The International Graduate Law Programs' Worldwide Alumni Reunion got under way Friday with panels on the transnational practice of law, from litigation and arbitration to corporate practice. All the participating panelists are graduates of the International Graduate Law Programs.
The first panel, "How to Boost your Transnational Practice," was chaired by Miami Law Professor Keith Rosenn, and featured graduates Erika Litvak from Greenberg Traurig; Hernan Pantaleon of Marval, O'Farrel & Mairal; Augusto Aragone of Ingram Micro Inc. and Ellen von Geyso of von Geyso P.A. The panelists discussed the practical and realistic challenges faced by transnational law practitioners today and shared ideas, views and experiences in the field, including on international contract negotiations and contract drafting.
Pantaleon, LL.M '93, an Argentinian who returned to his native land to practice in aviation, entertainment and finance law, noted the disparate fields of his expertise in the "20 years since stepped out of this beautiful school."
"It's not the way you plan your career," he said. "It's the way your clients take you."
Pantaleon, who holds a law degree from the Catholic University of Argentina, said it was important for law graduates to know how to go about establishing a field of practice, and to build a network of clients as a result.
"Once you focus on a practice," Pantaleon went on, "that practice will get you the experience, and that's how you get your clients."
Later, the "Transnational Corporate Practice" panel, chaired by Miami Law Professor Caroline M. Bradley, heard from graduates Delia Reyes of Burger King Corporation; Aymee Valdivia of Holland and Knight, and Thomas Pate of White & Case. They discussed advantages and challenges faced by foreign attorneys working as transnational lawyers in the U.S. and representing international/multi-national clients.
Attendees who chose the "Transnational Arbitration" panel heard from Eduardo de la Pena of Astigarraga Davis; Pablo Bentes of the World Trade Organization and a current Miami Law visiting professor; and Sandra Friedrich of Latham & Watkins and a former Miami Law visiting assistant professor.
The panel was chaired by one of the world's leading arbitrators, Professor Jan Paulsson, who holds the Michael Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair at the University of Miami School of Law and is the Faculty Chair of the Specialization in International Arbitration. The panel focused on international arbitration at the World Trade Organization, investment arbitration and international commercial arbitration.
"This year's alumni reunion will be marked by the quality of the panels we are hosting," Jessica Carvalho Morris, director of the IGLP, said before the gathering. "We will be addressing current topics in the transnational practice of law. We have some amazing speakers, who include the keynote address from Professor Bernard Oxman. We will be welcoming lawyers from all over the world during this special event. This promises to be the largest alumni reunion to date; we have graduates coming from Switzerland, Philippines, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, among other countries."
On Saturday, a symposium on International Commercial Arbitration was to be hosted by the International and Comparative Law Review and the Business Law Review Symposium, with a keynote speech by Leading International Law Scholar Jose Alvarez.