVA community and build close relationships with my classmates.”

Rafael Vietti da Fonseca

Rafael Vietti da Fonseca '14


"When I decided to move to Charlottesville, I was a lead counsel at Itaú Unibanco, responsible for corporate, regulatory and governance matters of our entities outside Brazil. I ran a team of lawyers, developing legal strategies and leading international projects for the bank. At UVA Law I improved my reasoning capability and fine-tuned my ability to structure innovative legal solutions to real-life issues. It helped me enhance my legal skills and develop a comparative analysis of international market practices, which led me to take advantage of professional opportunities that required such credentials. After completing the LL.M. program at UVA Law, I was in a position to step up to the plate on international deals, and I felt comfortable accepting the challenge of being the chief counsel for our investment adviser division in the U.S. Recently, I was invited to run our Global Mergers and Acquisitions team based in Sao Paulo, and I’m immensely grateful to UVA for equipping me for those progressively challenging tasks that have been offered to me.”

Yinuo Zhang

Yinuo Zhang '13


"The UVA LL.M. program is a diversified, small group full of elites of the legal industry, which makes it distinguished from others. As a student coming straight from college, I enjoy talking with and learning from my peer students, and more so from my professional fellow students from all over the world in different legal practice areas that I haven’t had a full chance to explore.

"What’s more, LL.M.s here get to taste a lot of J.D. experiences. We are dispersed into classes of J.D.s. Sitting in a class with the smartest students in the country, I am very much inspired by the open-ended class discussions and the back-and-forth interactions with professors and various professionals who are teaching at UVA law.

"The close relationship between the students and the faculty is another highlight of UVA Law. All faculty and professors are very friendly to international students. I even took a professor to lunch [through a program the Law School offers] and had a long conversation with my professor about the subject of the class and my personal development.

"With no doubt, my year here was a challenging but intellectually inspiring experience. And I really wish it could be longer."

Dean Fernandez

Dean Fernandez '13


"There is something special about the University of Virginia — amongst many other things you are constantly humbled by history, standing on the shoulders of Thomas Jefferson and his intellectual progeny. As a top-10 law school, at UVA you are at once intimidated by the rigorous courses, formidable students and professors — truly the cream of the crop — but at the same time you are inexorably asked to step up your own game and contribute to the legal community here in Charlottesville. Apart from the classes in which you study with J.D. students and are taught by highly engaging professors, during lunch and after hours there are a whole host of interesting seminars, conferences and colloquia held at the law school where you can supplement your American legal education, presented by esteemed public figures and practitioners in the United States, many of whom are UVA Law alumni. During my time here, I’ve attended numerous dinners at professors’ homes; they are warm in their welcome of international students and interested in our legal careers and lives.

"Unlike most top-10 law schools, UVA has a reputation for collegiality and a healthy social life in addition to academics. I was encouraged to get involved in extracurricular clubs and societies, law journals, softball games and public service projects in the Charlottesville community. You can socialize well with J.D.s and other LL.M.s at the Corner, downtown, and at various marquee events held by the Law School throughout the year.

"The best thing about studying for an LL.M. at UVA is spending time with and getting to know your fellow LL.M. students. Perhaps because of our small number, we formed close ties and strong friendships during our year here. I was impressed by the caliber of my LL.M. colleagues — leading lawyers and scholars in their home countries — and learned from them as much as I did from the classes I attended. For any lawyer looking for inspiration — be it through escalating their skills in the corporate sector, immersing themselves in constitutional theory or in igniting their passion for public service, like me — studying an LL.M. at the University of Virginia School of Law is the place to go."

Carmen Tiburcio

Carmen Tiburcio '98


Carmen Tiburcio LL.M. '87 S.J.D. '98 is an international law consultant and a professor of private international law at the School of Law of the State University of Rio de Janeiro. She was chosen to lecture on private international law at The Hague in 2017, one of the highest honors for scholars. Tiburcio said studying at Virginia Law "was a fantastic experience both at the personal, academic and professional levels."

