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José Miguel Soriano: "Lawyers must opt for practical training that is ever closer to the reality of market demand"

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Interview with José Miguel Soriano, director of the university master's degree in law at ESERP Business & Law School

Practical contents and specialized teaching staff. These are the pillars that consolidate the Master’s Degree in Law at ESERP Business & Law School. Its Director, José Miguel Soriano,  Andersen Tax & Legal partner, has very clear objectives with a degree that not only seeks to prepare students for the entrance exam to Law, but also, like any university education that is prized, offers a benefit, a degree bringing more knowledge for students to enter more prepared to a world of work where new technologies and new ways of doing business play a leading role.

P. Does the legal profession in Spain enjoy a good reputation?

In Spain we have very good lawyers, and we will have better ones. The Master's in Law, in general, is seen as a barrier for students, but we must see it in a positive light, it is a training that is going to help them a lot in their legal preparation.

P. What are the challenges facing the practice of law today?

The practice of law and the theoretical learning of this profession in Universities run at different speeds and this is something that, as lawyers, worries us. Nowadays it is no longer enough to have an exquisite technical training or a perfect knowledge of languages, but more and more the client demands from his lawyer another series of skills that often exceed the traditional technical work of a graduate or a graduate in Law - knowledge of business, provision of alternative solutions, empathy with the new economic realities and business of the client, etc.-.

The acquisition of these skills also goes through the cultural transformation in law firms, which must support and take the initiative in the development of these skills. Promoting training in this series of skills, providing lawyers with tools to improve their learning, strengthening sectors and industries of specialization, involving the lawyer in the client's day-to-day life, adopting a proactive position, etc., is vital to adapt the traditional lawyer to the lawyer of the 21st century.

One of the most important that has been added in recent years is the management of technologies and the existence of a new, technological world of the information society, such as Big Data, Blockchain or cybersecurity. The lawyer must look at this parallel reality whose regulation is in a very initial phase, we are before the beginning of a new legal reality, with different and demanding obligations.

P. So how do new technologies affect the profession?

Very much so. From how you promote your image through the personal brand to how you relate to your client. Obviously, you must be up to date with technological tools. On the other hand, as I was saying, it is enough to take a look at all the regulations applicable to e-commerce, data protection, cross-border trade, cybersecurity requirements, which are already obligatory under penalty of very important economic sanctions, and so on, and what is to come.

P. Could you explain a little more?

The reality of things, much of it, happens in the network system, so that, just as the traditional legal system provides answers to conventional social and economic realities, virtual reality requires different solutions and, therefore, different regulation, more global, more technology, more protectionist, and so on. In addition to this, the huge amount of regulation (data protection, cybersecurity, etc.) comes from European Regulations, whereas the member countries must adapt their regulations to the new regulatory changes.

In short, we are entering a new law, with jurisdictional conflicts that will also make procedural law or litigation a very important discipline, as well as regulatory compliance.

P. As a result of these new technologies, what are the strengths of the Master's Degree in Law from ESERP Business & Law School?

We want to offer a Master that not only prepares for the entrance exam, but also trains the lawyer to enter the professional world, in its broadest sense. The aim is to offer extra training at Master's level. We want to give future lawyers all the tools that lawyers demand today.

ESERP's Master's Degree in Law is the only one in the market that offers learning options beyond what is regulated. We adapt logically to the law, but, at the same time, we have incorporated updated contents that add value to the theoretical study of law. For this reason, two optional modules have been created, one on Litigation and Arbitration, and the other on ICT Law and Big Data, taught at the Andersen Tax & Legal headquarters.

In addition, all students will have two fundamental tools. On the one hand, the LexHow simulator, the best preparation ally for the State examination. They will be able to train their ability to respond as if it were the same day as the test, providing greater security and guarantee of success; and on the other hand, Tirant Online and Tirant Analytics, the innovative consultation tool useful to complement and expand the concepts of Law. It is a new concept in the search for legal information in Big Data.

P. Let's go part by part. Training first. What will the students find?

A balance between theory and practice, with great weight in this second section. Academics who provide the most theoretical part of the subject, an extra level of knowledge about the Degree. And Andersen Tax & Legal professionals, who give the practical vision, that is, the application of that knowledge to the practical reality. How do we do it? We guarantee students spend the subject of External Practices in our office, where they will be able to know the daily activity of the lawyers first-hand.

P. Having firms such as Andersen Tax & Legal is a guarantee of excellence for students.

Yes, at Andersen Tax & Legal we are convinced that Lawyers must opt for practical training that is ever closer to the reality of market demand. Proof of this is the work carried out by many of their professionals in the classrooms of different universities, with a clear vocation for practical training. Being part of this project, in collaboration with ESERP, is a challenge that I take on with great responsibility and enthusiasm. At Andersen Tax & Legal it fills us with pride, and with a lot of responsibility, to get involved in the training of future generations. I am convinced that the internships, in this case, are the opportunity that the students must turn into reality what they have learnt throughout the Master. The technical knowledge studied contributes in an effective way to the work carried out in the office, developing the skills and competences acquired, and putting them into practice with the best professionals.

You can find more information about the ESERP Master's Degree in Law here.

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