Chrystelle Tassios
LL.M. in General Studies, 2007
Legal Counsel France-Morocco, Dell
Paris France

What do you like most about Cardozo Law? 
I really liked the flexibility of the classes/schedule. I had a full-time job on the side. Cardozo gave me the opportunity to keep my job and follow the classes I was interested in. Also, starting in January helped me to gain time vs waiting for the traditional "September back to school" as most of the schools do (such as Columbia, NYU).

Professor and/or Class That Impacted You Most, and Why:
The first class that impacted me the most was "Legal writing": Why? I learned the basics of our job, how to write a brief, express yourself verbally and in writing and the most important part: the moot court. Coming from a civil law country and with the system currently in place in France, you don't get to do that before a long time. Here, I was trained to stand up, alone, before a panel, exposed the facts and defend my side. It was an amazing experience, a good challenge in order to test yourself and to determine your strengths/weaknesses before being thrown into the real world.

Also, Torts! Coming from very crowded French classrooms, I really liked this class as it was a summer one with a small group of students. Therefore, I had the opportunity to ask questions, have interactions with the teacher/rest of the classroom. Also, the teacher was available anytime for 1/1 and helped me to prepare for the exam. As you might know, we could be up to 200 students for one class in France. Having the opportunity to study in such a small group for such an important class, is very valuable for your exams/bar exam and career.

Favorite New York City Experience:
Overall, I stayed 3 years in NYC. I worked (Air France legal department) and studied at the same time. For me, these 3 years went very quickly as you tend to make the most of this experience. There are so many things to do. As an ex-dancer, I really enjoyed the shows on Broadway, the night life and the beautiful image of so many different nationalities/cultures/background co-existing on a small island in full harmony.

How has going to school in Greenwich Village/ Manhattan shaped your experience?
Being in Manhattan was a great opportunity. It was very convenient for me as most of the time I had to rush from Cardozo to my job and vice versa. As Union Square is not far away, you have all the subway lines connecting there. Washington Square is not far either, so you can have a break there.

What's the most important thing you would want someone from your country to know about the Cardozo community and the Cardozo experience?
Studying abroad is definitely a priceless experience for both your professional and private life. Don't overthink it, just do it! Being part of Cardozo will remain a very good memory, for different reasons:

  • Quality of the teachers and classes.
  • You don't feel alone: the staff is highly qualified and they care! They listen to you, try to help you and to coach you.
  • You tend to meet quality persons (teachers, staff and fellow students).

What kind of connection have you made here with students, and with faculty?
As we are in small groups, it was very easy to interact and to communicate with other students. It usually comes naturally. You either feel more connections with people from the same country as you but I highly recommend to mix with other nationalities. I am still in touch with some fellow students and a group has been formed in Paris of alumni students.

How would you describe the atmosphere here with respect to making contact with interesting individuals in the legal profession?
As a foreign student, I took an appointment with the career service. I was coached and trained on how to behave during an interview, how to formulate my previous experiences, the body language, etc. It was a first, and I think, necessary step, in order to enter the legal profession in NYC. Throughout the classes and particular events organized by the school, we had the opportunity to meet guest speakers and to interact with them.

Lyda Tyburec

LL.M. in General Studies, 2006
Hearing Examiner for the Health Tribunal of the City of New York, Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings of Counsel at Arrufat Gracia, PLLC
New York, NY

What is your current job and what does it entail?
As a hearing examiner, I conduct administrative hearings in cases involving violations of the New York City Health Code, and other local rules and regulations of the City of New York including rules relating to public health, safety and the environment.  I take testimony, evaluate credibility of witnesses and evidence, make findings of fact and conclusions of law, render decisions, and assess appropriate penalties.

In my private practice, I advise clients on various immigration cases and deportation proceedings. I also represent clients in Family Court matters

What do you like best about your job?
My days are very challenging and never boring.  I enjoy the flexibility of combining my work as a hearing examiner with my private practice. As a hearing examiner, I issue decisions that are very important to the public health, safety and the environment.  In my private practice, I enjoy advocating for my clients and finding the best solution for my client's legal problems.  I know that my work makes a difference and this is very important to me.

Share something special about your Cardozo experience.
This question is not easy to answer since I enjoyed every minute at Cardozo. I took advantage of the immense academic and networking opportunities that the school had to offer.  Cardozo exceeded my expectations.  When I was a student at Cardozo, I felt it was my second home and this feeling has not changed.  Every time that I visit Cardozo I feel welcomed.

What impact did Cardozo have on your career?
My professional opportunities broadened after Cardozo.  The LL.M gave me the skills and knowledge that I needed to start a career as a lawyer in the United States.  I made several important professional connections at Cardozo that have been essential to advance in my career through the years.

Jorge Cancio Meliá

LL.M. in Intellectual Property, 2008
Senior Legal Adviser, Directorate for Related Rights. Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports

What is your current job and what does it entail?
Since May 2012 I have been working as advisor on legal and policy issues related to Copyright law. Among my duties, I represent Spain at International and European fora dealing with Copyright and related rights; I work in the development of new legislation on intellectual property rights; and I am presently spearheading the implementation of the new Spanish legislation against online infringement of Intellectual property rights.    

What do you like best about your job?
I enjoy the challenge of working on cutting-edge issues such as the interaction and tension between copyright and the Internet, where many different interests, beliefs and emotions are at stake.

Share something special about your Cardozo experience.
I enjoyed every minute at Cardozo, especially the participatory classes and vibrant discussions with outstanding world-class professors - although, personally, the best time was when I reunited with my family and we spent together a wonderful springtime in New York.

