Nina Mocheva (LL.M.'06)
Dispute Resolution Specialist at World Bank Group
LL.M. in International Legal Studies, Certificate in International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution
Bachelor of Laws, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski (2005)
What was your academic and/or professional background prior to attending Georgetown Law?
I went to Georgetown Law directly after graduation from Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. I developed strong interest in dispute resolution so I gained my entry to Georgetown Law.
How has your professional (or personal) experience been enhanced by your membership in the Georgetown Law alumni community?
I am based in DC and I have participated in many alumni events. The communication with young students and their enthusiasm and passion to find the right career path reminded me of my early years as a young graduate and made me think of all the things I would have done differently, or interpreted differently, had I had my today’s mindset and experience. It is great and helpful for my own professional career as well.
What is your advice for current and future Georgetown Law LL.M. students on how best to use their year at Georgetown?
If you want to work in the States, don’t hesitate to ask your professor – the one you write a paper with – whether he needs assistance from you. Usually, a DC law firm dealing with a variety cases, one of which may be related to your country, and that is when you can step in. I got my first job because there was a Bulgarian case in this law firm and Bulgaria is such a small country (compared to China). Even if the professor cannot refer you to a job, the experience of working with him is still precious, and it will open new opportunity for you. You better reach out and take advantage of your living in DC to the fullest. DC is a city with opportunities.
How do you think law students have to determine whether they want to be a transactional lawyer or dispute resolution lawyer? If asked during an interview, what shall a law student say?
It is not very practical for a new graduate to decide what to do in a law firm because you do not really have working experience. At the initial stage of professional career, you better try different things. But if you really need to answer the question when you are interviewing with a transactional team of a law firm, try put the answer this way: you prefer to working to help clients with a deal in advance to avoid legal risks in the future, not to deal with an existing dispute. Also, as arbitration is much related to litigation, the advocacy skill is required. If advocacy is not your advantage, dispute resolution may not be a perfect choice. When answering the question, remember to focus on the clients. A lawyer is always to realize the best interest of a client. I myself do not like the corporate work and appreciate the creative nature of arbitration. If you truly decide what your interest is, you don’t need to use strategy to make the story convincing.
- What details of a resume are usually ignored and thus can be improved?
It is interesting to review resumes from different countries, and I discover that hobbies on a resume is very important. I know many stories, such as the employer will just hire one who shares a similar interest with him. Also, some hobbies indicate your personality and influence your ability to work with the employers. For example, golfing is what you can do with your clients during the weekend. And I notice that on your resume there is violin. Since you have the experience of public performance, you should clarify this detail on your resume, not include just "Violin." Because if you show the past experience that you did public performance many times, people will think you are very confident in the public, which enhanced your competitiveness.
Interview conducted by Yilin Lu, Georgetown University Law Center, Master of Laws in International Business and Economic Law Candidate, Certificate in International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Candidate, May 2016.