Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Diane Desierto ’09 LLM, ’11 JSD

I decided to attend Yale Law School because it has the best tradition for law teaching as well as for cross border practice. I only applied in two schools, and my area is in international law and international dispute settlement. And Yale in particular is known for having pioneered realist thinking in international law, and, for that reason, it was a choice between this and the traditional, positivist school over there in England. Yale, I have found, from the time that I came here, even up to the present when I’m still practicing and teaching, has always encapsulated the best understanding of international decision making, which is why I would recommend it for any person who wants to cultivate this kind of expertise both pedagogically as well as in a practice setting.

Yale has an extremely supportive faculty, extremely supportive alumni. And not to mention it is the best law school in the country and arguably the world. That in itself is already a rich arc and a rich trajectory to begin from. But above and beyond that Yale also has a way of making one confront one’s pursuits and advocacies constantly. I am always in touch with colleagues from Yale Law School who are now in different areas, leading in government agencies, in international practice, or in clerkships, or what have you. I also with Yale faculty find that even long after I’ve graduated from Yale, I have Yale professors who are very willing and have an open door to engage on questions of scholarship, questions on law teaching. And even up to now, I am proud to say that Yale manages to open doors that are unexpected for many foreign law students. It was truly unprecedented on my end to go into U.S. law teaching after having taught in the Philippines and in China. And it would not have been possible anywhere else except for the kind of focus and attention and encouragement that you get at Yale Law School. It’s very personalized. It’s wonderful and extremely bewildering to me how an extremely busy titan of international law or corporate law or any of our faculty here at Yale manage to make calls on your behalf—even if it’s a different time zone. But they will do it because they believe in their students. They have invested in their students. They push their students and challenge them to contribute. And because of that, it’s not a matter of opening doors so much as knowing that Yale itself will be contributing to the world. And that kind of dialectic—it’s really what makes this a wonderful place.

An alumna perspective on international law and the graduate programs community at Yale Law School.