The Game Changers is a series of short interviews wherein we ask LL.M. graduates to identify one individual who has had a substantial impact on the individual’s LL.M. experience.

There are two purposes of this series: one, to highlight the fact that each LL.M. experience is unique, and two, to recognise individuals who have made an impact on someone’s life.

In this note, Pooja Damodaran shares details about who her GC was during her time as an ICAL candidate, and after she graduated as well.

The Game Changer: Ovidijus Speičys (a fellow peer form ICAL)

About: Ovidijus is a Senior lawyer based out of an International Firm in Stockholm and Lithuania (profile)

Why: Mr. Speičys played a vital role in my legal career both when I was a student and as a legal professional. Academics abroad and specifically in a civil law jurisdiction is very different from that of what we are taught in India.

Everything gets more brief, practical and realistic. Anything conveyed is required to be on the point.

While I struggled majorly trying to get a grasp of this and also try out for the Vis moot team of Stockholm University, Mr. Speičys was there throughout, of course he had a few years of experience being a lawyer and that came in handy when he agreed to mentor me. I think having a mentor to overlook your work is truly a blessing.

He monitored me through my coursework as a peer and helped me understand the EU legal market better. Unfortunately, we hailed from the batch that ended with the 1st COVID Wave (2020) towards the end of our course and so my dreams of working in an international law firm crashed and I returned home to India and continued my legal career in Litigation and Arbitration.

However, I never gave up and was in constant touch with my peers, professors (special mention to Dr. Crina Baltag and Dr. Daria Kozlowska Rautiainen) from the ICAL program.

After months and months of COVID-19 uncertainty and delayed visa situation, I finally moved to Vilnius, Lithuania with dual jobs as a Lecturer, International Commercial Arbitration Law (Vilnius University) and Legal Assistant in Dispute Resolution at Glimstedt, law firm based out of Vilnius, Lithuania.

If I look back now, almost three years have passed since the time I enrolled for the ICAL Program and if I have to thank one person who changed the whole dynamic for me with spectacular mentorship, support and of course constructive criticism- I would say none other Mr. Ovidijus Speičys, my dear friend/peer/mentor and now colleague. 

(You can read Pooja’s FPA interview here) 

(Lead image designed by Swati Sabharwal)