YACF Blog: Fostering a young generation of international arbitration practitioners in Finland

A vision of Finland as a hub of international arbitration has emerged in recent discussions on the potential revision of the Finnish Arbitration Act. As part of any long-term vision, Finland will need its younger generations’ contribution. But how to raise new generations to promote Finland in the global arbitration arena?

Everything starts with international opportunities and exposure to international arbitration. For many students, the Vis Moot offers a first glimpse at the international arbitration network. The crucial question for a student or young practitioner interested in international arbitration is, what the next steps are. The world offers so many opportunities, but you have to find them first and be able to pursue them. You might just need a bit of luck too.

As a student, I heard about an open internship position at the ICC Secretariat in Paris by mere coincidence. I happened to write my thesis in a room with another student interested in arbitration, and she kindly shared the intel. It took some courage to pick up the phone, but it was well worth it. A few months later I found myself in Paris.

The arbitration community is interconnected and networks are very important. The more you hear about others’ experiences on internships, pursuing LL.M degrees in dispute resolution, practicing international arbitration as a counsel either in Finland or abroad, academic research and teaching international arbitration, to mention just a few, the easier it is to pursue those options.

Getting the first opportunity to speak in an international arbitration conference may seem like a difficult task for practitioners taking their first steps in the world of international arbitration. Not to mention getting that first arbitrator appointment. Being seen in the international arena is also a question of networks and resources, and young practitioners will usually need some help along the way.

What, then, can organizations such as YACF do to help fostering a young generation of international arbitration practitioners in Finland? First and foremost, young organizations can provide a platform for people interested in arbitration to meet, interact, and share experiences and opportunities. They can give young practitioners the opportunity to speak about arbitration and help showcase their potential and ideas. They can organize and share information on events that are easily accessible to young practitioners. Co-organizing cross-border events is a good way to broaden the international networks of all participants.

YACF is very happy to hear any suggestions on what more we could do. At the same time, we invite senior practitioners to open their networks to the young generation and assist the young on their path to becoming renowned international arbitration practitioners.

 

Mari Vanhanen

YACF Co-Chair

Senior Associate, Roschier, Attorneys Ltd

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