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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - International Dispute Resolution

Students about the IDR LL.M.

Name: Jorge  

Class of 2016/17

Age: 32

Comes From / Home Country: Chile

Jorge

 

What was the decisive point for you to apply for the IDR master program?

 

It is no secret that the world is a smaller place everyday. The constant integration between the nations has developed an increasing of international relations, particularly in the field of trade. This requires many of specially trained lawyers in the field of international law that could take care of these transactions, and, why not, of the dispute that will naturally arise from them. The International Dispute Resolution master program at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin fulfills the requirements to give lawyers this special preparation. The decisive point was, thus, having the possibility to be trained in an area that will have an increasing demand in the years to come.

 

What do you hope to gain from the Master´s degree?

 

Firstly, I am hoping to get as much knowledge as I can from our groups of lectures, which combines prominent scholars with recognized practitioners, making an excellent mixture between academics and lawyers actually involved in international disputes. Also I have had the opportunity of getting introduced to the German way of legal thinking, which has been quite challenging, but nevertheless, very interesting and enriching. Besides that, being a non-native English speaker, I have the opportunity to develop my language skills. Finally, I also hope that the Master degree opens me some doors in order to follow a career in international dispute resolutions here in Germany or in Europe, and later in my home country of Chile.  

 

The first semester draws to an end, what is your conclusion regarding the first semester?

 

The first semester has been very challenging, with an intense schedule of lectures and an exhaustive preparation for the exams, but it has also left some time for enjoying the city of Berlin, for doing studies in other fields of interests and also for learning some German at the Language Center of the university, which is five minutes away from the Law Faculty. Besides that, I am very pleased with the teaching staff of the program, which has provided us with a lot of substantive knowledge in the field of the Master. Finally, and certainly extremely important, my classmates are so brilliant that we have had the most elevating discussions in class, which have certainly improved my experience in the program.   

 

How you feel about living and studying in Berlin?

 

Berlin is a great city with an enormous cultural and historical background. Something is always happening in Berlin, from the bars on the edge of river Spree in the summer to the Christmas Markets in winter; from the Festival of Lights in November to the Berlinale in February. It is impossible to get bored in Berlin! Also, Berliners are very friendly, they will always try to speak to you in English if you don’t know German and they will try to help you to solve any issue that you may have. This is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world; you may hear 5 or 10 different languages every time you are walking in the street. But, most important to all that, Berlin is a city where you can breathe freedom. You are allowed to do anything you want, as long as you don’t bother anyone else. And that is invaluable. 

 

Where do you see your professional future?

 

I see my future working as a lawyer in international disputes. I hope this master could open me some doors to do so here in Germany or in Europe, gain some experience, and a few years from now go back to Chile in order to contribute to my country, either in the private industry or in some public office in which my expertise could be useful.

 

Why would you recommend the IDR master program to other students?

 

There is a whole amount of reasons to recommend the IDR master program to other students. First, the quality of the teachers is outstanding. Then, the quality of the attendants to the program is in such a high level that allows you to learn even more about what you are been taught. Also, we must consider that globalization is a fact, and having specific skills in that field will be, without a shadow of a doubt, an asset in lawyer future challenges. Finally, studying in Berlin allows not only to enjoy one of the most amazing cities in the world, but also to learn the German way of doing things, which I find very interesting and useful in the tasks that the future will provide us.

 

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Name: Jake

Class of 2016/17

Age: 28

Comes From / Home Country: Australia

 

Jake

 

What was the decisive point for you to apply for the IDR master program?

 

I was first introduced to the field of international arbitration through my participation in the 2014 Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration moot.  I was fascinated by the complicated legal procedures involved, and became very interested in pursuing a career in arbitration.  After graduating from law school and working at an international law firm in Australia in a transactional role, I decided the time was right to rediscover the world of arbitration.  The Humboldt University IDR program seemed to align perfectly with my interests and my decision to apply was a no brainer.

