I do-ed it!! Added J.S.M. to my sig block!

June 5, 2012

As you know by now, for the last year or so, I have been a student in a distance learning program offered by Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. Created by Dean William Byrnes, the Walter H. and Dorothy B. Diamond Graduate Program in International Taxation and Financial Services was the first Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Master of Science of Law (J.S.M.) program in the United States to go online. The J.S.M. program offered me, a mere paralegal, the opportunity to earn my Masters degree from law school in both Bankruptcy & Restructuring and E-commerce.

Yes, I am a walking commercial for the program … I can’t help it. I never thought I would ever attend law school in any capacity, and I most certainly never thought I would be able to earn the equivalent of an LL.M. Although it was distance learning, our classes were held in real time. We met in a virtual classroom, listened to the lectures, and participated in discussions. It was a true classroom experience, well, except for the fact that I attended class in my basement and my only interaction with my professors and classmates was online…

I learned so much from the program and I am so grateful to my classmates and professors for their support and patience – most of them had lived through a proper law school experience; I, on the other hand, have a BA from THE University of Texas, a paralegal certificate, and a career working for attorneys. My background left me slightly unprepared for the Socratic learning experience and I sometimes felt a bit out of my element when the discussion began with a phrase like, ‘as you will remember from your con law course…’

Well, I did it!!I started the program on January 10, 2011 and on May 20, 2012, I graduated … with Honors!

I traveled to San Diego to finally walk the halls of my school, meet my professors, classmates, and the deans in person for the first time, and share the excitement of the day with friends and my amazing mom.

I highly recommend the program to all of my peers; naturally, I urge everyone to pursue continuing education regardless of your career path.

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