Claudio Rechden (LL.M.’04)
Senior Counsel, International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group)
LL.M. in International Legal Studies
LL.B., Pontifícia Universidade Católica, Brazil (1999)
What was your academic and/or professional background prior to attending Georgetown Law?
I obtained my LL.B. degree at Pontifícia Universidade Católica, Brazil. After graduation, I joined Papaleo e Ribeiro Advogados S/C in Brazil, and worked as a Litigation Associate from 1999 to 2003, mostly representing financial institutions.
How has your professional (or personal) experience been enhanced by your membership in the Georgetown Law alumni community?
I wouldn’t be able to work at the IFC if I had not engaged the Georgetown alumni community. By connecting with Georgetown Law alums and current colleagues at the time, I expended my network of friends and ultimately landed my job; I met people here in DC and from all around the world, and got exposed to the American legal system. The work at IFC involves international financial transactions based on US and UK law, and the lawyers coming to work here generally have a legal degree in the UK or US. Georgetown Law prepared me for the opportunity here at the IFC.
What is your advice for current and future Georgetown Law LL.M. students on how best to use their year at Georgetown?
Do not miss networking with your colleagues. People usually only focus on networking with people at high positions, but interaction with peers should have the same attention. Your peers are as focused as you are in finding jobs, expanding networks, and making the most out of the year here. Also, as colleague, people may be more willing to help each other out more. It is also important to keep in touch with the university after graduation.
What parts of your job do you find most challenging? What parts do you find most rewarding?
The job is intellectually challenging; it’s like solving puzzles. You need to deal with different legal systems at the same time, figure out what is the best legal advice, taking into account business and legal perspectives. Often times my work involves aligning different parties’ interests. It takes time and effort to do so, to have a common strategy considering IFC is such a big organization, a big team, and we need to think about our role not only as a financier but also as a developmental organization. Also the work demands a lot of travelling, as well as managing different transactions at the same time.
- What do you consider the most essential skills for this career?
Analytical and communication skills. You need to understand the risks, understand how to mitigate the risks, and add value to the business decisions. Be the actual bankers’ advisor. You need to ask the right questions, and learn when to do so. Also, as the work involves dealing with teams, so interpersonal skills are highly valued. Besides, the World Bank Group is a multicultural environment, so it is important to be culturally sensitive and a promoter of diversity.
Interview conducted by Xuan Liu, Georgetown University Law Center, Master of Laws in International Business and Economic Law Candidate, May 2015.