As part of the third year self-study review of the program,
graduates were asked for their evaluation of the program. The
following are excerpts from those comments. Complete comments are
available from the LL.M. in Bankruptcy Office. As a result of the
selfstudy, the St. John's faculty voted unanimously to make the
program a permanent part of the St. John's curriculum.
Jeffries & Company
"My experience in the LL.M. program has given me the ability to
join our bankruptcy department ready to handle numerous
responsibilities for which most second year associates would be
unprepared. The LL.M. program has served as a difference maker not
only as far as helping me find a great job with a top rated
bankruptcy group, but has made me a better bankruptcy
(First LL.M. American Bankruptcy Institute
Chadbourne & Parke LLP
"[I]t was a great year for me. As the professors were well-known
bankruptcy practitioners, scholars, judges and former judges, it
was exciting to participate in classes and hear their views on
bankruptcy law. . . . Approximately nine months after completing
the program, I continue to use the teachings from the LL.M. program
daily and find myself frequently reviewing class notes for guidance
on specific issues. The experience was extraordinary."
Mr. Goodwyn, an expert in environmental law, came to the
program from an established practice (over 20 years) in Kentucky,
to which he returned.
"Having returned to my practice, I find that I am now
considered something of an expert on bankruptcy among local
lawyers. I have been asked to give CLE programs . . . and the local
County Attorney's office has retained me to help collect property
taxes due from a large coal company that is currently in Chapter 7
(converted from a Chapter 11). I'm getting a lot more individual
bankruptcy business than I did previously, to the point of having
to hire more staff. I have no regrets about spending a year in the
program and knowing what I know now, I would do it again."
Peter J. Lahny,
Emmett Marvin & Martin LLP
"The knowledge imparted by the program combined with the writing of
a publication quality thesis and the quality and reputations of
those well-respected practitioners who chose to teach each of the
courses make it very easy for the students to choose quality law
firms in which to continue their legal careers. The program is
already well known throughout the community of insolvency related
attorneys here in New York. Not only have I been very well received
for my having obtained the LL.M. in Bankruptcy, but many of my
colleagues have expressed an interest and desire to continue their
own legal education by pursuing the same degree."
"To summarize my experience with the Bankruptcy LL.M., I would use
the term 'life changing'. I received my J.D. in 1995. Since then I
had been practicing bankruptcy and family law on Long Island . . .
. Although I wanted to work in a firm doing 'higher end' corporate
work, because I was not already working in a known firm in New York
City, no firm would have been interested in me. As a direct result
of the LL.M. program, I obtained the exact position I was looking
for. I now represent major creditors in bankruptcy reorganizations
and litigation (I also over doubled my salary)."
"[W]ithout the LL.M. program I would not . . . be an associate at a
firm of Mayer Brown's caliber. Before I started the LL.M. program,
I knew I wanted to be a bankruptcy lawyer, but wasn't able to
convince an employer that I'd be a good one. After completing the
LL.M., I had the luxury of being invited to interview at over a
dozen of the best firms in the nation, and was able to select among
multiple employment offers. This, I think, is strong evidence that
the program is perceived by the bankruptcy community as
Burr and Forman, LLP
"An obvious factor in my satisfaction is the quality of education I
received at the LL.M. program. I was lucky to be one of the four
full-time students who started in 1999.
The LL.M. program is truly an exceptional experience. The attention
to [the] individual student . . . represented a heartfelt desire to
both teach and nurture each and every student . . . [E]ach and
every member of the class went above and beyond the call of duty.
It was typical for a student to research issues that came up in our
prior discussions and present their finding at the next class. The
motivation of this extracurricular activity was a sign of mutual
appreciation that we were all there for one purpose -- to learn as
much as possible about bankruptcy in the amount of time given."
Perkins Coie LLP
"The St. John's LL.M. degree is the credential of which I am most
proud and which has garnered the most attention from potential
employers. Indeed, the firm whose offer I eventually accepted . . .
confided that they would not have hired me had it not been for the
In the weeks and months since I began work, I have yet to be
faced with an issue that I was not exposed to during my courses at
St. John's. Further, I had the opportunity to develop long-lasting
relationships with several of my colleagues in the program. Months
after graduation, we still confer frequently via phone and e-mail,
sharing our life experiences and deliberating over complex
bankruptcy issues. The colleagues and distinguished faculty I met
during the LL.M. program remain valuable professional and personal