Belén Pastor Gómez has always been passionate about law. At a young age, she decided to move to Madrid and pursue her professional ambitions, and she is now a practicing lawyer in Spain, pursuing some exciting opportunities. Belén has fond memories of her time at IE University and believes that the skills she learned here have been invaluable in her career. Here’s what she had to say about her academic and professional journey.
When I was only 17 years old, I made the tough choice to move to Madrid. I have always been passionate about law and I wanted to pursue my dreams of becoming a practicing lawyer. Born and raised in Málaga, I was interested in seeing what the world had to offer. So I set out to find the right institution to begin my academic career.
After studying in British schools, I was keen to continue being part of an international environment. I wanted to join an institution with a genuinely global outlook that would allow me to keep studying in Spain. When I discovered IE University, I was thrilled because it ticked all the boxes for me. It offered the right blend of learning and practice that helped set me on the path to a successful career.
Building skills for the future
I first joined IE University in 2015 to study the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.). I fell in love with the educational methodology that was used in this program—its practical and comparative approach gave me a deeper understanding of law from a more global, universal perspective.
I also enjoyed all the unique interactions that I had in the classroom as well as through extracurricular activities. Exercises such as the moot courts helped me develop vital professional skills that are an asset both at the local and international levels.
That said, the most important skill I acquired during my time at IE University has to be my communication skills. A lawyer’s life typically involves lots of communication both with clients and colleagues as part of daily work. Whether through phone or written communication, we are always in constant contact.
Furthermore, I left with a firm grasp of some of the best practices in the legal profession. Our professors trained us to proofread all our work and to listen carefully to every instruction. Likewise, they emphasized the importance of analytical skills. This practical knowledge has served me well in my professional life.
The hands-on approach inspired me so much that I returned to IE University for my master’s degree. I chose to do a Doble Máster en Abogacía y Asesoría Jurídica de Empresas (LL.M.), which I recently completed. The practice of working on daily tasks that required time to analyze every possible scenario has been very helpful throughout my career.
Finding my feet
While still working on my bachelor’s degree, I secured a prestigious internship at Pérez-Llorca, a leading law firm in Spain. My time there opened up my mind to what my own professional practice would look like. After graduation, I started working at a local bankruptcy administration firm. My duties there mostly revolved around research, analysis and preparing writs and demands.
I then landed a role in the Spanish law firm Mazars, within its litigation department. My main focus was on banking procedures but I also got the chance to see all kinds of public and private deeds, draft all kinds of court documents and accumulate substantial courtroom experience.
Completing my master’s degree prepared me for the next level of my career growth. It gave me the confidence to take on new, bigger challenges. That’s a big part of why I am currently working in the legal department for Real Madrid, of one of the biggest football clubs in Spain. It has been a completely different experience since I now have the opportunity to handle matters pertaining to different branches of the law. It has made this experience much more enriching.
Moving towards the future
For now, I’m working and pursuing a master’s degree in international sports law. I took an elective on sports business, contracts and law while still at IE University, which sparked my interest in the field.
I’m not sure what the next few years will bring, but I’m determined to pursue opportunities to work in the world of sports. Perhaps I’ll even open my own athlete representation agency in the future!
My advice for future law students is to be clear on your “why.” Why do you want to study law? It may be a fun program at university, but the reality is that it’s a tough profession. It’s quite stressful and time-consuming. It’s in constant flux and will affect your daily life in many different ways. Understanding your goals will help you stay engaged and motivated in the long run.