Our Students - The Next Generation of Arbitration and Business Law Practitioners
Every year we have an incredible student group join us from all around the world to study arbitration and business law at American University Washington College of Law and engage with the manifold activities of the Center on International Commercial Arbitration. This year 2022-23 the following professionals are part of our student cohort:
edwin nemesio alvarez roman
LLM’ 2023 (Mexico)
I have over a decade’s experience of working with the Federal Judiciary System of Mexico. I took the Distance-learning Programs offered by the Center on International Commercial Arbitration at AUWCL, which helped me discover my interest and career path in Arbitration and Business Laws. The most interesting element of arbitration is the flexibility in the rules, specialization of the subject and the independence of the arbitrator to resolve business disputes. International Arbitration and Business Law are very dynamic, which will ensure that the practitioners will never get bored of these fields of law. At AUWCL, I participated in the 9th LLM International Commercial and Investment Arbitration Moot Competition organized by the Center on International Commercial Arbitration. Additionally, I also wrote an article for the Arbitration Brief. I am involved with Professors Bjorn Arp and Steven Shapiro in an academic project at AUWCL. AUWCL has an accomplished as well as world-renowned faculty, and the LLM programs are well-designed to offer a rich experience. It also offers a huge student diversity. My advice for incoming students is to study what they love.
LLM’ 2023 (Kazakhstan)
I am working as a General Counsel at the largest iron ore company in Kazakhstan. In my opinion, the most interesting thing in international arbitration is the opportunity to learn and analyze critical issues in controversial international commercial and investment disputes. AUWCL has one of the best international law programs in the country, and it was my dream to do a Master’s from AUWCL since I graduated with a BA degree from AU in 2010. The location of the law school in Washington D.C. also played a role in my decision. I also had the experience of doing an internship at the Superior Court of District of Columbia. My advice to incoming students would be to believe in yourself and give your best.
LLM’ 2023 (United States of America)
I am currently working with a civil litigation defense firm in Virginia, focusing on complex international disputes. I also work pro bono with the Commercial Law Development Program of the U.S. Department of Commerce, conducting lectures and training seminars on international arbitration and international commercial law in the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia and the Balkan region. I have worked as an international human rights activist for a few years in high school and college. When deciding to go to law school, I kept an open mind about opportunities to explore careers and found a home in international arbitration. I took part in the Vis Moot Competition and have since coached teams from over 30 countries. I’m proud that I have been able to bring my human rights and development mindset and experience into my work and career through these programs. I coached the AUWCL teams in Spring 2022 for the 9th LLM International Commercial and Investment Arbitration Moot Competition organized by the Center on International Commercial Arbitration, and we stood second. AUWCL has a great international arbitration program, which offers several courses in trade law and other international business law. To any incoming student, I would advise to keep an open mind, talk to your peers as well as the professors.
Diego Alberto Jaen Small
LLM’ 2022 (Panamá)
I have worked in Panamá in Business Laws and got interested in Arbitration after attending seminars in the field. When I decided to come to Washington D.C, I chose AUWCL as it will help me achieve my goals of expanding my knowledge in Business law and build on my knowledge in Arbitration. AUWCL offers the opportunity to attend seminars as well as the faculty is very approachable. My advice for incoming students is to participate in as many activities as possible and reach out to faculty to have the best learning experience.
mbarushimana kavuna aime
LLM’ 2022 (Rwanda)
I am currently working with a law firm in Kigali. I have been involved in domestic arbitration in different capacities as a Sole or Panel member arbitrator, counsel to claimants or defendants. I have also undertaken different trainings and certification in Rwanda and across the world including the MCiarb. I think the most fascinating fact in arbitration is the possibility that the parties can choose their tribunal, establish themselves or adhere to the rules they will follow and at the end abide with the decision of their chosen tribunal. The will of the parties dictates the whole process. As a trained lawyer from a civil law tradition (Rwanda), I wanted an international institution from which I will learn international arbitration in English, under the common law tradition. AUWCL was the perfect choice to meet my goals. At AUWCL, I am a member of the International Law Student Association. AUWCL also offers a great diversity of students and the possibility to interact with people from different parts of the world. My advice for incoming students is that study seriously but get good friends and start building your career network from today. Beyond class, find a good organization to be involved in. The networking we will need tomorrow needs to be built today. AUWCL is a better place for that.
