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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School Postgraduate study

Luca Forgione LLM

General Counsel - Scorpio Group

Luca Forgione's Photo

Having done my research, there was no doubt that the University of Southampton was the place to go to study maritime law. Not only was the quality of the tutors and their publications outstanding from an academic perspective but there was also consensus in the City of London, and in other shipping hubs around the globe, that an LLM from Southampton was truly helpful in preparing for a legal career in shipping.

Having done my research, there was no doubt that the University of Southampton was the place to go to study maritime law... the quality of the tutors and their publications was outstanding.

I have always known I wanted to be a lawyer so my studies reflected that. In Italy, where I originally qualified as a barrister there is less flexibility than in the UK when it comes to legal career paths. If one wants to be a qualified lawyer, one must study law, train and eventually pass the bar exam.

Securing a role in the UK after my LLM was not easy at all. However, I know that this was not due to the quality of my degree but rather a reflection of the challenging market conditions back in 2001. Back then there simply were not many jobs (or internships for that matter) coming by. There was a qualified workforce with actual experience looking for employment so competition was fierce and employers were spoilt for choice. It would be unfair to say that the year spent studying hard was not helpful and of course the LLM did help to at least get me through the doors of various shipping companies and law firms.

It may sound cliché but there are far too many to mention. I have been blessed enough to join the right group at the right time and my role has been evolving since day one. The learning curve has been steep but certainly rewarding. Perhaps one thing I can say that makes me proud is the way I have developed as a manager. Of course, as a lawyer one never ceases to learn and especially in-house one must be able to deal with a vast variety of matters but it is as a leader that one faces the most difficult challenges. Taking significant decisions, leading by example and being responsible for others can be challenging. This is the sort of thing that they do not teach you at law school and it must be learned on the job.

The teaching method was fairly new and exciting to me. Having gained my undergraduate law degree almost without attending a single class but simply studying on my own, having to attend classes on a regular basis and do the necessary reading in order to be able to actively participate in the discussion (and I use this term purposely to differentiate our classes from a more classic one sided lecture) was a complete change in approach.

My advice to current students is to make the most of the experience and try not to have regrets. That extra hour at the library reading yet another complex case may sound painful now but it will pay off.

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