 

What do you hope to gain from the Master´s degree?

 

I hope to hone my knowledge of the law of international commercial arbitration, learn about investment arbitration and ultimately develop my skills across a range of alternative methods of dispute resolution.

 

The first semester draws to an end, what is your conclusion regarding the first semester?

 

The first semester has been an at times dizzying, but overwhelmingly enjoyable period.  We have enjoyed lectures from distinguished practitioners on a wide range of interesting topics in addition to our main classes.  It is this quality and diversity of teaching that has ensured that complex concepts could be robustly discussed and analysed.  We have had a number of interesting class discussions and it has been a very enriching experience to date.

 

How do you feel about living and studying in Berlin?

 

Berlin is a fascinating place to live and study.  Truly, the plethora of distractions from studying is the biggest problem.  Berlin is a city for everyone, regardless of your tastes and interests.  Although the wintertime is not without its charms, I am very much looking forward to the return of the atmospheric Berlin summer.  While by no means a requirement, I would highly recommend some German classes for non-speakers, it really does help with adapting and integrating to life here.

 

Where do you see your professional future?

 

I aim to develop a career in arbitration and international dispute resolution.  I am interested in working in private practice, but I am also interested in working for an arbitration institution or other international organization.  Ultimately, I hope to play a role in promoting the use of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution.

 

Why would you recommend the IDR master program to other students?

 

I would absolutely recommend the IDR program to prospective students because of the quality of the insight provided by the lecturers as well as the location of the program in Berlin.  Arbitration as well as Berlin provide for a dynamic combination that I am sure will exceed all expectations.

 

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Name: Adam

Class of 2015/16

Age: 31

Comes From / Home Country: Thessaloniki, Greece

 

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What was the decisive point for you to apply for the IDR master program?

 

The prospect of studying international dispute resolution in such a diverse cultural environment and the opportunity to compare the different approaches on the matter is an exciting anticipation on its own. The reason that led me to apply for the International Dispute Resolution LL.M. program is threefold: first, the acquisition of the cutting-edge know-how; second, the collaboration with top academic minds and practitioners of the field, whose work has inspired me to date; and third, the search for the valuable mentorship that will enhance my career development and position me to become an active participant of international commercial arbitration. International Dispute Resolution is not merely the best, but rather the only way I envision achieving my long-term goal to represent both the field and my jurisdiction in the international legal community.

 

What do you hope to gain from the Master´s degree?

 

I hope to expand my knowledge and expertise and to gain a strong academic background in the fields of International Arbitration Law with the goal to specialize in international commercial arbitration. It is my ambition to gain wide range erudition in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution for the pursuit of an academic and professional career in the field.

 

The first semester draws to an end, what is your conclusion regarding the first semester?

 

To date, the program has been very demanding and intense, but, at the same time, rewarding. The legal practitioners and professors I met in the LL.M. program so far were exceptional able to push us beyond the boundaries of our traditional way of thinking and guide us through a wide variety of exciting and controversial legal issues, appropriate to be applied in my career. I feel really lucky that I was able to explore international arbitration law through this LL.M. program by attending lectures given by experts from all over the world in an excellent environment with great facilities in the beautiful city of Berlin. The program consists of a unique combination of carefully selected courses provided by an excellent, distinguished and well chosen international academic staff. It is a real privilege for me to be able to listen to all those experts from around the world who have thorough and up-to-date knowledge about International Arbitration.

 

How do you feel about living and studying in Berlin?