trevor nathaniel musoke
LLM’ 2023 (Uganda)
I studied Arbitration in my undergraduate course and got interested in the idea of out of court settlement of disputes. I chose to do a Master degree at AUWCL because of the International Arbitration and Business laws program it offers. The professors at AUWCL are very approachable, and helpful. The law school campus is beautiful as well. I attended the summer program in 2022, and it was a wonderful experience. There was a planned visit to the ICSID headquarters in Washington D.C., which was a unique experience. It also gave an opportunity to interact with students from different countries and experience levels.
LLM’ 2022 (India)
I have previously worked in a civil litigation law firm in India, which led me to realize how slow litigation proceedings are and sparked my interest in arbitration which is extremely flexible and time efficient. Arbitration is very interesting as similar set of facts may lead to different results, which at times becomes difficult to understand. Dissenting opinions are an interesting read as well. Lack of women arbitrators is very surprising in the field of arbitration. I chose to do my Masters at AUWCL as it is the only school with an International Arbitration focused LLM Program. My advice for incoming students is to prepare well and contribute in classes; make friends and network as much as possible.
LLM’ 2024 (Ecuador)
I am currently working with Duane Morris, LLP. With the increasing relationships between individuals/businesses transnationally, arbitration is a better option to resolve disputes in less time and at a lower cost, this was the reason which sparked my interest in international arbitration. I chose to study at the AUWCL on a family member’s recommendation, who worked at the United Nations in Washington D.C. The best part about my education with AUWCL is that it is available online. I would advise every new student to get organized as early as possible, set an academic road map with desirable classes or areas of interest. It is equally important to fix a schedule for school, work and R&R time.
John Paul Bongkiyi
LLM’ 2023 (Cameroon)
I have previously worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Buea. I got interested in international arbitration as the amount of business disputed that are delayed by court proceedings and the practice of companies including arbitration as a dispute resolution clause in their business contracts. In my opinion, the most interesting fact about arbitration is the enforceability of arbitral awards nationally as well as internationally. At AUWCL, I am the Director of Student Life within the AUWCL Student Bar Association. The faculty here is well-renowned and I have read a number of interesting works by them. My advice to new students would be that since LLM students have limited access to some school materials as compared to JD students, prepare more resources to purchase the materials required.
LLM’ 2023 (Cote d’Ivoire and France)
I have previously worked with international law firms including Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and Orrick, Herrington & Sutclifee LLP, in their Bank and Finance Departments. I am interested in learning about international investment law and dispute resolution related to international investments, and there are many principles that are universally applied in many countries around the world. I chose AUWCL for its international dimension and community, and I appreciate the fact that the university staff is really accessible and available to meet the needs of the students. AUWCL is a great place to study and students would not be disappointed.
LLM’ 2023 (Nigeria)
I have previously worked as a Senior Dispute Resolution Officer at the Abia State Judiciary for almost a decade, where I have resolved over 100 disputes through Arbitration, Mediation and Conciliation. My passion to ensure speedy justice got me interested in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. I chose AUWCL as it provides me the opportunity to gainskills required for a career in international sphere. Mock arbitration and an opportunity to learn from Prof Horacio and Prof Claudia under the guidance of Dr Bjorn greatly added to my decision in choosing AUWCL. The law school faculty and the staff sincerely care about the students and put in every effort to make the best use of our time at AUWCL.
LLM’ 2023 (India)
I have previously worked in Intellectual Property Laws both in India and the U.S., and have a Masters degree from the George Washington University Law School. I got interested in international arbitration due to my past experience of two continents. I want to build on my knowledge and experience in intellectual property laws, and find a niche at the confluence of IP laws and Arbitration Laws. I think arbitration has become a very important mode of resolving disputes, due to the slow pace at which litigation moves, in any country. Also, the fact that parties appoint arbitrators, makes it more effective. I chose AUWCL as it is one of the top ranking institutions in international law, as well as its location in Washington D.C., which is a major center for international arbitration. My advice to incoming students would be to choose their courses as soon as possible as well as make use of the location of AUWCL for networking purposes.