My name is Iurii Zakaznov, but my friends call me Yura. I’m from Moscow, and I ’m studying law, with an international dispute resolution specialty. I would describe myself as cheerful, communicative and kind—and as a bookworm. But law is my passion, especially how we can use it to achieve justice, promoting the rule of law and human rights, not just business interests. My main professional aspiration is to dedicate myself to the academic field, contributing to the development and education of young lawyers, particularly in the fields of corporate and private international law.
Pursuing a passion in international litigaiton and arbitration
Iurii Zakaznov, “Yura” to his friends, sees great potential in law, and has dedicated his educational career to what he’s passionate about—particularly international litigation and arbitration. He completed his bachelor’s at the Russian State University of Justice, before discovering an interest in corporate law while completing a master’s at the Higher School of Economics, defending his thesis on the suspension of shareholders’ voting rights.
Supplementing his studies with work experience within the state courts, and despite what he calls “all the flaws in the Russian judiciary branch,” he found the work helped him understand that he liked dispute resolution, so it’s no surprise that he opted to study for the International Dispute Resolution specialization in our Master of Laws (LL.M.).
Yura had no doubts about which track to choose, and has no doubts now that he chose correctly. He has enjoyed the program, and speaks highly of the classes, the faculty, and in particular the opportunities it has afforded him, citing the Willem C. Vis Moot Competition as a particular highlight. He also praises the high standard of academic discussion in the classroom, which nonetheless occurs in what he calls a “very easy-going mode of student-professor interaction.”
Yura feels that, in his specialization discussions in particular, it’s more of a friendly conversation between people who are passionate about the same thing, rather than a strict class with distance between him and his fellow students and aloof professors. He has also enjoyed the balance that IE Law School’s methodology strikes between theory and practice, and the careful interlinking of the two that the program provides.
In fact, he takes great joy in spending time with his “kind and hospitable” classmates, and has made a point of learning French and Spanish thanks to their patience and help. For Yura, his classmates have contributed an “indispensable” education, just as his professors have. His new-found French language skills would no doubt have been beneficial during his cohort’s Immersion Week in Paris, a visit packed with practical workshops and discussion, and exposure to some of the top sector players. It was an experience he says cemented his friendships with his peers.
No doubt his linguistic efforts have helped Yura enjoy the diversity of his classroom and of IE Law School in general, but one thing that has surprised him is the convergence of legal systems. He has noticed that different legal systems seem to use similar instruments to resolve problems, pointing to the culture of drafting contracts being “more or less the same” throughout the world. This global view of the legal landscape is one of the aspects of the program that Yura has found most interesting and enriching.
Looking to the future, Yura would like to complete a PhD. And beyond that, his plan is to secure an internship or job in dispute resolution, as he would like to be involved in commercial or investment arbitration. He’s not too worried about whether that’s in a small boutique or one of the bigger players, and is receiving “valuable recommendations” about job-hunting and his essay writing from one of 115 mentors from IE Law School's Mentoring Program.
Asked to offer some advice for anybody considering the Master of Laws (LL.M.), and his specialization, he describes it as “a great choice.” He advises them to be attentive, especially to the literature the professors provide, but to have the confidence to express themselves. Nobody, he says, will laugh at or condemn any question or opinion, and justifying yourself in class will only help with your personal and mental development. The Moot Court competitions, he concludes, are particularly challenging and time-consuming, but are well worth the effort and will reward you with an experience you’ll remember forever.