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WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Sara Rigazio (LL.M. Class of 2010)

eP Article: Extra Story Photo (copy)

Sara Rigazio


From Rigazio Oct. 12, 2010:
“After graduation I went back to Italy since I had a temporary appointment at the University of Palermo to teach a two-credit course in European private law. When the course finished, I continued to collaborate with my mentor, a professor in the same university, until the end of the semester and final exams.

At the end of July, though, I moved back to the U.S. since my husband got a job at the local hospital in New Haven, Conn. I am continuing working for the University of Palermo, being part of a project funded by the Ministry of Education, while in the meantime working to finish writing my study focused on the autonomy of minors (children) and their legal status under international and national laws.

While we hope to go back to Italy someday, we also know that the economic situation is very bad, particularly regarding the academic world, so I am also looking around for a job in New Haven or New York.

The LL.M. has been really a great experience for me, and not only from a professional perspective. If we stay in the U.S., we will definitely try to come back to Minnesota!”

Rigazio’s profile in Spring 2010 Perspectives, by Todd Melby:
For her doctoral thesis, Sara Rigazio explored the nuances of U.S. and European antitrust law. These days, the 31-year-old Italian is enhancing her international legal studies as an LL.M. student at the Law School.

“The program is very hard,” she says between sips of cappuccino at a Minneapolis coffee shop. “It’s fast. It’s not in my original language. Sometimes it’s

overwhelming.” At Italian universities, classes are large, which often prevents discussions between students and professors. Not at the Law School, where students are expected to arrive ready to debate the topic of the day. “I’ve never read so much,” she says. “You have to always be prepared. It’s a good thing. I like it.”

After leaving her hometown of La Spezia, located on the Ligurian Sea, Rigazio earned a political science degree at the University of Pisa. “In Italy, the political science degree is very similar to the law degree,” she says. Her studies at the University of Pisa focused on antitrust law.

In working on her Ph.D. at the University of Palermo, Rigazio further researched and analyzed the subject, resulting in her doctoral thesis, “Anti-trust and Professions: The Sports Agent.” She conducted part of her Ph.D. research at New York University, and although she found the environment intellectually stimulating, the city left her cold. “It’s very big, so sometimes you feel very small,” she says.

In contrast, Minnesota has warmed her heart, despite its sometimes harsh weather. “It’s a great place,” Rigazio says. “‘Minnesota Nice’ is really true.”

When she’s not reading, studying, or in the classroom, Rigazio can often be found in the Hennepin County Juvenile Justice Center observing child protection and adoption cases. She hopes the experience will help her get a job as a professor with a specialty in family law, a longtime interest of hers.

“Right now in Italy, there are not many possibilities,” she says. “I don’t know if my plan is going to work, but I hope so.”