Students of Miami Law’s White & Case International Arbitration LL.M. Program put their knowledge of international commercial and investment arbitration to the test, as they embarked on various summer internships with prestigious arbitral institutions in the United States and abroad.
Ignacio Duque, Ramya Ramachanderan & Ndifreke Uwem
Venezuelan Ignacio Duque, a current International Arbitration J.D./LL.M. joint degree student, spent the summer in Washington, D.C., interning at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes.
While there, Duque engaged in gathering case information for a transparency project, and in reviewing the proposed amendments to ICSID's Arbitration Rules.
“I also attend several hearings, reviewed requests for arbitration and prepared memorandums analyzing if the requests comply with the ICSID requirements for registration by the ICSID Secretariat,” he says. “Although I had some experience in international arbitration from my previous work experience, my studies in the White & Case International Arbitration LL.M. have allowed me to deepen further that knowledge, both theoretical and practical.”
“One can have much theoretical knowledge, but arbitration requires practical knowledge just the same,” Duque said. “That is why I enjoyed classes like "Forensics of Advocacy in International Arbitration" with Professors Daniel Gonzalez and Luke Sobota, and "International States Responsibility" with Professor Jan Paulsson, the faculty chair of the International Arbitration LL.M. Meeting and talking to such renowned international arbitration lawyers shaped the career path that I want to follow.”
His advice to incoming students: take advantage from day one of the career development and networking opportunities the International Arbitration LL.M. has to offer. Try to form personal relations with professors and local arbitration practitioners because networking is key when seeking jobs.
Ramya Ramachanderan, a current International Arbitration J.D./LL.M. student, interned at the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board last summer in Seoul, South Korea.
The native of India finds her LL.M. class to be very diverse, giving students the ability to engage in a dialogue with students from a wide variety of jurisdictions.
“I have had the opportunity of working with some of my classmates as we tackled international arbitration issues in our classes and worked as a team representing Miami Law in Vienna for the Willem C. Vis International Arbitration Moot,” she says.” A personal favorite from my time at Miami Law is the ability to be in classes with professors who encourage students to engage in purposeful dialogue about cutting-edge international arbitration issues. It has made me a more open-minded, patient student and inspired me always to stay curious. Miami Law also presents some incredible opportunities for its students to meet and network with some of the most exceptional professionals in international arbitration. It is a privilege to be part of a program that focuses on the students’ specific goals by encouraging them to be better than the best!”
Ramachanderan says the coursework is rigorous. “However, I would like to encourage students to take the occasional time off to enjoy Miami,” she adds.
Ndifreke Uwem also spent the summer in Washington, D.C., interning at ICSID.
The Nigerian native is a current International Arbitration J.D./LL.M. student. He says that working at ICSID opened his eyes to the world of investment arbitration from the institutional perspective. “I have had the rare opportunity of experiencing every stage of the dispute settlement process – from reviewing Requests for Arbitration, drafting working papers for Procedural Orders, Decisions, and Awards, to performing conflict checks on potential arbitrators.
“This experience has left me with invaluable insight into the much sought-after world of investment disputes settlement,” Uwem says. “As a student in the International Arbitration LL.M., having taken investment arbitration courses with Professors Carolyn Lamm, Nassib Ziadé, and Rudolf Dolzer, I felt prepared to take on the challenges at ICSID.
“The International Arbitration LL.M. is uniquely suited to position you for success in this field,” he says. “I am particularly appreciative of the opportunity to complete a practicum placement in Shutts & Bowen’s IDR practice. Also, I am grateful to have served as Research Assistant to the International Arbitration Institute on two cutting-edge projects, serve as Assistant Coach to the Vis Arbitration Moot Team, traveling to Paris and Vienna, and publish an article in Miami Law’s International and Comparative Law Review. It all seemed very daunting at first, but in hindsight, I am very happy I chose this program because I probably wouldn’t have had these opportunities otherwise.”
Uwen is looking forward to his studies for the International Arbitration J.D./LL.M. Joint Degree Program. “As with my LL.M., I am prepared to engage in more stimulating challenges during my J.D. studies,” he says.
“Quite apart from your primary curricular work,” he advises incoming students, “try to get involved in other activities such as the moot court, research, and writing. Take advantage of the guidance and mentorship of the experienced practitioners at your disposal. No other institution, the world over, has such an impressive array of specialists in the field of international arbitration. Make the most of it. The one year goes by really quickly!”