“I like to choose role models from people who surround me, and some professors really did prove to be people I look up to.”
Juta Šveha graduated from the Law and Business Bachelor Programme at RGSL in 2017 and is now studying in the Masters Programme in International and European Union Law. By day, Juta is a Legal Consultant at EY, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms and the largest professional services firm in Latvia. Here Juta talks about the skills she developed at RGSL and offers advice to incoming students on how to make the most out of their experience.
Could you describe your current position and how you got there from RGSL?
As a law student at RGSL, I was really lucky to have chosen a wide variety of electives that prepared me to practice in different legal fields. However, I personally was interested in tax law; it was a subject which was offered in the second year of our studies, and this served as a stepping stone for my professional career. Initially I applied for an internship in business tax advisory in my current workplace, where I was mainly involved in tax litigation and disputes.
And what led you to RGSL? Why did you choose to study there in particular?
I consider it the luck of the universe, because studying law was not on my list until the last months of high school. But once I decided to pursue law, going to RGSL was an intentional choice for me. RGSL is well known for its interdisciplinary approach, and I wanted to learn about business and law from both local and international perspectives.
How did RGSL prepare you for your current work?
What I really took away from the lectures was learning how an argument can be made on both sides of any case… arguing in an adjudicated way is a skill which I obtained during hands-on activities at RGSL such as moot courts. Those are skills that I continue to develop as a young professional in my current workplace. Studying law has been very exciting and challenging, but it does require a great deal of discipline; this has been incredibly valuable to me, and I also believe it’s valuable to every student’s future employers. I believe that they become aware that RGSL graduates are able to work hard and achieve the best possible result.
Can you tell me more about moot courts and other extracurricular activities?
Moot court was really within a particular subject; it wasn’t so much of an extracurricular activity. I would actually say that one of my biggest regrets was not participating more in student life. I would definitely offer that advice to current students - there are so many opportunities that can help shape them into whatever they aim to become.
Is there anything else you would recommend to incoming students?
Being a team player is really what makes the difference. From my very first day at RGSL, we were required to form teams to do research and write reports. Similarly to what I encounter at work, where people bring different competences and views within a firm, the more student-like version is group assignments where each member can somehow contribute in their own way. Being able to work in a team must be learned, and it’s really achievable through these type of group assignments.
Were there any specific professors that stood out to you as mentors?
I would say that the faculty of RGSL as a whole is the true asset. RGSL has a really unique blend of academics and practitioners from all around the world: from EU institutions, from law firms, from international companies. I myself like to choose role models from people who surround me, and some professors really did prove to be the people I look up to. To name one in particular, I really did enjoy lectures held by Ingrīda Kariņa-Bērziņa. I just finished her course in Intellectual property law, and I found it a very fascinating subject to learn as it moves incredibly fast.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about RGSL?
What I really like about RGSL is that it’s very conscious of and responsive to students’ needs. RGSL prepares legal professionals with comprehensive knowledge and awareness of management principles, and now I see that the school is further trying to equip legal professionals with the academic and technical skills demanded by the digital age. RGSL is aware of what is going on in the market; it’s really making the effort to keep up.
Juta is currently in the first year of the two-year International and EU Law Masters Programme.