What impact did Cardozo have on your career?
First, Cardozo helped me see beyond Spanish or European legal systems - US Law is always a useful comparison in the back of my mind when we tackle new challenges. Second, Cardozo provided me with invaluable contacts--both professors and fellow students--whom I regularly meet in international venues such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Daniel Zohny
LL.M. in Intellectual Property, 2006
Legal counsel / Group Leader Intellectual Property at Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
Zurich, Switzerland

What is your current job and what does it entail?
I currently lead the FIFA IP Registration Unit. Together with my team I am responsible for the whole life cycle of FIFA's trademarks, designs and copyrights.  On a day-to-day basis this entails the management of a large worldwide trademark and design portfolio, including counseling during the brand development stage, trademark clearance, prosecution, oppositions/cancellations and renewal decisions. Furthermore we advise internal stakeholders on a wide variety of IP related matters , mostly concerning the commercialization of the FIFA IP.

What do you like best about your job?
Being able to help a truly international organization stage arguably the largest sports event in the world, the FIFA World Cup™ (among other football competitions such as the FIFA Womens' Wold Cup™, youth and interactive (FIWC) competitions). I enjoy the opportunity to manage a very commercially driven global trademark portfolio and the wide variety of challenging legal issues that come along with it. Moreover, constantly dealing with colleagues and third parties from numerous different cultural backgrounds is very gratifying. And yes, working in a rather football-crazy environment is kinda neat, too.

Share something special about your Cardozo experience.
The people I met. Both faculty and fellow students. I am in regular contact with many, and am happy to call some friends for life.

What impact did Cardozo have on your career?
Most importantly it solidified my decision that IP is the law I wanted to practice. Further, the good reputation of the LL.M. in IP program and the education I received helped to find my first job in NYC and led to almost five wonderful and defining years in practicing IP law in the City.   Last but not least, without Cardozo I would probably not have met my wife. So there you go......speak of a life changing experience.

Vasundhra Prasad
LL.M. in Intellectual Property, 2002
Practicing Attorney
Supreme Court of India
New Delhi, India

What do you like most about Cardozo Law?
I certainly appreciated the fact that Cardozo has an accomplished Intellectual Property Faculty and in fact the best LL.M. Program in Intellectual Property.  As my subject of specialization was Intellectual Property, I wanted to select a law school that has a niche program in Intellectual Property and even though I got my admissions and scholarships from quite a few brilliant law schools, I made the wise decision of pursuing my LL.M. from Cardozo as a Dean’s Scholar.

What's the most important thing you would want someone from your country to know about the Cardozo community and the Cardozo experience?
The Cardozo experience is brilliant and I would highly recommend lawyers or law students to pursue their legal education from Cardozo. The Cardozo community is highly accomplished and refined, it’s an honor and privilege to be a part of the Cardozo family. The Cardozo experience was excellent as it gave me the opportunity to pursue my LL.M. in the cutting edge subject area of Intellectual Property, which most of the other law schools do not offer as a main subject area of specialization. I enjoyed the interaction and guidance provided by all my Professors as most of the specialized classes were integrated and we had presentation and case discussion on a regular basis.

What kind of connection have you made here with students, and with faculty?
The faculty was brilliant as most of the Professors who taught me were well-known in their subject area and had many publications which include books and scholarly publications which became our course work for the semester. I valued the guidance given by my Professors. We had a wonderful group of students from different countries, it was a mini United Nations in its true sense. Enjoyed interacting with the students as well as getting to know more about the diverse legal interpretation which was country specific and the core difference between common law and civil law. It’s always fascinating to meet them during Law School Reunions.

How would you describe the atmosphere here with respect to making contact with interesting individuals in the legal profession?
The atmosphere of Cardozo is scholarly and friendly. It makes you feel like you are a part of a family that would provide you all the guidance and advice whenever required. Cardozo always invites the well-known scholars to join their faculty or to deliver lectures. I had the honor and privilege to talk to and hear Professor Lawrence Lessig deliver a lecture during my time at Cardozo.

What was your favorite New York City experience?
My favorite borough in New York is Manhattan as I enjoyed living in East Village during law school.  After graduating I started work with United Nations and moved to Tudor City in Midtown Manhattan. It was fascinating to see the view of the iconic United Nations building and the Hudson from my living room. I enjoyed living in both Downtown and Midtown and favorite experience was going for the recitals at the Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center as well as viewing the paintings and art installations at the MET as well as Guggenheim museum. New York is a uniquely multifaceted city and I can’t think of any other city in the world that can replicate the experience living of New York.

Hongbo Zhong
LL.M. in Intellectual Property, 2014
Vice President of Lee and Li – Leaven IPR Agency Ltd.
Vice President of China Trademark Association/Arbitrator of PRC Domain Name Dispute Resolution Center under China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission/Committee member of INTA/Committee member of MARQUES
Beijing, China

What do you like most about Cardozo Law?
Cardozo is located in the center of New York City, and many landmarks are within walking distance from the school.  Cardozo's LL.M. program is not too big so students are able to keep close ties with professors and the faculty.  Within the LL.M. community, you will never feel far away from home.  As for the academic atmosphere, besides the variety of courses offered in the curriculum, there are plenty of academic events to attend at Cardozo.  For example, in my first semester, I attended a copyright lecture delivered by David Nimmer - one of the most prominent figures in his field, as well as a sports law symposium which gathered the leading personalities in this field.  By studying at Cardozo, you not only improve yourself academically, but you can build up the channels to develop your career.  Many thanks to the professors and the supporting community at Cardozo Law.