Alumna’s LLM degree opens the door to new opportunities

A woman sitting barefoot on a couch.

Daisy Deng, '12, advanced her career and made a life's dream of studying abroad possible by pursuing an LL.M. at McGeorge School of Law.

Xiaoxia (Daisy) Deng, ’12, dreamt of studying abroad and earning an LLM degree. But it was not until she spoke with her boss, University of Pacific McGeorge School of Law alumnus, and International Board of Advisors member, Henry (Xinzhi) Liao, that she learned McGeorge School of Law could make her dream a reality.

Before Deng came to McGeorge School of Law, she was an accomplished attorney at Schinders Law Firm in China for about three years. While on a business trip, Deng discussed her career plan with Liao. He offered valuable advice that became the catalyst for Deng’s journey to McGeorge.

“[Liao] encouraged me to take an overseas academic program, not only for the degree itself, but the experience of living abroad for a year or so would widen my field of vision and impact on my understanding of life and world,” Deng said.

Liao specifically recommended McGeorge School of Law to Deng. She took Liao’s advice to heart and McGeorge was the only law school she applied to. 

“I had heard a lot about McGeorge from [Liao] since long ago: the courses are well designed, the professors are responsible, the campus is small but beautiful, and last but not the least, living expenses at Sacramento are more reasonable and acceptable compared to big cities,” Deng said.

She was initially nervous about coming to the United States, but she made fond memories during her time at McGeorge. She instantly made wonderful friends and received plenty of help from caring faculty, including Director of Graduate and International Programs, Jocelyn Blinn and Assistant Dean for the Graduate, Online, and International Programs Clemence Kucera.

“McGeorge was an unforgettable journey for me and my family,” remarked Deng, who had her first child while attending McGeorge.

In the classroom, professors Hether Macfarlane and Jeff Proske, in particular, provided Deng with opportunities to explore different cases, improve her reasoning and writing skills, and expand her visions.

“Daisy Deng was a student in my Business Transactions: The Art of the Deal course in the spring of 2012. I developed the course to help students understand the art of negotiating and drafting effective contracts,” Proske said. “Daisy and her partner did a marvelous presentation for the class examining a complex manufacturing agreement. We all learned a great deal from Daisy and her partner that day. I’m delighted to know she’s thriving in the profession.”

After graduation from McGeorge, Deng’s LLM degree opened up a world of opportunities to advance her career. Currently, Deng is senior legal counsel at, a NYSE listed company.

“With my experience there, I grew to become a more confident and competent lawyer. My studies at McGeorge benefited my work significantly. When communicating with colleagues from U.S. headquarters in my last job, my understanding of U.S. legal systems and proceedings helps me explain the differences with those of China,” Deng said.