Rurngchai Ruangsri, LL.M. Class of 2020


1. What country are you from and where did you get your law degree?
I’m from Thailand. I received my first law degree (LL.B.) from Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand; and my first LL.M. last year from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA (Global Business Law Program).

2. Tell us something about yourself and your country of origin?
I was born and have lived in Thailand for most of my life. Prior to coming to the U.S., I’ve been working in Thailand, mostly in the public sector as a legal officer. After a few years of practicing, I decided to further my career by coming to the U.S. for a master’s degree.

As for my home country, I’m sure you must have tried Thai food; and that would be one of things people think of when they hear of Thailand. Also, I think Thailand is one of most famous tourist destinations. If you ask me about Thailand, I’d definitely recommend you spend a week there, especially in the southern part of Thailand. (Try searching the name Krabi and Satun!!)

3. Why did you decide to seek a graduate degree in the U.S. and what attracted you to SMU Law?
To further my career path would be my main reason, also to see the world. Coming to the U.S. was a big step out of my comfort zone. I find this journey to be quite a challenge and I’m very certain that the next chapter would be more challenging—I’m looking for an opportunity to work in the U.S.

SMU Law is very famous in Thailand, among the law students. I’ve known many alumni from the SMU Dedman School of Law, and they are either judges or renowned practitioners in Thailand. That’s how I’ve come to know about SMU Law. Moreover, Dallas is a city known for opportunities with great food! I’m deeply grateful for being in this program.

4. What has been your favorite class?
It’s hard to select only one class, because all of the classes are awesome. However, if I had to choose one, I’d pick the LL.M.’s Property class. Dean Camp’s been a great professor and I love his teaching style. Despite the great examples he gave in his class, he also told us stories which gives us great insights. We’ve learned a lot, not only about law, but also about life.

5. Tell us about your experience in the Corporate Counsel Externship Program?
I’ve been doing my externship at Zix Corporation. Their office is in the Cityplace Building in Dallas. Working at Zix and with Mr. Noah Webster has been my best experience in the U.S. He’s a great mentor and a great boss. I’ve been doing a few projects with him and we’ve achieved our goals. Doing the projects really improved my researching and writing skills. Also, before starting this externship program, I’d always thought that it would be like the series “The Office”; but it turns out to be something very different. The place feels welcoming and warm, and the people there so nice— No one yelling “Michael.” Of course. I really enjoy the experience and I’m really thankful for this experience SMU has provided. I hope this program will continue to give the future students as wonderful and memorable an experience as I’ve had.

6. What is our favorite thing to do in Dallas?
I’m the person who enjoys eating and Dallas is just the perfect place for me. BBQ, Tex-Mex, Steaks, Burgers, etc. Dallas is the wonder of great food!

7. What are you planning to do after graduation?
I’m hoping to stay in the U.S. for a while gaining new work experiences.

8. What tips or advise do you have for a new LL.M. student?
Studying is important but be sure to go out and experience all the great stuff out there. Being a part of SMU Law is an opportunity of a lifetime. Pony up!!