Hailing from all over the world, the LL.M. graduates of the International Graduate Law Programs represent the success of an international legal education at Miami Law.
"I'm incredibly proud of the hard work our students have put into their growth during their time at Miami Law," said IGLP Director Jessica Carvalho Morris, Esq. "I look forward to hearing about their future successes, wherever life may take them."
Many will go on to work in major law firms, prestigious banking or governmental institutions, while others are planning to further their legal studies in the J.D. Program. From Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and the U.S., the following stories highlight some of the top LL.M. graduates of the Class of 2013:
International Arbitration LL.M. graduate and Mexican lawyer Santiago Aguilar was selected as the 2013 LL.M. student marshal. Prior to coming to Miami, Aguilar forged a promising educational and professional career in arbitration in Guadalajara, Mexico. In 2008, he participated in the Vis Moot, and later coached the Universidad Panamericana moot team in Guadalajara for three years, serving two of those years as head coach. Aguilar earned second place in Mexico's "Centro de Arbitraje" National Arbitration Championship in 2007, interned at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris and is a certified arbitrator for low-cost proceedings.
Based on his accomplishments, Aguilar received the Miami Law Dean's merit scholarship, as well as a merit-based scholarship from the National Council of Science and Technology in Mexico.
Aguilar was offered an associate position with White & Case. He will first start in the Americas Disputes Section of White & Case's D.C. office and then return to Mexico to work for White & Cases' Mexico City office.
Icelandic finance lawyer, Cobb Family Fellowship recipient and International Law LL.M. graduate Iris Hreinsdottir obtained her BA and Masters in Law from Reykjavik University. She previously worked as a Legal Advisor and Public Relations Director for The Financial Supervisory Authority in Iceland. She also taught courses on white collar crimes, financial regulations and securities at Reykjavik University and the University of Iceland. Upon returning to Iceland, Hreinsdottir will take a position with the prestigious Iceland Arion Bank.
"Miami was a great experience," said Hreinsdottir. "Besides it being a good university, I loved the weather, which is very different from Iceland, the beaches and the friends I made from all over the world."
Before coming to the U.S., Ukrainian lawyer and a fellow of the Edmund Muskie Fellowship Program, Svitlana Vodyanyk, was an expert for the Confederation of Employers of Ukraine and an external collaborator for International Labor Organization, advocating on issues of gender equality, labor rights and increasing the competitiveness of the Ukrainian economy. She received an award from the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee of Ukraine for outstanding work on important legislative initiatives. At Miami Law, she specialized in U.S. and Transnational Law for Foreign Lawyers and interned at the Investor Rights Clinic.
This summer, Vodyanyk will intern at the Law Library of Congress in Washington D.C., researching matters of foreign, comparative, international, and U.S. law for Congress, the Federal Courts, Executive Agencies and the public. Vodyanyk plans on returning to Ukraine upon the completion of the internship.
Nikolaos Tsolakidis, a German Fulbright Scholar who completed the International Arbitration LL.M. program, graduated in the top 2% of his state in Germany. He came to Miami to develop his doctoral thesis on investment arbitration and was awarded the CALI Excellence award in the Alternative Dispute Resolution course. Tsolakidis recently published an article in the Transnational Dispute Management journal, titled "Host-State Counterclaims: A Remedy for Fraud or Corruption in Investment-Treaty Arbitration?" in which Visiting Professor Carolyn Lamm is the special editor.
Tsolakidis, who recently accepted a position with the Americas Disputes Section of White & Case's D.C. office, attributes Miami Law's coursework, expanded network, faculty and access to research resources in helping him to develop his ideas on investment arbitration's review mechanisms and possible reforms.
"Being able to talk with the faculty, especially Professors Jan Paulsson and Carolyn Lamm, really made a difference for me. Without them, I would be sitting in a library writing a thesis without getting substantial feedback," said Tsolakidis. "If you want to specialize in international arbitration, I don't think there's another university in the United States that has comparable faculty."
When Wamiq Chowdhury, International Arbitration LL.M. graduate, won the first ever Miami Law/Young International Council for International Arbitration Scholarship last year, he set his hopes on representing the university in an international moot competition.
Chowdhury succeeded by representing the Miami Law team where he was awarded an honorable mention for best oralist at the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot competition in Vienna, Austria. His team advanced to the final 16 out of 295, the first time in Miami Law's history, and they won an honorable mention in the written component of the competition.
"One of my main goals when I knew I would be coming to Miami was to do the Vis," said Chowdhury. "It has been the highlight of my year."
Chowdhury obtained his JD from the New York University School of Law after receiving the Institute for International Law and Justice Scholarship, and obtained his AB degree from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Nadia Westcarr Drayton, International Law LL.M. graduate, obtained her LLB from the University of the West Indies in Barbados, with honors, and completed her studies a year early. She received the Andrea Gabrielle Lloyd Memorial Prize for Outstanding Contribution to the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica and represented the school's European Union Law Student's Association Moot Court Competition in Bogota Colombia. In 2009, Drayton and her team were honored with Best Respondents' Submissions and Best Overall Submissions.
Drayton aspires to practice law in the United States and is currently awaiting a response as to her JD admission at Miami Law.
"My LLM experience has been a memorable one," said Drayton. "I look forward to being a part of UM's outstanding alumni."