"The complex challenges I faced while working there allowed me to implement the knowledge I had acquired during my time as a student"
Daniel Falcão, Brazil
- Program studied
Why did you decide to do the LL.M. in International Business Law at IE?
Over the years I’ve spent working at a law firm, I’ve been exposed to a very competitive—but at the same time very stimulating—environment. When I made this decision, I was ready to improve my academic credentials and gain international experience in order to excel in this challenging profession. I had always wanted to go to Europe, and after doing my own research and discussing it with colleagues who had previously earned their master’s degrees at IE Law School, I had no doubt that this was my ideal program. What’s more, it gave me the opportunity to get to know one of the best cities in the world and meet students from all over the globe, which definitely played a role in my decision to apply.
What has been the most important project in your career?
I’ve gained specific experience in mergers and acquisitions, as well as other complex corporate transactions, by working with multinationals on a broad range of projects. It’s difficult to say what the most important project has been, but one that I can point out is the opportunity I had to act as the Brazilian counsel in the worldwide corporate restructuring of BHP Billiton. This Australian company wanted to simplify its portfolio by implementing a demerger plan for a selection of the group’s non-core assets. They ultimately created South32 Limited, an independent global metal and mining company.
What stands out from your experience (both professionally and personally) at IE Law School? Are there any stories you’d like to share?
I’m really thankful for the opportunity to have completed my studies at IE. On the personal side, I can say that not only did I meet future colleagues, but I also made real friends for life from different parts of the world, which is such a rewarding gift. Professionally, it exposed me to a broader view of the world and alternative ways of thinking, while helping me develop my skills in different languages, such as English and Spanish. The IE environment also allows you to take advantage of world-class networking; as a master’s student, you have contact with lots of people from other courses and master’s programs in various fields.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned in the master’s program that you apply to your professional life today?
As previously mentioned, I’ve pursued a career that puts me in direct contact with people in many different countries around the world. Being able to complement my studies with an experience abroad at IE has helped me to develop my language and rhetorical skills and to put them into practice. I’ve gotten to know so many new people, and connected with professionals not only from the legal area, but also others who are interested in conducting business in Brazil.
What skills and knowledge did you acquire through the master’s program?
IE helped me improve not only in the field of law, but also in business. The school provides all the necessary tools to transform you into a global lawyer. It challenges you to think creatively, so that you can put yourself in the client’s shoes and fully understand the broader strategic objectives behind business operations and international transactions. For example, you have the chance to work with MBA students and professors on startup projects and implement different legal strategies for each specific case. You also get to collaborate on real cases presented by professors and law firms associated with IE.
What opportunities arose during your time at IE Law School?
IE offers a range of experiences. There are the London and Brussels immersion weeks, which give you the chance to visit different countries and provide rich personal and professional experiences. You can also participate in IE Clubs and enjoy all the university has to offer—there’s plenty.
Another opportunity that arose during my time in Spain was the chance to be appointed as an IE Student Ambassador. This allowed me to help promote the growth and expansion of the IE community after I graduated from the LL.M. program. It was definitely fun to represent IE at different meetings and presentations for prospective students around the Madrid campus.
How did the program help you to access the job market?
My goals were very clear: after obtaining my LL.M. from IE Law School, I wanted to gain some work experience abroad before returning to Brazil. Many well-known international law firms have foreign associate programs, which I thought could be a great opportunity to test and utilize the knowledge I had acquired in the master’s program. Fortunately, I had the chance to work as a visiting foreign associate at Uría Menéndez (UM) in Madrid. It’s safe to say that having a degree from an internationally recognized institution like IE really improved my chances of being chosen by UM. The complex challenges I faced while working there allowed me to implement the knowledge I had acquired during my time as a student.