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LLM, MCL, SJD, PhD

Xiaoyi (Sophia) Zhang
Home Country:
People's Republic of China
Previous Education:
Master of International Law, Zheijang University; currently working on a PhD, China University of Political Science and Law

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A Community for Learning and Cultural Growth
Xiaoyi (Sophia) Zhang, LLM'12

Sophia Zhang came to Bloomington to study international law. But she's discovered that the experience of the Maurer School of Law goes far beyond what she's learning in the classroom.

Why Indiana Law? "I had always dreamed of coming to the U.S as an exchange student, and the Law School made it possible for me to do so in 2009. I decided to come back to Bloomington to complete my LLM in 2011 while working on my PhD in Beijing. After returning to China and finishing my PhD, I want to teach international law, with an emphasis on the law of the sea."

Favorite Professors. "Prof. Hannah Buxbaum is incredible. I studied international business transactions with her. She is so considerate of international students and has encouraged us to give presentations on the laws of our country to other students in the class. She helps us get prepared and comfortable before making our presentations.

"Prof. Marshall Leaffer's class on trademark law is very interesting. His approach is flexible and humorous. My master's thesis at Zheijang University compares American and Chinese trademark law, and I am very grateful to him for his help.

"Prof. James Barnes has an excellent reputation in China, and I was so lucky to have an environmental law class with him. And Prof. Tim Waters' class in international law has been fascinating. He has a very interesting way of presenting the material."

On Life in Bloomington. "I looked at several schools when considering where to go for my LLM, including NYU and Columbia. I decided to come here because the people are so considerate and helpful, and Bloomington is quiet and cozy — yet there are still many things to do and wonderful international restaurants."

Advice for Students. "It's easy to stick with people from your home country, but there are many opportunities to meet other international and JD students. Don't be shy around them! People are busy, but if you take the initiative to break the barrier, they will be considerate and eager to become friendly. Academic studies are just part of the experience. Just as important is the time you spend with professors and classmates. They are moments to cherish."