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Helsinki Law: Raising the bar

“The best practical experience was Helsinki Law Clinic that gave me an amazing opportunity to consult promising start-ups of Helsinki.” – Alexandra Shtromberg, International Student at Helsinki Law School

In a complex, diverse and increasingly connected world, international law and policy helps control and shape the tide of societal progression. And while the realm of legal statutes might be rife with competition and ambition, it’s also just as steeped in challenge and reward, setting you on the path to a long, lucrative and borderless career.

Of course, selecting the ‘ideal’ university bears heavy weight in deciding the direction of your future. Though the concept of ideal is tricky to define, the University of Helsinki will check all the right boxes for those looking for a pathway to success in the legal discipline.

Nestled in Finland’s thriving capital – at the heart of a nation that’s consistently named one of the world’s top places for factors like stability, quality of life and education – the University of Helsinki represents one of the most esteemed multidisciplinary, research-led institutions on the globe, providing a wealth of unparalleled opportunities that specifically cater for the international student community.

Offering a diverse portfolio of more than 300 Bachelor-level courses and around 400 Master’s options, Helsinki’s generous program range spans all 11 faculties, and includes courses taught in English, Finnish and Swedish. Course options are rigorous and diverse, including the Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws (directed at Finnish/Swedish-speaking students), Master of International and Comparative Law (an international Business Law program), plus the Licentiate of Laws and the Doctor of Laws – specifically-designed to offer the perfect work-life balance.

“I really enjoyed the flexibility and interactivity of the program that allowed me to combine it with full-time work starting from the end of the first study year,” says Alexandra Shtromberg, a Helsinki Law graduate originally from Russia.

“I completed my Master degree in less than two years,” she adds, “and I have actually taken many more courses that than was initially required by the program – everything was just so interesting!”

Helsinki’s graduate program in International Business Law can be completed on a two-year, full-time basis. Delivered entirely in English, this program draws aspiring lawyers from all backgrounds and walks of life, refining their future potential as they gain that sought-after global perspective. Firmly set on the foundations of real-world practice and application, this course targets Bachelor-level graduates of Law or any other related field, offering a comprehensive International Business Law (IBL) specialisation that adapts to the needs of the everchanging labour market.

Helsinki’s world-class academics are complemented by facilities like the Helsinki Law Clinic (HLC); an invaluable legal service program that puts students face-to-face with clients who cannot afford a lawyer, granting the unparalleled opportunity to provide legal guidance and advice in real-world situations that are truly transformational. From here, students also gain round-the-clock access to the Legal Tech Lab – an interdisciplinary student non-profit that investigates legal technology and digitization. Above all else, Helsinki School of Law is a recognised hub of exclusive student experience.

“The best practical experience was Helsinki Law Clinic that gave me an amazing opportunity to consult promising start-ups of Helsinki,” Shtromberg explains. “As you know, Helsinki has one of the most promising start-up scenes in Europe, and I was so proud to be a part of it as a law student helping pro bono on issues of contract law, intellectual property and labour law. During the second year of my studies here I acted as a tutor of Helsinki Law Clinic, helping fellow students provide detailed assistance to start-ups on complicated legal issues,” she says.

After graduating in May this year, Shtromberg decided to remain in Finland to pursue a second Master’s degree – a decision made easy by the outstanding quality of life she enjoyed throughout her time at the school. This time choosing to hone in on the legal field of economics, the student simultaneously undertook a compliance trainee role in a dynamic international setting, enriching her with the relevant real-world practice that’s desired at every professional level.

Spurred by her ambition to forge a career in the sphere of Compliance and Finance, Shtromberg already knows that her grasp of the English language and transferrable expertise will be worth their weight in gold when it comes to securing a graduate job.

“And the University of Helsinki has given me so much inspiration in the job search,” she states. “I had a couple of individual career coaching meetings and I also participated in a group mentoring project that united four students of different educational backgrounds who received help from the appointed mentor. We met every month to discuss different topics related to study and future career paths,” she explains.

“In addition to that, the University of Helsinki helped me realise how flexible university study can be, I completed two MOOC courses on Java programming even though before that, I could not imagine myself learning such complicated feats,” Shtromberg adds. “Also, the university provides excellent language learning opportunities, allowing students to combine Finnish, Swedish and German language courses that have incredibly flexible schedules.”

And to prospective international students considering the pursuit of law at the University of Helsinki, Shtromberg says just this:

“I really advise you to apply for your studies here because you’ll enjoy both the studies and general life. Helsinki is a really cosy city full of international events and opportunities. You are so closely connected to nature and can always find places that will suit your current mood.”

If you strive to make change and redefine the future of global law, your future begins here and now, with the University of Helsinki.

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