Yale Law School

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Katharina Schmidt- LL.M. Candidate ‘13

I am a current LL.M student from Cologne, Germany. I have previously obtained a joint degree in English and German law from University College London/the University of Cologne as well as a BCL degree from the University of Oxford. Furthermore, I worked as a research assistant in law firms in Düsseldorf and London, at the German Foreign Office, at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law as well as at the Chair for Private Law and Legal Theory at the University of Cologne.

My motivation to apply for the LL.M at YLS was two-fold. Firstly, I wanted to complete my education with an insight into American legal, social, economic and philosophic thinking as part of a wider interest in the theoretical foundations of law. While my studies had until my time here at YLS centered on English and continental European theorists and theories, I was particular enthusiastic about engaging with an American perspective on questions that fascinate me. In this regard, I was also looking forward to the interdisciplinary mind-set present at YLS. Secondly, I was attracted by the relatively small size of the Yale LL.M. Having studied previously at the University of Oxford, I had experienced the benefits of a close-knit academic environment that facilitates intellectual exchange and encouragement between individual course participants. In particular, it was also Yale’s strong academic and legal research focus that encouraged me to apply for further graduate study.

During my time here at YLS, I am in particular pursuing my interests in legal history, comparative legal thought, as well as the philosophic and economic foundations of the private law. As such, I have taken courses on Ancient Law, Justice, Tort Law and Advanced Contracts. Currently, I am taking courses on History of the Common Law, Comparative Law, Modern American Legal Thought, Law & Economics and Intellectual Property Law. In addition, I try to make as much time as possible to attend lectures on topics from all fields for the purpose of broadening my intellectual horizon.

After completing the LL.M degree, I would like to pursue further graduate studies and finally embark upon writing a Ph.D. thesis. I had originally applied to the LL.M with the intention of pursuing a career in academia. I am delighted to say that studying at YLS has not only reinforced my decision in this regard; but I also believe that it has supplied me with the critical understanding as well as the methodological skills necessary to be successful in a research career.