One of the things that made Virginia stand out was its library. "I know many other libraries, both in the U.S. and in Europe, and I have no doubt to affirm that UVA's law library was the best I have ever known, not only because of its collections but mainly because of the fantastic librarians who helped me a lot during the completion of my LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees."

Guilhereme Azevedo Alves

Guilhereme Azevedo Alves '18


“The New York City Job Fair is extremely competitive and hundreds of LL.M. students from top law schools in the U.S. attend it. I am positive that being a LL.M. student at UVA Law had a major influence in securing a foreign associate position in a tier-1 global law firm during the Optical Practical Training.
“The whole LL.M. experience is much more than its academic side. Granted, choosing the courses you are interested in and dedicating yourself to the readings and assignments are an essential part of it. However, the LL.M. experience is also about building relationships with your peers as practitioners from other countries. 
“I enjoy the fact that every professor and staff member knows your name and that they are very available to assist you in any matter. There is a strong sense of community among UVA students and the population of Charlottesville.
“UVA Law is ranked as one of the top-10 law schools in the U.S. Additionally, Charlottesville has been named several times as one the cities with the best quality of life in the U.S. Personally, I believe that this is a perfect match for law students in general and especially for those pursuing an LL.M. degree.” 
Maria Londono

Maria Londono '18


“The LL.M. program at the University of Virginia School of Law is small and selective. Students in the program can enroll in any class offered in the J.D. program, including first-year courses. UVA Law professors are friendly and approachable. 

“In addition to the academic rigor of a top-10 program, UVA Law provides students with opportunities to build strong professional and personal networks that will last a lifetime. Students and alumni of UVA Law are renowned for their kindness and collegiality. Having studied side-by-side with them this year, I can attest that they live up to their reputation. UVA Law instills students with everything it stands for: excellence, integrity and solidarity. I will be joining Clifford Chance’s New York office after graduation and will continue to be a part of the UVA family. I know I will keep in touch with the LL.M.s and J.D.s I met during my time at UVA and that we will continue to support each other as we build our legal careers.”


Shafira Putri

Shafira Putri '18


“Being a part of UVA Law has broadened my perspective in many ways. Instead of taking courses that closely related to my practice as a corporate lawyer, I have used the opportunity of studying here to learn about subjects that are outside of my comfort zone, ranging from courses concentrating on implicit bias with Professor Dayna Matthew to human rights with Professor Mila Versteeg. The other thing I would like to point out is how amazed I am with the vast attention that the faculty gives to the students. All of the school-sponsored lunches and dinners provide a different room for professors and students to interact, exchange thoughts and learn from each other. Combined with the allocation of office hours, the amount of dedication that UVA Law professors show for the students is top-notch. Aside from that, their appearance at the Libel Show clearly depict each of them as fun and cool individuals. I did not expect to be as highly entertained as I was.

“I also had many chances to attend events at the Law School and the University that addressed and unpacked heavily debated legal, political and social issues, both domestically and internationally. By participating in these discussions with other fellow students and faculty, it taught me how to express my opinions while learning from others demonstrating totally different points of view. UVA Law and many of the student organizations must be applauded for their constant work in ensuring the Law School community engages in these conversations. 

“All in all, UVA Law is not just your regular top-10 law school. It’s a place where I will always call home because it was a place that helped me grow, not only as a lawyer, but as a better person.”

Thierry von Aarburg

Thierry von Aarburg '18


I chose UVA Law because of its excellent reputation, the great student-faculty ratio and class sizes, and the large number of courses, as well as its location. The staff and the talented faculty are very motivated and always willing to help. Furthermore, I was positively surprised by the versatile backgrounds of my professors and how accessible they are. The atmosphere among the students is very collegial and I appreciate the many sport and leisure options the University provides. UVA Law offers you everything you need to have a successful and interesting LL.M. experience.”

Daniel Parodi

Daniel I. Parodi '18


One of the most remarkable things about the School of Law is how smart the J.D.s are. The questions and interactions between students and professors are brilliant. This — along with professors who are true experts in their areas and LL.M.s that bring knowledge and experience from around the world — makes the UVA Law classroom experience unique, as well as extremely challenging. The full integration between LL.M.s and J.D.s is something extraordinary.