Meet our Alumni
Sandra Mercado Azurin
Before completing St.Thomas' LL.M. in U.S. Law program in 2019, Sandra Mercado Azurin worked as a senior lawyer for Interbank, a leading financial services organization in Lima, Peru.
As an LL.M. student, Mercado Azurin took classes in a wide variety of areas, including Contracts, Negotiations and Lawyering Skills for LL.M. Students. Through St. Thomas Law's Mentor Externship Program, she was partnered with Judge Mary Vasaly.
“I was able to work alongside my mentor, gain knowledge of the American legal practice and attend and participate in meetings with her legal staff, all while applying what I have been learning in my LL.M. classes,” Mercado Azurin said.
Vasaly said that mentoring Mercado Azurin was a valuable learning experience for her, too.
“It is vitally important that we are all able to draw best practices from legal systems all around the world, to improve the quality of justice for everyone,” she said.
When Mercado Azurin returned to Peru, she started a new position with Interbank. She is now the head of legal solutions for digital projects.
Learn more about Mercado Azurin and her experience studying at St. Thomas Law by reading the spring 2019 St. Thomas Lawyer magazine story in which she was featured.
Daniel Reynoso Elizondo
Daniel Reynoso Elizondo was part of the first class of LL.M. in U.S. Law students to graduate from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in 2015.
Prior to completing the program, he studied law and creative writing at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) in Mexico. While there, he launched a start-up company that provides language translation services to companies such as Heineken, AT&T, Alfa and Walmart.
“What made me decide to attend St Thomas was the prospect of gaining professional experience (externships) as a part of the LL.M. program and how warm everyone from the university was,” Reynoso Elizondo said.
Reynoso Elizondo currently works for Amazon Mexico supporting operations, including warehouses, product compliance and safety, trade compliance and environment and health, as well as the company's private brands business.
“I think having academic and professional experience in the Unites States helped me in the recruitment process at Amazon, but also to strengthen my own business,” Reynoso Elizondo said.
Looking back, Reynoso Elizondo credits St. Thomas' LL.M. program with broadening world-perspective, increasing his knowledge on U.S. law and culture and giving him lasting friendships with classmates from all over the world.
“Many years have passed and I am still connected with the friends I made during the program,” Reynoso Elizondo says.
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 were 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 actually found everything I saw on the website to be true,” she said. “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 in 2015, 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,” 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.
Since graduating, Rana has stayed in the United States and now works as a senior paralegal in Bakersfield, California.
Rennatto Tible Marroquín
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Rennatto Tible Marroquín arrived in Minneapolis in August 2014 with plenty of experience under his belt: a law degree from Universidad Francisco Marroquín 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 in the U.S.,” Tible Marroquín said. “We served many American and international corporations on a daily basis.”
As a certified translator of English and Spanish, Tible Marroquín 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 Marroquín 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.”
Tible Marroquín now works as the in-house legal counsel for The Pantaleón Group, a privately held Latin American conglomerate in Guatemala with a portfolio of active investments in the sugar, energy and real estate industries. He manages negotiations and the legal aspects of the company's contracts, including multi-jurisdictional and cross-border agreements related to partnerships and business associations.
“I expected to be at a good law school with good professors, but I ended up receiving that and much more,” Tible Marroquín said. “Even though I only studied in the U.S. for a little time, it made me a better lawyer.”