 

I consider studying in Berlin as a unique opportunity for a law student to experience an educational system of renowned quality and well-reputed tradition. To be honest, this was the main motive from the very beginning that made me choose Germany and particularly Humboldt University of Berlin in order to pursue postgraduate studies. I believe it is this rigorous learning environment of Berlin universities that provides students with numerous chances, both academic and professional, thus leading to wider perspectives for each one’s future. Moreover, the multinational character of student communities in these universities makes it possible to interact with people from different cultures and origins, which can prove to be a most rewarding experience. It is true, that living and studying in a foreign country does bring about a number of difficulties that, basically, have to do with living on your own, far away from the people you know, and in a totally strange environment. To my opinion, though, it is the challenge of studying and living in Berlin, which helps anybody surpass these problems and achieve his or her objectives, the success in which may affect him/her for life. Berlin is Germany’s biggest and most cosmopolitan and multicultural city. The cost of living is low, which means that you can easily and comfortably live in Berlin for less than 1000 Euros a month and the transportation is very good.

 

Where do you see your professional future?

 

After I finish my postgraduate education, I would like to continue working with international arbitration. I am strongly convinced that such an educational background would help me achieve my future career goal, which is, ultimately, to work in legal affairs division of an international organization, such as the permanent court of arbitration. In the future, after I have gained expertise in the field of arbitration, it is my goal to return to my Home country to join the ranks of scholars, professionals and advocates of international law, who are working tirelessly to find practical solutions to Greece’s developmental problems, in order to apply the innovations offered from Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in Greece, where such legal mechanisms are relatively unknown and underutilized.

 

Why would you recommend the IDR master program to other students?

 

I believe that Humboldt University provides an exceptional, thorough and highly sophisticated LL.M. in International Dispute Resolution. The offered courses are International Commercial and Investment Arbitration, Private International Law, International Jurisdiction and Procedure, Negotiation, Mediation, Adjudication. The courses are particularly interesting and provide specialized knowledge about subjects, which are considered to be of major importance for both theory and practice. This LL.M. program is the only one in Germany that offers specialized courses in all of the above-mentioned areas of law and therefore is best suited to people who wish to enhance their knowledge and ability of understanding new legal fields. Therefore, the respective courses offered at Humboldt University would help you gain a further insight into these up-to-date areas of international arbitration. It is an innovative LL.M., with the perfect mixture of lectures and practice delivered not only by the highly skilled professors of the faculty, but by experienced practitioners as guest lecturers as well.

 

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Name: Mariana

Class of 2015/16

Age: 24

Comes From / Home Country: Ukraine

 

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What was the decisive point for you to apply for the IDR master program?

 

I’ve been studying law at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and participated in Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in 2012. For two years after graduation, I’ve been searching for a program, which will give me an in-depth knowledge of international commercial and investment arbitration. And IDR master program in Humboldt University was exactly what I’ve been looking for. There is no better means to learn international arbitration than international master program handled by the most prominent arbitrators of the world and uniting students from different legal backgrounds. 

 

What do you hope to gain from the Master´s degree?

 

I believe this Master’s degree will increase my chances to join community of young lawyers specializing in arbitration. In addition, given the “infancy” of arbitration in Ukraine, I will be able to apply some of the knowledge obtained here to improve and develop domestic arbitration in my home country, which desperately needs an alternative to corrupt litigation. Besides, each moment I spend in Humboldt with other international student and professors engaged in different fields of alternative dispute resolution is truly unique. This is an experience you will never gain studying arbitration in your own country.

How you feel about the atmosphere within the program?

I have been late for a program for almost three weeks, but I never felt so. It was easy to catch up partly because atmosphere is very friendly, and partly because of the way professors share their knowledge with us. I used to say Kyiv-Mohyla Academy was a family. And now I would dare to say IDR program in Humboldt University has become the second one.

 

The first semester draws to an end, what is your conclusion regarding the first semester?

 

It was pretty tough to learn all the specifics of arbitration, private international law and international civil procedure at once, but at the same time it was really enjoyable. Before this program, during job interviews, I was often asked why I decided to work in certain field of law and I always found difficult to answer those question. After graduation from law faculty, you do not know for sure where you want to work, and any such specifically tailored program helps to learn more about the field you have chosen and make sure, whether this was a right choice.

 

How do you feel about living and studying in Berlin?

