International Business Law at Helsinki is the field of the future
Source: University of Helsinki

At the University of Helsinki, the Master’s Programme in International Business Law (IBL) is truly the field of the future.

By merging traditional teaching compounds with newly discovered techniques, this is the perfect Master’s programme for aspiring legal practitioners in search of modern theories relevant within the current and expanding field of law.

As this leading Faculty of Law believes in a multidisciplinary approach to learning, their two-year programme will take you through both optional and compulsory modules that reflect your interests. By building a degree that’s based on your personal preferences, the power is in your hands at Helsinki.

Digitalisation has transformed the real-world legal profession

To discover what life is like in the field of International Business Law, Study International spoke to Ville Pönkä. With four years’ experience as a student and as a director of this programme for several years, his valuable insights are expressed throughout.

By addressing the partnership between digitalisation and the real-world legal domain, Pönkä explains how digitalisation has dramatically changed the legal profession”.

“Today, lawyers must pay extra attention to privacy and data protection issues, as well as to legal problems arising from novel electronic commerce.

Source: University of Helsinki

“Therefore, digitalisation should not be perceived merely as a challenge but also as an opportunity to develop legal services and practices,” he tells us.

As technological development increases, it’s no surprise that the academic field of international business law needs to align its curriculum with the changes.

Unlike other universities still teaching outdated principles of thinking, Helsinki brings life to this contemporary and engaging subject by keeping the topics relevant and relatable. By infusing the influence of the digital age into the IBL syllabus, students will gain a deep-rooted understanding of how legal professions advance alongside technology.

Stated within the programme goals, the degree also promises to further develop your analytical, communication and legal argumentation skills. As you’ll be studying in an inspiring international and multicultural environment with students and staff from all over the world, you’ll be exposed to a diverse array of legal cultures, business law practices and successful digital transformation trends.

The Helsinki Faculty of Law also hosts an innovative Legal Tech Lab, by providing critical insights into technology and creating a one-stop-shop for academic and practical information on digitalisation of legal practices both nationally and globally, the lab has helped to develop many of the IBL student’s skills.

Producing graduates that thrive in the field of sustainable development

“Sustainability is one of the cornerstones of the International Business Law programme. Aspects of ecological, social and economic sustainability are included in all teaching and there’s even a compulsory introductory lecture where sustainability and ethics in business law are discussed.

“By offering students state-of-the-art knowledge of sustainability sciences, they’ll have the opportunity to promote sustainable development in their future careers,” Ville Pönkä says.

Throughout your International Business Law experience at Helsinki, you’ll adopt a great appreciation for sustainable development. You’ll begin to understand that certain legal actions often link to detrimental implications. Therefore, while working in the field of law, you must ensure that you meet the needs of today’s generation without disrupting the generations of tomorrow.

To support the progress of sustainable law, all teachers of the International Business Law (IBL) programme, including Ville Pönkä, are highly experienced researchers and active members of the world-renowned Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science; HELSUS.

By contributing to sustainability transformations of societies through inter- and transdisciplinary research and education, this initiative co-creates knowledge through research, experiments and living labs. Acting as an extra integrative education of sustainability, HELSUS is another advantage of the Helsinki adventure.

Or, if you have a few ideas of your own that could help to sustain the legal sector and positively impact lives around the world, then the university provides a Think Corner for project development and the Helsinki Think Company for free co-working spaces, bootcamps, accelerator programs, mentoring, workshops and other events.

The relevancy of International Dispute Resolutions

“In a globalizing world dispute resolution is becoming more and more international in nature. It is an area in which all international business lawyers must master as multinational commercial activities are complex and disputes arising from them are rather common.

“That’s why Helsinki students regularly take part in moot court competitions and internships offered by the Finnish Arbitration Institute,” says Ville Pönkä.

As mentioned, to enhance your knowledge of international dispute resolutions, the programme allows you to gain practical experience through internships during semesters, competitions and networking events.

Extra-curricular activities are always available at the Helsinki Faculty of Law and will help you to boost your public speaking skills and self-confidence. Even though you’ll be applying for this Master’s course with the prior expertise of core legal practices, the degree helps you tackle new areas such as dispute resolutions and complex debates.

On a final note, if the IBL programme has sparked your interests and you want to further your education at the Helsinki Faculty of Law, faculty member Pönkä has a few words of invaluable advice to share…

As he highlights, “While drafting your application, make sure that you put special emphasis on your previous experience in international business law. As it’s an extensive topic, it might also be worth considering which areas you aim to specialise in. For instance, contract law, company law, competition law, IP law, consumer law and dispute resolution – not forgetting more general topics such as digitalisation and sustainability!”

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