LLM alumna finds niche in American immigration law

A headshot of an Asian woman in front of a red brick wall

Alumna Sze Man “Angel” Lau passed the California Bar Exam in July 2021, and began her career as a junior attorney specializing in immigration at Martinez Law Group in Sacramento.

When Sze Man “Angel” Lau, ’20, decided to attend law school at University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, she initially planned on returning home to China to practice law. But she changed her plans after falling in love with California and finding a niche in immigration law.

“The longer I stayed at McGeorge and in California, the more I realized that I wanted to remain here,” Lau said.

Lau passed the California Bar Exam in July 2021 and began her career as a junior attorney specializing in immigration at Martinez Law Group in Sacramento.

Lau began clerking for the firm in May 2021 and found an affinity for frequent client interaction, helping others who have come to America to achieve their dreams.

Lau initially became interested in earning a LLM degree in the United States and working toward licensure by a second bar association after she had graduated from law school in China and passed the Chinese Bar Exam.

She first heard about the LLM program at McGeorge School of Law while interning at Schindlers Law, a global firm. Pursuing her studies at McGeorge came highly recommended by a partner at the firm: McGeorge School of Law alumnus Xinzhi “Henry” Liao, ‘98. Liao serves on the school’s International Board of Advisors and frequently endorses his alma mater to young attorneys at the firm.

Liao shared his positive experiences at McGeorge with Lau and even helped her to successfully apply for a scholarship designed to assist international students.

“The scholarship really relieved my financial burdens, so I thought it was meant to be,” Lao said.

When she arrived to begin her studies, Lau was pleasantly surprised when saw the McGeorge campus in person for the first time. She enjoyed the school’s small, close-knit campus — especially the Gordon V. Schaber Law Library. She recalls spending late nights in the library salon, her favorite place to study.

Lau took advantage of McGeorge’s on-campus housing, one of few law schools that offers students the opportunity to live just steps away from their classes.

“Housing at McGeorge was so reasonable compared to the rest of Sacramento,” Lau said. “When I had early classes in the morning, I remember thinking, ‘Wow, I just have to wake up 15 minutes before and walk over.’”

Because Lau aspired to take the bar exam, she enrolled in classes for bar-tested subjects. One class that stands out to her is Torts, which was taught by Professor and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Larry Levine.

“I loved taking Torts with Professor Levine because he was really helpful,” Lau reflects. “I was really shy at that time and worried about being cold-called on in class. Even though he called on me several times, Professor Levine knew my background and completely understood. In the end, I got a pretty good score.” She and Professor Levine continued to keep in touch after she completed the class.

Lau’s advises LLM students to find the balance between experiencing a new culture and pursuing educational goals.

“Study hard – but at the same time – try to enjoy school life at McGeorge. There is so much to explore and appreciate,” she said.

For more information about McGeorge School of Law, visit

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