 

Berlin is a unique place for studies. My knowledge of German is fair and it was an adventure to come here knowing only English. But eventually I figured out that Berlin is a perfect place for any such English program. People are really helpful. And I am sure anyone will enjoy living here: it’s simple apart from some bureaucracy (but which country does not have it) and really comfortable in terms of infrastructure.

 

Where do you see your professional future?

 

I hope to have an internship in one of arbitration institutions after completion of this program. And after years of practice as a lawyer - to preside a case in one of them.

 

Why would you recommend the IDR master program to other students?

 

Well, it is easy. If you are searching for a program in arbitration, the choice is really limited. Most universities do not have programs in arbitration at all. Some require in-depth knowledge of arbitration. IDR program in Humboldt University requires few years of working experience. And this is the huge advantage of this program. Once you complete your bachelor degree, you want to learn more about specific field of law, which you found to be the most attractive during your studies. And if you think that arbitration is the one, Humboldt is open for you and will serve you a great program, which will teach you everything you need to know about arbitration to be able to succeed in this field.

 

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Name: Petrit

Class of 2015/16

Age: 25

Comes From / Home Country: Kosovo

 

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What was the decisive point for you to apply for the IDR master program?

 

Arbitration is currently a central topic in my home-country – Kosovo. Due to the fact that I observed an apparent lack of expertise in this field in Kosovo, I considered it a good idea to come to Berlin for this Master’s program. Also, in my view there is even more potential for growth in the field of arbitration and in the ADR field in general in the future, especially concerning investment treaty arbitration which is developing very quickly, something I find very exciting.

 

What do you hope to gain from the Master´s degree?

 

I hope that this LL.M.-degree will enable me to seize these opportunities for growth that I just brought up. Apart from this, considering the variety of the people participating in the program, you get insights from lots of different jurisdictions (civil law as well as common law) which I find very interesting and intellectually stimulating.

 

How do you feel about the atmosphere within the program?

 

The atmosphere within the program is great! Everyone is very friendly, the administration is very professional in conducting the program and each and every one of our concerns are addressed swiftly. Also, the atmosphere between us participants is really good, everyone is really helpful and we have grown to be good friends and not just fellow students.

 

The first semester draws to an end, what is your conclusion regarding the first semester?

 

I must say that the program exceeded my expectations so far. In the first semester we were taught by outstanding professionals and the leading arbitration (& ADR) experts in Germany. As brought up before, the administration of the program has been great and it has provided me personally so far, but also the other students in the program, with the necessary tools to succeed in the world of arbitration. Now I am even more convinced that coming to Berlin, and more specifically to the Humboldt University, for my LL.M. was definitely the right choice.

 

How do you feel about living and studying in Berlin?

 

I had lived and studied in Berlin before this program, therefore I knew what was expecting me. I grew to love the city and all its facets and when I left, I knew that I was going to come back at some point. I’m happy that it happened so quickly, and even happier that it happened for such an academically enriching experience such as the LL.M. program in International Dispute Resolution.

 

Where do you see your professional future?

 

My professional future definitely lies in the field of litigation & arbitration. I love the excitement of debating and arguing over legal issues, and that’s also one of the reasons that drew me to this Master’s program. Personally, in the long-term I see myself in the litigation & arbitration department of an internationally active law firm.

 

Why would you recommend the IDR master program to other students?

 

I do recommend the IDR program wholeheartedly for a variety of reasons. First of all, Berlin is such an exciting, historically and culturally rich city and a very pleasant place to live in! Secondly, the Master’s program is truly tailored to meet the needs of an ever growing market for arbitration experts, and it is taught by exceptional and experienced professors. Furthermore, the Humboldt University enjoys a great reputation as one of the best Universities in Germany and in Europe in general, and deservedly so. Lastly, the international nature of the program ensures a very hands-on approach (also due to the various home-countries of the participants), and this makes for an excellent discourse platform to discuss different approaches to legal problems. As mentioned before, I recommend it wholeheartedly and can only say that this definitely won’t be a decision you will regret.