"The soft skills that I have acquired and developed throughout the program are essential for facing the challenges of today’s legal industry and addressing the demanding issues that I deal with in my day-to-day professional life."

Henrique, Portugal

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Henrique Soares Santos

About me

I was born in Hong Kong and lived in Macau in the first six years of my life. I graduated from the School of Law at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Lisbon in 2016. In 2014, I spent one semester on exchange at the University of Houston Law Center in Texas. Through this exchange program, I discovered that I wanted to gain a deeper knowledge of international law and explore new perspectives. In 2016, I enrolled in the LL.M. in International Business Law at IE Law School. Thanks to all of my international experiences, I’ve become a more well-rounded professional with a heightened awareness of the world around me, which is something that I value very highly.
After my time at IE Law School, I started working at PLMJ Advogados, a law firm based in Lisbon—one of the biggest and most relevant law firms in Portugal. I currently work as an associate lawyer in the Corporate Litigation Department of PLMJ where I focus primarily on providing legal advice to companies and their shareholders in court cases relating to corporate disputes and the civil liability of directors.

Henrique Soares Santos , Portugal


Master's Student

What is the best thing you took away from your time at IE Law School?

IE Law School helped me in so many ways, allowing me to grow so much both professionally and personally.

In particular, IE Law School really allowed me to build my teamwork skills. Since day one, we were encouraged to work with our team. And, with each period, we were assigned a team. This allowed us to be able to meet and work with different people, representing all kinds of backgrounds and perspectives. Nevertheless, we all shared one goal: to overcome our differences and get the work done.

This was really important and it was without a doubt one of the best things I took away from my IE Law School experience. I was able to get to know different people and I can now say that I have friends all over the world. During my year at IE Law School, I learned alongside these incredible people. And they helped me grow and become a more capable professional, as well as a better human being.

How did the LL.M. in International Business Law help you in your professional life?

Since the LL.M. in International Business Law is designed to address the demands of today’s legal market services, it really gave me access to new knowledge that has been highly useful in my professional life.

Firstly, the business approach and the MBA module gave me important insight into how businesses work, what we can expect from clients and how to advise clients in a way that’s informed by a business perspective. Nowadays, it is essential for lawyers to understand their client’s industry in order to be able to add value to their business, while solving problems more efficiently. I believe that the LL.M. in International Business Law prepares you for this in the best way possible.

Secondly, the soft skills that I have acquired and developed throughout the program are essential for facing the challenges of today’s legal industry and addressing the demanding issues that I deal with in my day-to-day professional life.

Finally, the LL.M. in International Business Law prepares us to work under pressure and deliver the final product efficiently, even when we have a short time frame, which is something that happens frequently in my career.

What has been the most important project of your career?

Since I am still a young professional with limited experience in the field, that’s a difficult question for me to answer.

With that said, at PLMJ I have been involved in an important corporate litigation case involving top companies from a relevant branch of the Portuguese industry. It has been quite challenging, but I appreciate that it has allowed me to learn and grow as a young litigation lawyer.

This experience has also allowed me to explore other significant corporate litigation issues related to different industries and matters that are important to me on a personal level.

What was the most valuable lesson you learned in the master’s program that you apply to your professional life today?

The most valuable lesson I learned during the master’s program which I continue to apply to my professional life is, without a doubt, the fact that the answers to our questions aren’t black and white.

We should be prepared to face challenges with an open mind and try to see beyond the issue at hand by thinking outside of the box. Most of the time, the best solutions come from thinking freely, without limiting ourselves to preconceived ideas. We should be creative in order to add value to our work and face the increasing competition in our field.

The LL.M. in International Business Law prepares you very well for this. Through intense debate with classmates from a variety of legal backgrounds, we are able to grow and learn from our differences and come up with solutions that we wouldn’t have come up with alone. Because of this experience, I always try to anticipate the other party’s next move to be able to choose the best strategy for my client. What I have learned at IE Law School helps me every single day in my life.


What advice would you give to future students?

My advice to future students is to enjoy the experience of being part of the IE community. IE’s amazing environment prepares you for an unforgettable and highly enriching personal and professional experience—as an internationally recognized university, IE sets the tone.

Also, take advantage of a truly international and multicultural environment, where you’ll be able to make lifelong friends from all over the world. This will also give you a level of global awareness that will set you apart from the competition.

Having said that, you will be challenged, and you will feel the pressure to succeed at IE Law School. But with the right amount of hard work and dedication, you’ll meet your goals. In the words of NBA player Stephen Curry, “Be the hardest working person you can be. That’s how you separate yourself from the competition.”

Finally, make the most of your time in Madrid. Life is more than work and a city like Madrid is built to be enjoyed⁠— so go out and have fun! If you do, Madrid and IE will be in your memory for the rest of your life, and you’ll keep returning to this beautiful city that you once called home.

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