Students of Miami Law’s White & Case International Arbitration LL.M. Program put their knowledge of international commercial and investment arbitration to the test this summer, as they embarked on various internships in the international dispute resolution field with law firms, multinational corporations and arbitral institutions in the United States and abroad.
Cutting-Edge Cases in Washington, D.C.
Kristina Klykova, a former Fulbright Scholar who also holds a law degree from Ukraine and a prior master’s from the World Trade Institute in Switzerland, and James East, an International Arbitration J.D./LL.M. joint degree student, joined White & Case LLP in Washington D.C., which is ranked as the top international arbitration firm by Global Arbitration Review. Klykova and East worked closely with Carolyn Lamm, Miami Law alumna and visiting professor in Miami Law’s International Arbitration LL.M. Program.
“My summer at White & Case has been an immensely rewarding experience on various levels,” said East. “As far as international arbitration is concerned, I have been fortunate to work on teams handling the type of high-profile, cutting-edge cases that we study in the LL.M. program. Working on such cases highlights the importance of thinking creatively, either while conducting research or crafting legal arguments.”
East emphasized that Miami Law prepared him to excel in the position, “having familiarity with the case law, relevant rules or treaties, and the procedural lifespan of an arbitration allowed me to step in and contribute to the team on day one. The knowledge and experience I garnered under the guidance of Jan Paulsson and our other professors, as well as program director Sandra Friedrich, positioned me for success on a daily basis.”
Joining White & Case this summer was “a dream come true” for Klykova. "From the moment I met Professor Lamm when I was a student in her Investment Arbitration course at Miami Law, I have been hoping that there would be a chance for me to work with her one day.”
This summer Klykova finally had that opportunity, contributing her expertise and language skills to investment arbitration cases involving Russian-speaking countries. “This experience was truly challenging and rewarding," said Klykova. "Apart from investment arbitration, I also got a chance to work on issues of international trade and federal civil procedure.”
High-Profile Casework in Miami, FL
Michael Rodriguez, International Arbitration J.D./LL.M. joint degree student and managing editor of the University of Miami Law Review, worked with Carlton Fields this summer. “The International Arbitration LL.M. provided me with a valuable tool set for big firm practice," said Rodriguez. "Because of the LL.M. classes, I was able to help with arbitrator selection in an ICC proceeding and discuss the inclusion of an arbitration clause in a corporate purchase agreement with a Georgian company. I do not believe I would have gained this knowledge without being part of the LL.M. program.”
Additionally, Frank Carrasco, International Arbitration J.D./LL.M. joint degree student and managing editor of the Inter-American Law Review, worked as a summer associate at Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, a Miami-based litigation firm. “Working at the firm exposed me to a wide array of practice areas spanning various jurisdictions,” said Carrasco. “I was able to sit in on depositions and draft motions for arbitration proceedings before the International Center for Dispute Resolution.”
“Most interesting of all was the work I did in connection with the El Faro case,” added Carrasco, “a high-profile dispute involving a freighter that was lost at sea with all hands after accidentally sailing into the eye of a Hurricane Joaquin last October. Working on the El Faro case required me to dive headlong into admiralty law, a fascinating field that was previously foreign to me.”
European experience at the ICC and White & Case in Paris
In France, Cuban lawyer Anabel Fernandez, who is pursuing her J.D./LL.M. in International Arbitration at Miami Law, worked at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, one of the leading international arbitration institutions in the world. She assisted the Secretariat of the ICC’s International Court of Arbitration with the management of ongoing arbitration proceedings and also had the opportunity to attend sessions of the Court. Fernandez finished out her summer at White & Case’s Paris office, where she conducted research and drafted legal memoranda on various issues involving ongoing international arbitration matters.
LL.M. Mentorship and Preparation for Success
As for the role Miami Law played in her summer associate experience with White & Case, Kristina Klykova is certain “such a position would not have been possible for me without Miami Law’s International Arbitration LL.M. Program. The professors I met, the courses I took, the research projects I was involved in – all of these led to the opportunity of working with White & Case, for which I am eternally grateful.”
Frank Carrasco agrees that Miami Law prepared him well for his summer position “to meet each and every challenge directly and successfully.” “My training through the White & Case International Arbitration LL.M. Program, as well as my involvement in Miami Law’s International Moot Court Program, enabled me to provide valuable assistance to the attorneys handling international matters.”
Job Offers after Internships
Both Kristina Klykova and James East received offers to return to White & Case as associates next year, joining the ranks of a long line of Miami Law alumni. Brian Vaca, who is pursuing an International Arbitration J.D./LL.M. joint degree, recently accepted an offer to join White & Case’s D.C. office as a summer associate next year, to work with Jonathan Hamilton, the head of the firm’s Latin American Arbitration practice group, who also lectures at Miami Law. Furthermore, Michael Rodriguez accepted an offer to join Arnold & Porter's D.C. office as a summer associate next year to work in the firm's international dispute resolution practice. Klykova will continue to work as a law clerk with White & Case’s International Arbitration team in Washington, D.C. remotely out of the firm’s Miami office until graduation.
The White & Case International Arbitration LL.M. Program provides a unique individualized educational opportunity for a small group of top quality students from a range of countries, wishing to acquire an in-depth grounding in the field of international arbitration as a platform for a successful career. The program - the only one of its kind in the United States - is open to U.S. and foreign-trained law graduates, and is ideal for newcomers to the field or experienced practitioners looking to enrich their skills and knowledge.