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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Christos Karavias (Commercial and Corporate Law LLM, 2019)

Recent graduate, Christos, talks about how his LLM degree at CCLS has opened doors for a great career in law in his home country of Greece.


Christos Karavias portrait photoHow did you come to choose to study at CCLS?

Upon the completion of my LLB at Queen Mary, I felt that an additional year of intense studying was essential to sharpen my skills and enhance my academic background in Law. Furthermore, the CCLS program was an excellent opportunity for me to meet international students from a number of different jurisdictions. As I wanted to remain in London my professor in Company Law, Dr Perera recommended that I should continue my studies at CCLS. Although I was aware that most LLM candidates have worked before pursuing their master’s degree, I believed that the flexibility that CCLS offered in the diversity of modules one can take, would help me mature and discover my career path.

What is your favorite memory as a CCLS student?

I only have good memories from my experience at CCLS. Despite the challenging nature of the course and the countless hours at the library, I made some strong friendships from all around the globe. From an academic perspective, I was amazed by the approach of Professor Lastra and I will never forget how she was willing to connect us with prominent scholars and practitioners from her own network. Significantly, she organised a series of lectures held by experts working for leading US and UK law firms and other premier organisations. Such opportunities to learn, but also network, are unique, especially if one aspires to enter the UK legal market.

What does being a member of the CCLS community mean to you?

Being a part of such a community comes with many privileges. For instance, in my country, Greece, one will find that the most successful commercial lawyers have graduated from CCLS. Thus, having a similar background allows one to broaden one’s network and get access to various career opportunities.

How did your CCLS experience contribute to your career?

After graduating from CCLS, I completed a long internship at the capital markets department of a top-tier US law firm, where I was able to stand out. Two essential components for my success relate to my experience at CCLS. First, my LLM year allowed me to boost my work ethic. After several all-nighters and weekends at the library, I was able to take that momentum and apply it to my internship. Secondly, in complex cross-border transactions, a lawyer must have a grasp of the market lingo. At CCLS, through the wide range of inter-disciplinary courses offered, I was able to take a deep dive in accounting and financial statements, which was vital for my work.
Upon completing my internship, I decided to apply for an LLM in the US, so that I can qualify as a US lawyer and return as an associate to a top-tier US law firm. Earlier this year, I got admitted to Columbia Law School, which was my top choice. For this achievement I am grateful to all the mentors I had at Queen Mary and CCLS during the four years that I spent there.

Unfortunately, I will have to postpone my studies at Columbia for one year, because of the pandemic crisis. Despite all the adversity however, I am certain that the skills that I obtained at CCLS will help me succeed in all my future endeavors.

Is there any advice you would give to current students?

Make the most of your experience at CCLS. Work hard, learn from the faculty, learn from your colleagues, meet as many people as you can and be open to any opportunity that might come up.



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