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LLM Alums’ Impactful Careers in Their Home Countries

May 31, 2024

group of Penn Carey Law LLM students in front of Penn shield
LLM Team Building 2023

Arman Tatoyan LLM’13, Ichsan Zikry LLM’20, Clara Hochleitner-Wanner LLM’18 returned to their home countries after earning Penn Carey Law LLM degrees. Learn more about their impactful careers.

As Arman Tatoyan LLM’13 earned his LLM degree at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, he was also shuttling back and forth to Europe on an international assignment.

As a member of the Council of Europe for the Prevention of Torture, he was required to attend plenary sessions and delegation missions.

Arman Tatoyan LLM'13 Arman Tatoyan LLM’13Since earning his LLM, he has served as the Vice Minister of Justice in Armenia, during which he pushed reforms through the Parliament that established inter alia criminal liability for torture for the first time. He was also elected to a six-year term as Ombudsman of Human Rights in his home country, a constitutional position in which he promoted and advocated for human rights in the country, investigated war crimes, and protected the rights of detainees and the disabled, children and women.

Tatoyan credits his LLM year for polishing his skills and introducing him to new legal regimes that have proven extremely useful. Studying in the United States, the pacesetter in the arena of human rights, further honed his negotiation skills and taught him how to secure evidence; a trial advocacy class helped him understand how the U.S. court system worked – knowledge that is essential in a cross-border world; and his collaboration with Senior Fellow David Rudovsky, the famed civil rights attorney, on a paper published in Armenia on arrest, detention, and human rights lent weight to Tatoyan’s evolving academic career.

“The school really contributed to my career,” Tatoyan said.

Like Tatoyan, public interest issues drive Ichsan Zikry LLM’20, who came halfway around the world from Indonesia to attend the Law School.

Ichsan Zikry LLM'20 Ichsan Zikry LLM’20A public defender at the time, Zikry worked hard to clean up public corruption in Indonesia. The government put up roadblocks, he said, to investigations of money laundering at government agencies.

Zikry began thinking that it would be of benefit to adopt some American legal procedures in his work. That and his desire to study with the Honorable Stephanos Bibas, a Senior Fellow and judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit with whose writings he had become familiar, led him to the Law School.

The LLM, Zikry said, improved his ability to think analytically but also provided him with key connections such as Adjunct Professor of Law Matthew Fishbein. Zikry, who took a class in White Collar Crime with Fishbein, turned to him when he represented the Ministry of Forestry and the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries in a corruption case before the Indonesian Supreme Court. Fishbein, Executive District Attorney for the Investigation Division in the Office of the Brooklyn District Attorney, served as one of Zikry’s expert witnesses. Fishbein’s linchpin testimony helped Zikry win the case, leading to reforms that permitted bodies other than the police to conduct investigations and bring public corruption charges.

Indeed, Zikry developed a far-flung network during weekly soccer matches with 20 to 30 classmates. He found the Law School’s small size conducive to relationship building.

“In larger schools, you don’t have enough time to get to know all the other students,” Zikry said. “What Penn gave me really meant a lot.”

Clara Hochleitner-Wanner LLM'18 Clara Hochleitner-Wanner LLM’18Clara Hochleitner-Wanner LLM’18 was working as a scientific assistant at the University of Innsbruck in Austria when the school sponsored her study abroad. “I enjoyed it from the very first day,” said Hochleitner-Wanner, who served as International Associate Editor of the Journal of International Law and research assistant in Intellectual Property Law during her LLM year. “You broaden your mind, and you think about things differently.”

After graduation, Hochleitner-Wanner clerked in the Court of Linz in the upper region of Austria. She now works for the family law firm, Hochleitner Rechtsanwälte GmbH, where she practices real estate and corporate law.

The LLM program, she said, has paid benefits to this day. Not long ago, she needed help with a real estate matter. She called a classmate in Greece who immediately responded with advice.

And always close at hand is something she learned in one of her first classes at Penn Carey Law. Called CREAC, it stands for Conclusion, Rule, Explanation, Application, Conclusion—and it works in any language or legal system.

“I still remember it. It’s important. I use it for legal texts all the time,” Hochleitner-Wanner said.” Lawyers write a lot, but often it’s not organized. It’s (CREAC) an organized system to explain to other people what you want to say.”

After years of public service, Tatoyan has gone full academic and public advocacy, utilizing his expertise in human rights. He chairs the master’s program for human rights and social justice at the American University of Armenia, where he teaches International Criminal Law and Introduction to Human Rights.

Now that Tatoyan is teaching full time, he reflects on his days at the Law School. In his own classroom, he emulates what he observed here, regularly referring to the U.S. system of jurisprudence and incorporating cases in a way that encourages student participation, he said.

Today, Zikry helps run an eponymous law firm in Indonesia named Angwyn Zikry. The firm specializes in litigation. He handles criminal and administrative law cases and state disputes.

Zikry called the United States a laboratory for his master’s studies. The United States, he said, shows how you can resolve problems through the law.

Learn more about Penn Carey Law’s rigorous LLM program.