Lawyers have the potential capacity to reduce injustice. And that’s something that today’s world really needs. 2013 is a very meaningful year for ESADE, because our Law School is celebrating its twentieth anniversary. I’ll never forget the first graduating class of 96 students back in 1994. They were hopeful of changing the future. I’m sure many of them have achieved their dreams by now and are doing great things for society.
The creation of the Law School in 1993 marked a turning point for ESADE because it expanded our academic horizons. Twenty years after its foundation, the School has grown at a steady pace and our programmes have consistently made it into the top rankings. 80% of our Bachelor of Law students find work before finishing the programme and 90% of them find their first jobs thanks to our career services. Forging this path was not easy; it is the result of hard work, commitment and perseverance.
Over the years, we have also overcome several major challenges, such as adapting our portfolio to the demands of globalisation and complying with Bologna’s new requirements. We became one of Spain’s pioneering institutions to adapt our undergraduate and postgraduate law programmes to the new European standards. These were crucial times for the School. Another vital moment was when we expanded our academic network and exchange programmes throughout Europe, USA, Canada, Latin America and Asia, to offer our students a truly international experience and prepare them as international-calibre lawyers. We also became the first and only Spanish Law School to be a member of the Center for Transnational Legal Studies (CTLS), one of the most innovative initiatives in the legal field linked to globalisation. The School is also the only institution in Spain to offer the Joint Certificate in International and Business Law (Themis Programme), a pioneering programme that provides an international perspective on business law.
The Law School’s first Dean, Antonio Marzal Fuentes, once said that one of the major challenges we faced as an institution lay in finding the right path to enable us to provide answers to society’s demands. His reflection has accompanied the Law School throughout these last twenty years, and I’m sure it will continue to do so for many years to come.