"For me, the greatest and irreplaceable thing about IE is its international character. I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and find out more about their cultures and lifestyles. I find it incredible how I could sometimes be watching a movie with five people from five different continents."
I am currently approaching the end of my internship at Cuatrecasas and I plan to start my Doble Máster en Abogacía y Asesoría Jurídica de Empresas Bilingüe (LL.M.) at IE in September. After finishing the master’s program, I would like to become a lawyer in Spain and work at one of the main Spanish law firms, such as Cuatrecasas, for at least a few years.
I believe finding balance between our professional and personal lives is extremely important. In fact, my greatest passion has always been horseback riding and I have been part in jumping shows on a national and international level. Even though I’ve put it on the back burner in recent years, I do want it to be part of my life in the future. I also like to travel, hang out with friends and generally try new activities. I enjoy having a very dynamic and exciting life."
Silvia Fiz, Italy
- Program studied
What’s the most valuable aspect of IE for you?
For me, the greatest and irreplaceable thing about IE is its international character. I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and find out more about their cultures and lifestyles. I find it incredible how I could sometimes be watching a movie with five people from five different continents.
This kind of diverse environment also gave me the chance to visit many new places that I never would have seen without these global connections. What’s more, all my friends are very international, proactive, ambitious and dynamic, which has really pushed me to always try to do better and never settle for anything less than what I truly want.
Which opportunities have you taken advantage of in your time at IE?
During my undergraduate degree, I took part in moot courts and participated in the IE Legal Clinic. Both helped me to develop skills that are hard to learn through normal lectures, including public speaking, persuasion and research skills.
I also became an IE University ambassador and helped to plan events and activities, giving me the opportunity to meet new people and get involved. Finally, I always made use of IE’s career center, where they helped me to reorganize my CV and cover letter—something which has certainly proved fundamental in securing great internships.
Why did you decide to study comparative law at IE?
When I started at IE University, I didn’t know much about the legal market or the exact procedure involved in becoming a lawyer in different countries, nor did I know where I wanted to live in the future. That’s why I chose a degree that would allow me to learn the jurisdiction of different countries, opening many doors in the future. Also, I didn’t speak Spanish at the time, which is why an international program taught in English was the best option for me.
What was your favorite class at university? Why?
I think my favorite class was contract law, because we were able to work on practical cases that turned out to be very similar to actual cases dealt with by real law firms. Furthermore, in order to find the best solution for clients on these kind of cases, as well as having strong research and analytical skills, you need to be intuitive and think outside of the box, which is something I’m good at and like to do.
Now that you’re working, how do you feel that the methodology of comparative law has helped you? Is there a specific example that you would like to share?
Certain skills I acquired through my studies have proved very useful in my job. Courses like EU law or public international law were especially helpful, requiring us to read through a case, find a solution, and provide the clients with our legal opinion. In order to do so, we had to analyze certain articles of specific laws to see if they applied to the case at hand.
I’ve realized that this is exactly how it works in the real world. In fact, I was required to do the same thing in the Competition and EU Law department at Cuatrecasas. Thanks to my previous knowledge, I was able to adapt to these requests faster than I would have done without prior experience in that kind of task.
Was there a particularly challenging project you worked on at university that you’re proud of?
Throughout this past semester, I decided to work full time at Cuatrecasas while doing my bachelor thesis, which has proved very challenging. Most people advised me either not to work at all or to not work full time—but I decided to follow my gut and do it anyway. In the beginning, it was very hard to manage both things. I had no time at all during the week to work on my bachelor thesis but I also wanted to enjoy some free time with friends on the weekend. Most of my classmates, on the other hand, were able to work on their bachelor thesis throughout the week.
At a given point I also developed a few health issues and was about to give up my internship, my bachelor thesis or both. But then I realized this would represent a huge failure for me and decided to keep going no matter what.
In the end, I managed to complete my bachelor thesis on time with a satisfactory result, continue with my full-time internship, maintain a social life and continue having fun with friends. I feel proud of what I have achieved over these past few months, especially of the fact that I did not give up anything important to me.
Why would you recommend studying comparative law at IE?
Personally, I would recommend studying comparative law at IE University because it’s an opportunity to learn in a very international environment and enjoy a more dynamic, diverse experience. Furthermore, working on practical cases is a very innovative approach that most universities don’t normally offer. This was particularly useful because, in addition to giving us the tools we need to succeed in the workplace, it helps students to truly understand the type of career path they want to embark upon.
Can you tell us about your experience at the legal internship in Cuatrecasas?
I started my internship at Cuatrecasas in January. I worked in the Competition and EU Law department for four months, and moved to the Litigation department at the beginning of May, where I’ll be until the end of June.
I am extremely happy with my experience at Cuatrecasas. I learned so much in both departments and I was involved in very interesting and challenging cases. I also really like the environment. Everybody has been very helpful, wanting me to learn as much as possible and see different areas so I could discover what I’m truly passionate about. I felt like part of the team as soon as I joined both departments and never felt looked down on for being young and inexperienced. It is extremely difficult to find working environments that are so collaborative, cohesive and altogether pleasant, and I think this is one of the reasons why Cuatrecasas is a unique firm to work in.