Rennatto Tible Marroquin
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Rennatto Tible Marroquin arrived in Minneapolis in August 2014 with plenty of experience under his belt: a law degree from Universidad Francisco Marroquin in his hometown of Guatemala City, Guatemala; three years of legal experience in a bank’s litigation department; and a job with leading international law firm Mayora and Mayora, S.C., in Guatemala.
“Mayora and Mayora gave me a lot of international insight, which motivated me to seek an LL.M. degree here in the U.S.,” Tible Marroquin said. “We served many American and international corporations on a daily basis.”
As a certified translator of English and Spanish, Tible Marroquin had an advantage at his hometown firm and began receiving work for its American clients. Knowing he wanted to further his studies in the United States, St. Thomas Law came into his life at just the right time.
“I had in mind more traditional programs in other universities, so I wouldn’t have thought of St. Thomas if not for Dean (Rob) Vischer and Professor (Mariana) Hernandez Crespo presenting a conference at my law school,” Tible Marroquin said. “When I researched the program, it appealed to me very much. The tradition of the university and the statement about pairing reason with faith and educating the whole person integrally; that has had an impact on me.”
With the Midwest serving as the backdrop for his quintessential American legal experience, Tible Marroquin already has seen his network grow in ways he never imagined. Thanks to Trudy Halla of Briggs and Morgan, who he was paired with through the St. Thomas Law Mentor Externship Program, he has been introduced within the legal community and experienced how firms work in this part of the world.
“I expected to be at a good law school with good professors, but I ended up receiving that and much more,” Tible Marroquin said. “Even though I have only studied here for a little time, it’s already made me a better lawyer.”
Sonipat, Haryana, India
Kirti Rana had no interest in pursuing an LL.M. degree until the day she saw a brochure posted in Jindal Global Law School – her home law school in Sonipat, Haryana, India – that touted St. Thomas Law as the No. 1 law school in the United States for practical training.
“I was always interested in learning the practical side of law rather than just sitting in class and listening to the professors,” Rana said. “I wanted to study in a college where, along with my classroom session, I have an exposure to the legal world, where I can use my classroom knowledge in practical settings.”
After scouring the school’s website and digging into the Mentor Externship Program, Rana felt confident that St. Thomas Law would be a good fit. And in her first semester in Minneapolis, she’s found her expectations have been exceeded.
“Every law school gives the impression that they teach you the things you need to learn to join the legal industry as an attorney, but I’m actually finding everything I saw on the website to be true,” she said, adding that she’s been especially intrigued by her White Collar Crime and Compliance class co-taught by professors Hank Shea and Joe Dixon, both former assistant U.S. attorneys. “Anyone can read the books and learn the law, but learning law through the experience of eminent attorneys and scholars is indeed a great experience.”
As the only student from India in St. Thomas Law’s first class of LL.M. in U.S. Law students, Rana naturally felt a bit of uncertainty about how the community might receive her.
“From the very first day when I reached the United States, Holly [Noble] from admissions picked me up at the airport and took me to her house, and it felt like I belonged here,” she said.
Just weeks later, Rana’s class elected her to serve as the St. Thomas Law student government representative for LL.M. in U.S. Law students. She also was invited to work with professor Teresa Collet on a book she’s writing.
When Rana returns home to India, she hopes to teach and then serve on the judiciary.