PUBLISHED:February 25, 2010
Name: Alvaro Carrau
Law School: Universidad de Montevideo
- Where is home? What is it famous for?My home is Uruguay. Uruguay is a little country in the south of South America, and is the door to enter South America by boat. Its incredible geographical location, with big bays and very good ports makes my country a very interesting spot for international trade and business. Uruguay is also known for the wonderful meat, wines, leather and agricultural products. And finally, although our population is only 3.5 million people, we have very good sports team, especially in soccer.
- You are our second LLM student from Uruguay, and the only lawyer who received a Fulbright scholarship from your country, what made you decide to pursue your studies at Duke?It was a difficult decision, because there are a few very good law schools in the U.S. But Duke offered me the best program, we have the best faculty and the studying environment is great. Duke also has the most beautiful campus in the U.S. and offers students many interesting things to do when you are not studying. Now that I am here, I can say that it was the best decision I could make.
- Now that you are here, what do you like the most about Duke?One of the things I loved since I arrived to Duke is the campus. It is incredibly nice, big and at the same time cozy. Studying at Duke enables international students to feel as a real American student, living all the university life, going to the sports games and really feeling your American dream. Another thing that I would like to mention is the close relation that the faculty members have with the students. That helped me a lot not only in my academic life but also personally.
- What is your plan after graduation? How do you think the LLM will help you with your career?My short-term plan after graduation is to find an internship to give a wonderful closing to my academic training in the U.S. After that I will return to my country, to work in my law firm, continue my teaching career in the University of Montevideo, and try to get more involved in the politics of my country. Having pursued my LLM studies in one of the best universities of the world will definitively help me achieve my goals.
- You’ve played rugby for most of your life and made it to the national team. Are you still playing rugby? How do you think the skills you’ve learned from rugby helped you in your legal career?Rugby is a very important part of my life and I encourage everyone to play rugby. It is the kind of sports that helps people not only develop physically, but also teaches important moral values. When you play rugby, you have to be extremely responsible, you have to know how to work in group, you have to work hard and make a serious commitment to the team. All these skills and values, as you can imagine, helped me a lot in my legal career as to be the best you have to work in a responsible way and know how to work with your partners and other lawyers.
- You were elected President of the Latin American Business Law Association at Duke, can you share with us your vision of this organization?Latin America Business Law Association is an association of students founded to promote Latin America as an interesting and safe place to make business. Our members are not limited to Latin American students. We are open to any student that is interested in joining us. This year we have many American students and even people from Asia.
- What advice will you give to international students studying in American law schools? I would give two pieces of advice. First try to take advantage of this opportunity. Studying in an American School is a unique experience that maybe many of us would only experience once. So study all you can and take the courses you really like. But also try to give you time to have fun with your friends, practice sports and travel to other states.