1. Hi Lorna, before answering more specific questions, could you briefly tell us about your background?
My high school years were spent in Germany and the United States. I completed my undergraduate degree in Political Studies at Queen’s University in Canada. I returned to California for law school and earned my J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. I then completed an assignment
with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals in The Hague. Following this, I interned with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s international arbitration practice, first with
the Geneva team and then the Paris team. I am now an Associate with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s international arbitration practice, based in Paris.
2. I noticed that you speak many languages. Is it an asset you take advantage of in your daily work or do you mainly deal with English/French cases?
Absolutely. Although my primary working languages are English and French, after just one year of working in international arbitration, I have already worked in German and Italian as well.
3. How did you discover arbitration and what has led you to go down this road?
My focus was on public and private international law and so I took courses in international arbitration at the University of Bologna and Loyola Law School.
I was particularly interested in international arbitration as a mechanism for dispute resolution because it provides greater flexibility and liberty to all involved: the parties, legal counsel and arbitrators. Notably, it allows the parties to choose the arbitrators, the language and procedural sequence of proceedings as well as the applicable procedural and substantive law, thereby allowing for a more efficient resolution of disputes.
I was also interested in pursuing a career in the field because it seemed like the perfect fit.
It permits me to problem solve by exploring various legal systems, move across industry sectors and break down cultural barriers.
4. Are there any reasons why you decided to study in the United States rather than in France?
Throughout my childhood, I moved to different countries. Although I initially attended French schools abroad, I began attending European and International Schools where the primary teaching language was English. It then was natural to pursue my university studies in English.
5. According to you, what are the main qualities that are needed to obtain an associate position?
In addition to having strong legal skills and cultural sensitivity, the key attributes of a young international arbitration attorney are open-mindedness and adaptability.
6. How do you feel after one year working as an associate in Paris?
My first year working in international arbitration has confirmed my enthusiasm for the field. I feel very lucky to work under the guidance of Laurent Jaeger and Charles Kaplan, and with a team of such outstanding caliber. The attorneys I work with have brilliant legal minds, absolutely love what they do and have been true mentors.
7. Any tips for young people who want to take the plunge into the professional world?
I would recommend developing the skills I mentioned above. It is essential to be passionate about this field. Working in international arbitration requires a substantial commitment and a strong work ethic, which in turn is reflected in the quality of your work and contagious for your team members.