“Knowing only one jurisdiction is now somewhat limiting, and having an understanding of many is what can make you stand out from the crowd.”
Calum is a Dual Bachelor of Law and LPC student from Scotland. He has lived in Spain, and studied for a semester as an exchange student in Colombia. Learn more about Calum and his university and internship experience in an interview we had with him:
What are your hobbies and interests?
I’ve played rugby ever since I was five years old and continue to do so for the university team. I like to go out with friends, travel, and read.
Why did you choose IEU?
I found IE completely by accident on a Google search one day, and the prospect of living in Spain, learning Spanish, getting two degrees and being in an international environment sounded far more exciting than staying at home.
What do you want to do after graduation?
I’m going to start my “Doble Máster de Acceso a la Abogacía” at IE in October, and after that, we shall see.
About his experience at IEU
What’s the most valuable aspect of IEU for you?
Without a doubt, the non-academic side. The academics are great, and the opportunity to get two highly ranked degrees in a few years is fantastic, but outside of that is what has mattered the most for me. IE opened my eyes to the world – from living my entire life in the same small seaside town, to suddenly being surrounded by over a hundred nationalities and lots of different languages was breathtaking. The cultures you get to know, the different way of doing things, and the people you meet from every walk of life are what make IE special.
How has IEU’s comparative law methodology shaped your perspective on the legal world?
It has made me appreciate how much globalization affects every aspect of our lives, right down to the law that governs our societies. Knowing only one jurisdiction is now somewhat limiting, and having an understanding of many is what can make you stand out from the crowd.
Are you a member of any clubs at IEU? If so, which ones?
In my first year when I was 17 I created the rugby club with some friends. We started off with only ten or so students at training, with myself as the coach for the first two years, but now we have a fantastic coach in Madrid and are currently in the playoffs fighting to be promoted to the second division. Fingers crossed!
About his professional experience
Have you been involved in an internship?
The summer after second year I did a two-month internship in Cuatrecasas in Madrid in the Litigation and Arbitration department. I worked a lot on international arbitration cases which were primarily in English, however we discussed everything 100% in Spanish, which was a big jump for me at the time. I had the chance to learn a huge amount about the renewable energy industry in Spain and by the end was actually drafting out sections of the Counter-Memorials to be presented to the Kingdom of Spain and the Court!
In the summer after third year, I worked for one month as a Summer Associate in the Cleary office in Brussels, working primarily on EU competition law. It was a fascinating experience with lots of interesting work, where we had the chance to work on cases involving Google and other huge transnational companies on competition cases before the European Commission.
What did you learn about the legal sector while working as an intern?
That a lot of what you might read in books or memorize really is not that useful. The most important thing when working is to be able to learn new things quickly, think on your feet, and not be scared to ask questions if you’re unsure – most first and second year lawyers are still unsure, so as an intern you’re not expected to know everything.
How did IEU prepare you for the challenges involved in this internship?
The methodology really shone through when working on the International Arbitration and EU Competition cases, since you are not particularly working with Spanish law or any specific jurisdiction, but instead looking at a specific contract or specific case and, according to the circumstances, applying the rules of the agreement or applying EU law to the facts. The way in which we have learnt to reason according to different jurisdictions allows you to see legal problems in a way that is different to other students, and it is certainly noticed when working on cases.