Second Ukrainian Law Student Arrives at Miami Law on International Law LL.M. Scholarship

Early in the morning of February 24, 2022, Iryna Shalinska woke in her apartment in Kyiv to her ringing cell phone. Her friend's voice commanded that the 33-year-old grab whatever she could pack, and they would pick her up in 20 minutes. The war had begun.
Second Ukrainian Law Student Arrives at Miami Law on International Law LL.M. Scholarship
LL.M. student Iryna Shalinska

Before the war, Iryna Shalinska was building a career as lead legal counsel at Recycling Solutions, a strategic byproduct and waste management company based in Kyiv, Ukraine.

There, she conducted audits, built the company's corporate governance processes, maintained legal support for compliance and investment projects, conducted due diligence, and prepared legal opinions.

She is from Lviv, city in western part of Ukraine, where her family still lives, and where she obtained her master's and Ph.D. in law from Ivan Franko National University. She and her friends fled to Germany where she continued to work remotely from Bad Bentheim, more than 1,000 miles from Ukraine.

"I am more worried for my closest friends and family than they are for themselves," she said. "For them it has been routine, that there is bombing, no electricity, no heat, and it is horrible."

Shalinska recently started the International Law LL.M., specializing in U.S. & Transnational Law. During her LL.M. studies at Miami Law, she plans to focus on international law topics.

"My professional interests are now highly concentrated around international law, including war law," she said, "which is the motivation of every Ukrainian now."

Scholarship and support

Soon after the invasion, Miami Law announced two full scholarship opportunities to graduates of a Ukrainian law school; International arbitration lawyer Anastasiia Sydorenko was the first to arrive.

Additionally, the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP partnered with a gift to create the Orrick Graduate Law Student Support Fund at Miami Law to provide financial assistance for fees and living expenses to Miami Law graduate students pursuing an LL.M. degree who are experiencing financial and other personal hardship due to events in Ukraine. Orrick also is planning to provide mentorship support to these students. 

The fund provides financial assistance for fees and living expenses to graduate students pursuing an LL.M. degree at Miami Law who are experiencing financial or other personal hardship due to events in Ukraine.

"This is a global humanitarian crisis— and our team felt compelled to take action," said Siobhan Handley, chief talent officer for the San Francisco-headquartered international law firm. "Of course, we have team members and clients with ties to Ukraine, although it goes beyond that. Witnessing the bravery and perseverance of the Ukrainian people only strengthened our commitment. Can you imagine being a Ukrainian law student today? Their education will enable them to play a leading role their nation's recovery – and it's an honor to be able to support that and to do it with Miami Law." 

Miami Law welcomed Shalinska, the second student under its scholarship program in support of graduates of Ukrainian law schools in spring 2023, to one of its international LL.M. programs, where the student will study and write on topics related to armed conflict and its aftermath, including the law of war, the use of force, humanitarian law, transitional justice, and international criminal law, as well as the effects of war on global commerce, contracts, and investments. As part of this scholarship program, Miami Law offered a full-tuition scholarship (current value $58,300). 

“I am honored and very grateful for such an opportunity in life. For me it is not only a possibility to give a new start to my career but also a chance to spread information about the situation in Ukraine and to be useful with my new skills and knowledge,” said Shalinska.

"We all have to do our part to show our support for Ukraine," said Professor Caroline M. Bradley, Dean's Distinguished Scholar and associate dean for International and Graduate Law Programs.

With one of the highest numbers of faculty members who teach or do scholarly research in the area of international law of any American law school, the University of Miami School of Law is renowned for its global and international law programs. With an extensive course catalog in international, foreign, and comparative law, Miami Law prepares students to work in a transnational global environment, address significant international law issues, and practice and engage with global policy issues. 

"We believe that our strong international programs and our faculty expertise in international law, international human rights, international finance and trade, and international dispute resolution, among other subjects, can really benefit Ukrainian law graduates looking to contribute scholarly work that can support the heroic efforts of Ukrainian people now and in the future," said Bradley.

Miami Law supports additional Ukrainian students by facilitating job opportunities on campus and with law firms, with generous scholarships, and by distributing funds raised through a 'Canefunder campaign for Ukraine.

Read more about Miami Law's LL.M. programs