Top Chinese Legal Counsel Advances Her Career with an LLM Degree from Loyola

Ran Zhang’ 14

As a child growing up in the Shandong Province in eastern China, Ran Zhang’ 14 found the idea of justice and equity captivating. Zhang made it her goal to attend law school one day. In 2003, she graduated from the Jilin University School of Law in Jilin, China, and quickly went on to serve as a house legal counsel for Yuanda China Holdings Limited, where she helped oversee contracts for local and overseas clients.

But Zhang wanted to continue advancing her legal skills, and after working with two Loyola Law School, Los Angeles alums—Scott Lane ‘97 and Patrick Duffy ’69—Zhang developed a deep appreciation for Loyola. “Both Lane and Duffy have outstanding professional attitudes and skills. I admired the law school which trained such excellent lawyers.” Zhang left her high-profile job in China to pursue an LLM degree at Loyola in Los Angeles to help advance her own career. “I believe all the best attorneys are trained in U.S.,” she said.

During her time at Loyola, Zhang worked with Professor Seagull Song, also originally from China, assisting Song with translation and research involving entertainment law and IP licensing. Zhang also worked as a coordinator and interpreter in an entertainment law-training program, developing skills that would later serve her legal career in China.

Zhang notes that there were some challenges to studying in the U.S., but her professors at Loyola helped her tackle them. “The language, totally different legal system, advanced legal analysis and research skills, were obstacles for me.” But, she shares, Loyola excels at partnering students with mentors, and working closely with Song and other faculty members helped her broaden her legal skills, her English language skills, and her perspective.

Zhang, who now serves as senior legal counsel for Opple Lighting Co., LTD in Shanghai, China, says obtaining her LLM degree from Loyola helped her enormously with advancing her career to the next level.

Opple, one of top manufactures in the lighting industry in China, regularly recruits high-level candidates with experience in Fortune 500 companies, but with Loyola’s training, Zhang’s practical experience was comparable.

“Loyola’s LLM training strengthened my legal and professional skills, which helped me obtain the job I’ve always wanted in a very competitive market.”