Master of Laws Interviews Season 2: Episode 5: Ignacio Zabala Alonso, International Arbitration Lawyer licensed in NY, Spain and England & Wales, McDermott Will & Emery

By Yi Song

How did he turn his BigLaw externship into a post-graduation job offer?

When Ignacio walked out of his first interview for a competitive externship position, he wasn’t feeling optimistic. He was thrown off his pace by the interviewer’s first question: “So, do you have any questions for me?” He managed to get hired as an extern anyway in the International Arbitration Group at McDermott Will & Emery. The externship later turned into a long-term position that allowed him to stay with the firm after he graduated with his LLM degree.

How did he turn things around during the interview, even if he felt like he started off on the wrong foot? How did he turn the externship into a long-term position? What is expected of an internationally trained lawyer like Ignacio in BigLaw? Being a licensed attorney in Spain, England & Wales, what’s Ignacio’s take on the work culture difference between BigLaw in the U.S. and in Europe?

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