Slavik Gabinsky ’10
Associate, Allen & Overy LLP, London
Slavik Gabinsky is a classically trained pianist and, while at Duke, helped revive a dormant ‘law revue’ tradition by producing and directing a musical variety show titled ‘Tricky Dick.’
I always had an inkling that London would be a good fit for me. I was born in Russia and moved to the United States at the age of 9, and London always seemed like a bridge between these two very different places. Lots of Americans, lots of Russians ... and English people too! I also pride myself on my artistic endeavors, and I am perpetually inspired by London's charm and everything that comes with living in one of the world's cultural capitals.
Describe your work and practice area.
At Allen & Overy, on a daily basis, I help issuers gain access to the U.S. capital markets, while advising them on the intricacies of U.S. securities laws. I am also cutting my teeth in A&O’s derivatives practice, the global leader in the field. The U.S. group here feels like a tight-knit family — there are only 40 of us, and we all support each other in and outside of work. I feel extremely fortunate to be working at such a warm and enlightened environment, where I happen to be involved in some of the biggest and highest-profile transactions happening around the world.
What part of your legal education at Duke best prepared you for practice?
At Duke, one of the classes that best prepared me for practicing in a top international law firm was Negotiations. I believe that being able to understand and communicate with human beings from disparate cultural backgrounds is one of the most important assets a young law school graduate can have in today's global economy.
What advice would you give a Duke Law student who wants to work abroad?
The option of working abroad as a U.S. lawyer is one of the best-kept secrets in law school. In New York, you have tens of thousands of American lawyers &emdash; why not go somewhere where you feel a bit more unique? Besides, I can now take day trips to Paris and fly to Amsterdam in 45 minutes!
The Duke brand is an extremely powerful networking tool worldwide. Duke alumni remain loyal to the institution decades after graduation. Use your Duke connections, call them up anywhere in the world and they will be ecstatic to hear from you. And if you're ever in London, please write me and I will personally show you around and watch Duke basketball games with you at 2 o'clock in the morning.
How do you like London?
I absolutely adore London! No matter how mundane any given every-day situation may be, it is always spruced up by English accents, not to mention being surrounded by fabulous art, theater, music, and world-class restaurants. Some days, when I walk around town, I can't help but think &emdash; is this real? Am I living in a fairy tale? As much as I love London, I cannot wait to come back to Duke to see this year's rendition of "Tricky Dick" on April 1st! This truly is my legacy at Duke Law and I hope that I will be coming back to see it for many years!