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Catalina Roa Pacheco Talks About the Socratic Method, the LLM Program, and Cincinnati Traffic


Catalina Roa Pacheco, formerly a practicing attorney in Colombia, will be graduating this spring with her LLM degree. Originally from Bogotá, Roa Pacheco moved to the United States in 2012 with her husband.  Though she was working as an attorney in Colombia, Roa Pacheco was unsure of whether she would continue with the legal profession in Cincinnati.  Her husband, who is completing his residency at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center, recommended that she check out UC Law and the LLM program. In fact, she had the opportunity to participate in a program to learn more about UC Law, the LLM program, and the city of Cincinnati.  “Working with the LLM Admissions Office made the process very easy,” she shared.  “Seeing how easy it was to apply and that I was able to get a scholarship made my decision easy.”

In her spare time, Roa Pacheco shared that she enjoys watching movies, particularly documentaries, for some respite from the classroom and library.  She also enjoys living downtown and taking walks around the heart of the city.  “Cincinnati is completely different from Bogotá,” said Roa Pacheco.  “But I have really enjoyed my time here.  The people are amazing.” While Cincinnati is a smaller city, it still has much to offer, she believes. One difference she shared might surprise Cincinnatians: Roa Pacheco  says that the traffic here is much better than in Bogotá.  (Keep this in mind on your next commute through the orange cone maze!)  Cincinnati also showed her snow for the first time; and Roa Pacheco finds the springtime here to be beautiful. 

The Challenges of Different Legal Systems and the Socratic Method

Like many other internationally trained lawyers, pursuing her LLM degree is the first time Roa Pacheco has really engaged with a common law legal system.  Not only is the legal system different and challenging to learn, but the classroom experience is also different. She remarked that the Socratic method was a bit intimidating at first (something most law students and UC Law alums can relate to).

Roa Pacheco has been able to gain additional practical experience outside the classroom with an externship at ProKids, a nonprofit agency that provides advocacy for abused and neglected children in Hamilton County.  This sort of public interest work has struck a chord with her, and she plans on practicing in this field when she returns to Colombia in a few years.