Name: Francisco Javier Martinez Fernandez
Home: Manresa, Barcelona (Spain)
Law School: Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Where is home? What is it famous for?
I am originally from Manresa aka ‘the heart of Catalonia’ (in the province of Barcelona, Spain), where Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, lived as a hermit in a cave. Manresa’s origins can be tracked down as far as 889 AD.
You hold an LL.M. in international law from ISDE and University of Barcelona and worked for one of the most prestigious business law firm in Spain. What made you decide to pursue a second LL.M. degree in the U.S.?
A U.S. LL.M. degree from a top U.S. law school can offer you career options that are typically unavailable for Civil Law-trained lawyers. In addition, it constitutes a beautiful challenge and an amazing personal experience!
Why did you choose Duke for your LLM?
It is Duke! I first learned about Duke five years ago when I was doing an internship at MPPK&J in Jacksonville, FL. Attorneys there spoke wonderful things about Duke. I did some research on my own and I knew it: It was love at first sight. Duke Law is simply amazing!
What do you like most about Duke so far?
Everything: The School’s state of the art premises and beautiful architecture, the faculty, the people, the campus, etc. Besides, Duke offers a truly collegiate environment, and Durham has some real nice places where you can hang out.
What is your plan after graduation?
Probably sitting for the California Bar Exam, and to put what I have learned from Duke into practice.
You worked on international trade as a research fellow for the Catalonia government in London, you interned with a premier maritime and insurance law firm in Jacksonville Florida, what’s is your legal expertise now and what made you choose such field?
Well, I am mainly a transactional lawyer with experience in Business/M&A, Labor and Maritime Law, and I have also had some exposure to litigation and ADR procedures. Aside from Law, I also have experience in international business development. Currently though, I am focusing my attention on Entertainment Law and related areas (Copyright, IP, Sports Law), which is simply fascinating! The more you know the better. I really like being a transactional lawyer (deal-making is certainly a thrilling professional area), and a good thing about practicing transactional work is that you can apply what you learn in one area into others.
What advice will you give to international students studying in American law schools?
‘Carpe diem’. This is a wonderful opportunity that needs to be enjoyed to the fullest. Time flies, so every minute counts! Study, explore and enjoy!