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Postcard from L.A.

In August, the couple Marianne Niviaq Thomsen and Nikolaj Erichsen went to Los Angeles to study for an LL.M. at UCLA.

They both work at the Aarhus office, but in August 2021, attorney Marianne Niviaq Thomsen and attorney Nikolaj Erichsen said goodbye to Aarhus to go to Los Angeles for a year. Here they are now studying an LL.M. at UCLA. “In general, we believe that a stay abroad offers a unique opportunity to grow, both personally and professionally,” says Marianne Niviaq Thomsen, who during her studies was on exchange at China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing, while Nikolaj Erichsen studied for a semester at Stockholm University. Therefore, both had a desire to go abroad again. “The expectation for the stay is, of course, to be strengthened professionally but also to gain valuable cultural insight into a country that has great international influence in every way. At the same time, we will establish a larger international network, which will undoubtedly be of great value in the future,” says Nikolaj Erichsen.


Personalised teaching

At Gorrissen Federspiel, he is part of the IP & Digital Business practice group. At UCLA, he has therefore focused on IP law subjects such as Design Law, Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property Law. Marianne Niviaq Thomsen, who is part of the Restructuring & Insolvency practice group, has chosen courses focusing on accounting and financial analysis such as Accounting for Lawyers, Financial Analysis and Accounting and Financial Skills for Lawyers. “UCLA has an interdisciplinary approach to legal studies, where students can tailor their own LL.M. programme from the university’s extremely wide range of subjects,” she explains.

Great experiences and cultural insight

“Part of the experience of studying abroad is not only professional development but also personal development and getting acquainted with a completely different culture. Every day we meet students who come from a completely different background than us. It gives us a unique opportunity to gain a cultural insight that would otherwise be difficult to obtain, and to discuss legal issues from a broader and more international perspective,” says Nikolaj Erichsen. Although there is a lot of preparation for classes, ongoing assignments and exams to study for and pass, there is also time to experience California. “One of the great things about living here – besides the weather – is all the opportunities and experiences the area has to offer, from beautiful nature to festive sporting events,” they both agree.

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