One of the events organized by the YACF this year was a morning seminar on the import and export of knowledge, where the question of the value of Finnish education in the international arbitration market were considered. The event took place on the morning of 18 May 2017 just a few hours before the Helsinki International Arbitration Day (HIAD) conference – the yearly celebration of arbitration in Finland.
The seminar was divided into five topics for discussion: (i) the background of the speakers; (ii) Finnish education in the international market; (iii) making the most of the Finnish master’s degree; (iv) challenges of working abroad and (v) looking back. During the seminar, the speakers addressed how Finnish education is perceived abroad, how lawyers get qualified abroad and what the biggest challenges were that they have faced working abroad. Although the seminar took the format of a panel discussion, the attendees were commenting and asking questions throughout the event. It was clear from the audience’s active participation that there is strong demand amongst Finnish young lawyers for practical advice regarding the development of an international legal career.
The three speakers (Anina Liebkind (left), Daria Kozlowska-Rautiainen (middle) and Linda Ojanen (right)) each have very different international backgrounds. Anina holds a Master of Laws degree from Helsinki and a MIDS LL.M. degree from Geneva and is currently an associate at Baker McKenzie in Stockholm. Linda Ojanen holds a Master of Laws degree from Helsinki and is currently an associate working in international arbitration at White & Case in London. Whereas Daria is a Master of Laws from Gdansk and an LL.M. as well as a Doctor of Laws from Helsinki. Daria is currently a post-doctoral researcher in the field of international arbitration at the University of Helsinki and will soon be starting a new role as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Stockholm.
YACF seminar has proven to be popular among not only YACF members, but also other attendees of HIAD. We believe that the success of the Knowledge Import – Export seminar was thanks to both the topics discussed and the relaxed atmosphere that is typical at YACF events. However, the delicious breakfast and sparkling wine generously provided by the hosts Dittmar and Indrenius Attorneys Ltd may well have also had an impact!
The main conclusion drawn in the seminar was that Finnish students should be more focused on their objectives at the beginning of their educational path. Young lawyers should be ambitious and driven in striving to achieve the goals they set themselves, but they should also remember to remain flexible and not afraid of changes. Finnish education is well regarded internationally, but in the speakers’ experience it does not afford much privilege abroad. The most important aspect is gaining international experience. The last piece of advice is something that we Finns hear a lot, but cannot seem to hear enough: we have to learn to market ourselves and what we do, both inside and outside the workplace.
YACF Board Member
Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki