"When I discovered the law program at IEU, I was astonished by the possibility of studying various legal systems in a comparative way, taught by professors from different countries."
Ruslan Saleev is a first year student of the LLB program at IE University. He is from Russia, Kazan and he has lived two years in Italy. Thanks to the opportunities provided by IE University, he has really enjoyed his first year. Discover more about his experience with this interview:
Where are you from? Have you ever lived anywhere else in the world?
I am from Kazan, which is located in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. In 2015-17, I lived in Italy and attended the United World College of the Adriatic (UWC).
What are you studying?
I am in my first year of the LLB program.
What are your hobbies/interests?
It might sound a bit strange, but I consider getting to know new people to be one of my hobbies. Discovering their stories, interests, cultures and traditions really makes me happy and allows me to see the world from a different perspective. Apart from that, I am keen on art and traveling.
Why did you choose IEU?
I chose IEU mainly for two reasons. The first one is IE’s diversity. After studying for two years at the UWCAd together with people from more than 90 countries, I realized that I wanted to continue my education in an equally diverse environment. I think that, in light of today’s world, it is essential to share your ideas, opinions and thoughts on different topics with people from diverse national and cultural backgrounds. IEU is the perfect place for that, with a community of students from more than 130 different countries.
The second reason is the comparative law program offered by IEU. Before coming to this university, I had already studied Russian law while participating in different law competitions, and I realized that studying only the Russian jurisdiction was not enough for me and I needed to aim for something greater. When I discovered the law program at IEU, I was astonished by the possibility of studying various legal systems in a comparative way, taught by professors from different countries. Combined with IE’s diverse student body, this is indeed a great boost to personal, academic and professional growth for the 21st-century lawyer.
What do you want to do after graduation? What is your area of interest?
I am planning to fuse two of my biggest passions—art and law—and become an art/entertainment lawyer. For that, I would probably pursue a Master’s degree in the field of intellectual property law.
About his professional experience
Please tell us about your project/internship. What did you learn from this experience?
I really enjoy getting involved in social projects and initiatives. In July 2017, I participated in the Ukrainian youth forum called CACTUS (Community ACTion Ukrainian Style). My role as a staff member was to teach project management to Ukrainian kids, and eventually help them implement project ideas aimed at improving their local communities.
As the project was organized in Ukraine, and political situations between our countries worsened after the Crimean Crisis in 2014, I was quite anxious about going there—there was a chance that I would not have been let across the border, that Ukrainian people would not have welcomed me, and I was scared of a language barrier. Yet I still went, and the situation turned out to be the complete opposite—I did not have any problems and spent two amazing weeks with Ukrainian people who were all lovely and extremely welcoming! I made many friends, tried delicious Ukrainian food, learned a lot about the history and culture of the country and, most importantly, managed to make a social impact on Ukrainian youth, which was the most satisfying aspect of my involvement.
Thanks to my experience at CACTUS, I learned that sometimes, despite all the fears and obstacles in your way, it is necessary to take risks in your life in order to make a positive impact—a life lesson that, in my opinion, can be applied to the legal profession, too.
About his experience at IEU
What’s the most valuable aspect of IEU for you?
The most valuable aspect of IEU for me is its focus on the students. Thanks to the small size of its classes, students are able to interact with the teacher and each other, and bring valuable insights into class discussions—unlike many other universities where each class has more than 100 people and students hardly ever participate. Moreover, IE constantly improves its academic courses and listens to students’ opinions by carrying out a number of surveys at the end of each semester—another thing you won’t see at a typical university.
IE also provides its students with an opportunity to get involved in various activities, like clubs, conferences, labs, sports activities etc. If a student has an interesting initiative, IE will do its best to assist him/her in organizing it. In general, IE encourages its students to grow in every aspect of their life, and if you want to, you will truly thrive here.
What opportunities have you taken advantage of during your time at IEU?
I went on a number of trips to Spanish cities that were organized by the Cultural Trips Club, participated in an unforgettable trip to the Doñana National Park where, in collaboration with the WWF, we planted more than 100 new trees, and attended the LEAP Conference, where I was inspired by the personal stories of the incredible speakers there, including artists, entrepreneurs and social activists. At the end of May, I am planning to go to the Archaeology Camp organized by the Antiquity Department. Archaeology is something new for me and I am very excited about the trip! I am really grateful to IE for the opportunity to challenge ourselves and try something new every day!
Nevertheless, I believe that you can’t just take from life, you also need to give back. That’s why I decided to become an IEU Mentor and Student Ambassador. The idea of these initiatives is to help prospective students and those who recently arrived at the university adapt to life here. In this way, I want to express my gratitude to IE for all the opportunities they offer, and pay it forward to the next generations of students.
Are you a member of any clubs at IEU? If so, which ones?
I am a member of the IEU Law Society. The club is very active and runs interesting conferences and discussions every month. For example, this academic year I have attended talks on such topics as the implications of technological advancements for lawyers, legal consequences of the referendum in Catalonia, and recent developments in the field of data protection.
Furthermore, IE encourages students to create new clubs, and next year I am planning to organize a club that will allows us to really take advantage of our diverse environment. The idea is to hold monthly cultural events, where people from different regions of the world will be able to share their traditions by telling stories, cooking national food, organizing film screenings etc. I hope that next year you will see the club up and running!
Have you participated in a Lab at IEU? What was it about and what was your role? What did you learn?
Currently I am a member of the Legal Clinic. The work in each Lab is divided into two periods: extensive and intensive. During the intensive period from January to May, I worked four hours a week on a project called Sakina Advisory. We had to provide legal advice to a robo-advisory investment company that wanted to establish itself in the Kingdom of Bahrain. My work involved researching and drafting reports on the legal implications of establishing a Fintech company in Bahrain. In June, I am going to enter an intensive period where I will be working four hours a day on a new project.
So far, my participation in the Legal Clinic has allowed me to acquire valuable experience by working with real clients, all in my first year of studies! I learned that lawyers need to be very persistent and extremely attentive to details in their job. I also realized that behind all the paperwork, there are real people with real problems out there, and we have to do our very best to help them navigate through a network of complicated laws and regulations.