Constantinos Salonidis (LL.M.'10)
International Associate, Foley Hoag LLP
LL.M. in International Legal Studies
Democritus University of Thrace School of Law, Ph.D. (2010)
Hague Academy of International Law, Diploma in Public International Law (2006)
Democritus University of Thrace School of Law, Master of Laws in Public International Law (2005)
Democritus University of Thrace School of Law, Bachelor in Law (2001)
What was your academic and/or professional background prior to attending Georgetown Law?
Before attending Georgetown Law, I worked in the Center for Research and Planning of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and as a Research Fellow in the Center for International and Constitutional Institutions of the Academy of Athens, where I provided legal advice to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other governmental agencies on issues of EU and public international law. I was also in the process of completion of my doctoral thesis on the topic of amnesties for international crimes.
How has your professional (or personal) experience been enhanced by your membership in the Georgetown Law alumni community?
Tremendously. The Georgetown law experience introduced me to the law and practice of international investment arbitration. My professors encouraged me to publish my papers and present them at conferences, which increased significantly my visibility at my firm and beyond. I have also come to know that Georgetown Law provides a common link to many practitioners in the field. In addition, the high caliber and diversity of backgrounds of my former classmates has helped me significantly in building a professional network upon which I frequently draw.
What is your advice for current and future Georgetown Law LL.M. students on how best to use their year at Georgetown?
Firstly, try to finish your readings and read the materials closely -- the goal is not to memorize the information but to absorb it in a concentrated manner. Secondly, do not be afraid to engage with your professors; most of them are practically oriented and appreciative of real world implications and applications of legal principles. Relatedly, seek out people with knowledge and experience in the field of practice that you are interested in and learn from them as much as you can. And of course, socialize and connect with your classmates!
Can someone without previous experience in international litigation and arbitration transfer into this area of practice?
Yes, you can transfer into this area of practice. The skills one acquires in litigation are very similar to the skills that come handy in international arbitration and litigation. That said, international arbitration rules have their own complexities, and most often cannot be fully appreciated without deep engagement with them. And of course, public international law as the law applicable to disputes is truly vast and in some respects foreign to the domestic law experience. Domestic law remains relevant, both as the law applicable to a dispute per the parties’ agreement, or other indications, in contract arbitration, and both as fact and as law directly applicable to a particular matter, in the latter instance, through a renvoi effected by applicable public international law. Therefore, the good command of civil and/or common law concepts is a strong plus. However, it is this interplay of different bodies of law that makes international litigation and arbitration so attractive, at least in my eye.
Interview conducted by Nan Wang, Georgetown University Law Center, Master of Laws, May 2016.