Sept. 10, 2013 – A career specialist in complex, international arbitration gave University of Houston Law Center students hard-learned tips on how to get into and succeed in the growing field.
Lorraine Brennan, managing director of JAMS International, a mediation and arbitration service provider, was trained as a litigator and worked for several law firms before realizing her goal of practicing international law and gravitating to arbitration of commercial contracts.
“I had a goal, but I didn’t have a plan,” she told students Monday in a roundtable discussion hosted by Jim Lawrence, director of the Blakely Advocacy Institute. As a child Brennan dreamed of visiting faraway places and succeeded, having worked in 37 foreign countries.
“International arbitration is very, very demanding,” she said, adding, “you spend a lot of time on planes.” Cases are complex and the field is hard on marriages, she said, the work routinely requiring seven-day weeks, but she wouldn’t choose any other career.
“Very few people get up in the morning and really want to go to work; many people hate their job. Do something you really like,” she advised the students.
She offered a number of tips, some general, some specific to international law and arbitration:
Brennan has taught as an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School and Georgetown University Law School and as a visiting professor at Shantou University Law School in Guangdong, China. She is an accredited mediator and frequent speaker on international dispute resolution at conferences and seminars throughout the world.