Meeting with Tejas Shiroor
- Tejas Shiroor
Tell us about your time at Sciences Po?
I first found out about Sciences Po when I was completing my Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree in India. I was keen to pursue a Master’s programme abroad, and was looking for a course that had not only a strong academic reputation, but also placed an emphasis on cultural and linguistic development.
The Master’s in Economic Law programme was without a doubt one of the most diverse programmes that I had come across – in terms of the academic courses it offered, the opportunities for extra-curricular activities and international exchange programmes, and the diversity of its student body.
I was delighted when I was accepted to the Sciences Po Law School for the batch of 2012-2014. I completed the two-year Masters in Economic law programme, and chose the Global Governance Studies (GGS) major in the second year.
It was through the GGS programme that I was first introduced to international arbitration, as we had a number of classes and workshops on international commercial and investment arbitration, as well as on related subjects such as public international law and advocacy. I also had the opportunity to participate in two international moot-court competitions.
The years that I spent at Sciences Po were exceptionally enriching and fulfilling, both personally and academically. In addition to being a stepping stone to a career in international arbitration, Sciences Po gave me the chance to meet incredible, and extraordinarily motivated students, all of whom have gone on to build successful careers all over the world, in varied fields, in both the public and private sector.
Tell us about your current professional pursuits?
I am a dual-qualified French and Indian lawyer, specialising in international arbitration in Paris. I am currently an Associate with the International Arbitration and Public International Law practice of Eversheds Sutherland, and I previously practiced for three years at a boutique arbitration law firm in Paris.
Why did you choose international arbitration?
As an international student in Paris, and a native English speaker, I was always inclined to work in an international milieu. I particularly enjoyed both written and oral advocacy, and therefore knew that I wanted to pursue a career in law. My time at Sciences Po made me fall head over heels in love with Paris, and I wanted to stay in the city, and be able to work in both French and English. International arbitration was therefore a natural fit for my profile, as well as for my personal and professional aspirations.
What are some of the challenges that you face daily?
I think that most young legal practitioners in Paris face similar challenges – you have to be prepared to work long hours, juggle multiple tasks at the same time, and also find some time to invest in your personal growth, whether it is by writing articles, participating in conferences, or learning a language. Aside from work, I wish I was better at taking advantage of all the unique cultural experiences that Paris has to offer.
What advice would you give students who would like to pursue a career in international arbitration in Paris?
Persistence is key. Finding a permanent position in international arbitration is increasingly challenging today. Try not to get discouraged if you have to do a few internships before finding your first permanent position - you’re not alone and most young associates in arbitration have found their first job after a few internships. The more experience you have under your belt, the better prepared you will be for an associate position.
Have diverse interests and stay informed. A career in international arbitration is no longer confined to law firms. Third party funders, financial experts, market analysts often do exciting arbitration related work. In addition, a number of arbitration news and analysis forums engage students to analyse the latest arbitration awards and help keep track of the latest developments. This is an excellent way to author significant publications and make yourself known in the market early on.
Take part in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. A well rounded CV that is proof of a candidate’s commitment and discipline can be one foot in the door. I know candidates who, despite not having much arbitration experience, got an opportunity to interview for a post because the fact that they had excelled in moot court competitions or pursued a sport seriously compensated for their lack of arbitration experience.
Tejas Shiroor, Graduate of the Sciences Po Law School, Master in Economic Law, Programme Global Governance Studies (GGS), 2014