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Valeria Antonella Chiappini

portrait of Valeria Antonella Chiappini
Valeria Antonella Chiappini LL.M. '20

Why was Cornell Law School the right choice for you?

Cornell Law School was the right choice for me because I wanted to get an elite education while experiencing life in a small city. The fact that classes are medium-sized, allows students to be easily identified and stand-out by their own merits. It’s easy to get to know professors and to bond with other students, and I was looking for a place where I could benefit from the community but also where my contribution would be truly valued.

What surprised you about your experience here?

Cornell truly met every expectation I had about the program, the school, and the overall experience. But what surprised me the most was the vast pool of opportunities and resources available to students; how involved alumni are in the development of present students; and the immense support the law school provides to student life.

How did you grow—professionally or personally—through the program?

Lawyers from civil jurisdictions are taught to think about the law in a very specific way, and being exposed to the common law system allowed me to develop a very different approach towards the law and the exercise of the profession. I feel my legal scope was considerably broadened. Lastly, I was able to develop and hone some new legal and professional skills, like negotiation, oral advocacy, and leadership.

What are some things that set Cornell Law School apart from other schools you considered?

My favorite thing about Cornell is that it has a small Law School feel, with big law school resources and opportunities. It’s easy to connect and get to know professors and peers in a way it’s impossible at a big law school. Furthermore, I was given plenty of opportunities to connect with alumni as well, who provided valuable advice for my career. The campus itself is also particularly beautiful and inviting.

How would you describe the sense of community at the Law School?

Cornell Law School has a unique sense of community. From the first time I ever visited the school, I was welcomed as I belonged. I was truly impressed by the warmth with which I was received, and I never ceased to feel that I was home.

What would you tell a prospective student about the location of Cornell Law School (i.e., within a large university in a small, rural city) and how it impacted your experience as a student?

I loved living in Ithaca. The fact that the city is small is a huge incentive to get more involved with the Cornell Community and it truly encouraged me to participate more and take more opportunities within the law school, than I would have if I lived in a bigger city. Bigger cities are exciting on their own, and usually, commute takes up much more time, which takes away from school life. It is also fun to participate in local activities that don’t happen in bigger cities as well, like the huge variety of festivals the city of Ithaca hosts throughout the year. Finally, the area is beautiful and is great for outdoor lovers.

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