Bridging Continents Through Law - A Journey from Beijing to Williamsburg

Lin XinyiXinyi “Lea” Lin, a recent graduate of the LL.M. program at William & Mary Law School, shares her inspiring journey from Beijing to Virginia and the transformative impact of the citizen lawyer experience on her recent career achievements.

In 2019, Lin took advantage of an opportunity to travel with her undergraduate institution, Beijing Normal University Law School, to Williamsburg for a summer law program at William & Mary. She recalls being instantly drawn into the academic environment and peaceful atmosphere.

“The beautiful, tranquil, and safe campus environment allowed me to concentrate more effectively on my studies,” Lin says. “Additionally, it provided a seamless transition to the U.S. for international students.”

Lin continued to learn about the LL.M. program online and determined that William & Mary Law School was the perfect fit for her academic and professional aspirations. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in law and diverse legal internship experiences in China, she was ready to take on new challenges that would shape her career.

The LL.M. curriculum provided Lin with a blend of foundational courses required for the New York Bar and specialized subjects tailored to the program. From Criminal Law to International Business Transactions, each course deepened her understanding of U.S. law and sharpened her practical legal skills.

Amidst academic challenges and personal adjustments, including language proficiency and adapting to a new pedagogical style, Lin found the support she needed from professors and fellow law students.

“For academic concerns, every professor was willing to address my course-related inquiries and offer tailored advice to LL.M. students,” Lin says. “Regarding personal matters, the faculty and fellow students at W&M Law School provided tremendous support.”

Notably, she mentions how professors Iria Giuffrida and Catherine Stahl offered guidance that eased her academic and personal concerns.

Outside of the classroom, Lin immersed herself in the campus environment, finding solace in the atmosphere focused on learning. She also seized opportunities to engage with the broader community, contributing to a rich campus culture.

Reflecting on her growth, Lin acknowledges her personal development in language proficiency, academic skills, and social networking. The LL.M. program not only honed her legal expertise but also shaped her perspective on law's role in society, emphasizing historical context and comprehensive understanding.

Now, having completed her LL.M., Lin has embarked on a new chapter as a law clerk for Sun & Ren in New York. Specializing in employment-based immigration, she is excited about the opportunity to delve into complex legal matters and engage with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

As she looks back on her LL.M. journey, Lin offers some advice to prospective students.

“Embrace challenges with positivity; they are often much more manageable than you might imagine,” Lin says.

Lin’s story stands as a testament to the transformative power of legal education and the citizen lawyer experience at William & Mary Law School.