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Student Voice

Yoko Akazome
Home country: Japan
*Ms. Akazome graduated the LLM in Global Legal Practice and received a Certificate in Intellectual Property Law in March 2022.

How did you find out about the LLM program, and what attracted you to pursue it?

To improve the job quality to manage subsidiaries in the legal department at the global head-quarters of a private company, I believed that worldwide knowledge is required not only in intellectual property but also in data protection agreements and cross-border litigation strategy. When I attended a seminar held by the Japan Patent Attorney Association, Professor Takenaka introduced LL.M. of the Keio University Law School, which provides well-organized courses and a wide variety of curricula, including optional choices of the JD classes of the Keio University Law School, global classes of the Waseda University Law School, and more other external webinars. All classes are conducted in English, discussion with talented international students, such as an in-house counsel, lawyer, and judge, strengthens debating skill in English. The LL.M. program is a very good opportunity for global legal learning for a working person in a company or a law firm, because we, Japanese, have very little chance to study abroad.


Please tell us about your most memorable class, along with the reason why.

Professor Takenaka kindly supervised to complete the Research Paper of "Comparative Study of AI and IoT-related Patent Infringement," and frequently gave advice and instructed intellectual property regulations in the United States and the EU to manage, negotiate, and enforce internationally. I took classes below to apply the Certificates of the LL.M. in Global Legal Practice, concerning Intellectual Property Act; ・Research Paper I and Research Paper II, and Graduate Writing Seminar ・Global Intellectual Property Management ・International IP Licensing Agreements ・Intellectual Property Case Law and Enforcement ・Intellectual Property from a Global Perspective ・Law of the Internet (Big Tec and cyber security) . Not only intellectual property acts but also the latest cyber security regulations in the United States and the EU could be learned from a lecture by who acts in the frontline of business field. In discussions and group works, substantial exercises for data protection agreements and cross-border litigation strategy were provided using a lot of updated material and information on the Internet, papers, and textbooks.


What do you enjoy about life at Keio?

The classes in the 2021 semesters were run by a hybrid of online and in-person, I appreciated the hybrid manner because time management is a big problem especially for a working person. Owing to the hybrid class, I could attend almost all classes. My classmates are from worldwide, I could enjoy meeting the students in the classroom in the Mita campus in Tokyo. It is difficult for a working person who want to avoid job interruption to study abroad, but the LL.M. program could make me learn abroad-like and keep staying and working in Japan. In the group work, we had to collaborate in preparing for the next class subject every week; sometimes we struggled because the subject for homework is not in our major field; thus, we helped each other to make a presentation in the next class, resulting in strong ties among us. After classes, we enjoyed excellent international cuisine in Tokyo, such as Korean, Lao, Vietnamese, Italian, and Japanese cuisine.


What are your plans after you finish your studies at Keio? What do you think you will take with you from this experience?

Comprehensive learning of the Constitutions, the Treaties, the Civil Codes, and Civil Procedure Acts enhanced my understanding of Intellectual Property Acts. The class of Drafting International Agreements promoted improving my skill of agreement drafting on my job. I got the confidence to manage, negotiate, and enforce internationally based on the resilient knowledge acquired through the LL.M.program. I have decided that I will keep studying not only intellectual property but also data protection agreements and cross-border litigation strategies. I really want to share the knowledge in-house and try to teach at academic sites, if I have a chance.


Any advice for prospective LLM students? How would you recommend the Keio LLM program to the students?

I strongly recommend Keio LL.M. to a working person staying in Japan without plenty of time to study abroad in the center of Tokyo. The LL.M. students can enjoy campus life in an ideal study environment (lecturers, student office staffs, facilities including e-libraries) to enrich and enhance skill and experience.


(This interview is from February 2022.)

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