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Student Voice

Yaeka Haitani
Home country: Japan
*Ms. Haitani graduated the LLM in Global Legal Practice and received a Certificate in Business Law in March 2024.

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

Since I had six years of experience in the legal team of a Japanese firm, the idea of joining the LLM program was always on my mind. Therefore, where to pursue it was a more precise question. My main concern was whether I would be provided with courses that would be beneficial not only in today's society but also in the future. I searched several universities and colleges both in and out of Japan, but I chose the program at Keio in the end because it seemed to be forward-thinking and high-level. This impression did not change after I enrolled; Keio's courses span a variety of areas, covering basic theories and also exploring extended and open-ended hypothetical scenarios in the future. For example, the course 'Law of the Internet' looks at how the law has been designed in different countries to handle developing technologies like the Internet and discusses what kind of issues might arise in the future due to the emergence of new technologies like AI and how the legal field might be able to deal with such problems. Through the Keio LLM program, I realized the importance of being alert to the changes and thinking outside of the box for solutions to overcome challenges.


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

Because I enjoyed many courses, it is hard to pick one, but the most memorable one would be 'Negotiation' as it involved a lot of teamwork among classmates. The course allows students to learn how to achieve a 'win-win' solution during negotiations. We had a few lectures explaining techniques from some real business cases, but the highlight of the course was mock negotiations where we were separated into groups to represent two separate companies for a simulated business case. This required all students to be proactive during meetings, but we learned that other things like internal communications and adjustments within the company were also important for success. Because the Keio LLM program has many students from all over the world with different experiences, I enjoyed working with my classmates and learned a lot from them through our discussions. It was one of the fun courses, and I became very close friends with my teammates at the end.


What do you enjoy about life at Keio?

I enjoyed every part of being a student again. As I have already mentioned quite a lot about courses, please let me share the things I did in my spare time. Chatting while having lunch at the cafeterias of the Mita campus was always fun as I could interact with friends from different countries and experiences! When we had more time between classes, we would wander around nearby areas like the Tokyo Tower. I also had some homemade dinners in which we each cooked our own country's food. Attending several events in and out of campus was also enjoyable. For example, I attended the Keio baseball game against Waseda with my classmates; most of us did not know the rules of baseball but still managed to cheer for the Keio team and have fun!


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

I will be going back to working on the legal team again for now. Through the Keio LLM program, I not only gained knowledge and skills but also learned about the different ways of utilizing the degree in the legal field, which helped me form a better career ambition. Therefore, I hope to pursue this and keep on updating myself for new challenges in the future.


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

If you have any slight interest in joining the Keio LLM program, I hope you will apply and join because it would definitely be exciting!


(This interview is from March 2024.)

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