Angeliki Varela, SJD Candidate
Hometown: Athens, Greece
Class Year: 2013
Prior Education: I obtained my undergraduate law degree (LL.B.) from the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens in 2011.
What I Did Before Law School: I worked as a trainee lawyer at a Greek law firm. I also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the student-run law journal Applications of Public Law.
Why I Chose Penn Law? As an aspiring corporate lawyer, I looked forward to closing the most attractive deal for my future development and Penn Law offered exactly that. The Ivy League tradition, the excellent reputation of the Law School (especially with regards to corporate law subjects), the Wharton Business and Law Certificate and the fact that Penn is located in Philadelphia, one of the most beautiful cities of the U.S., made it feel like LOVE at first sight (pun intended).
My Best Experience at Penn Law: In a year marked by electoral heat, I feel particularly lucky to have attended the pre-election rally of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton as well as hearing the 47th and current Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, delivering the main speech in the 2013 graduation ceremony.
Professor Who Influenced Me Most: Professor Jonathan Klick, whose Antitrust lectures are in a league of their own. This course truly exceeded my expectations: I was pleasantly surprised by its empirical feel and economics-based approach, which offered a useful tool for assessing the rationality (or, at times, irrationality) of the case-law. Most important, these lectures made me realize a truth that is often forgotten in law school: that abstract and complex concepts can be best expressed in simple terms.
My Favorite Course: This is a tough call, because I had so many! Yet, the seminar Widening the Lens on Corporate Law truly stands out. Co-delivered by two leading scholars of corporate law – Professors Michael Wachter and Leo Strine, Chancellor of Delaware’s Court of Chancery – it brought together legal and non-legal aspects of corporate governance, combined the seminal corporate law cases with economic principles, empirical data and policy observations, and ignited thought-provoking (and at times witty and humorous) discussions.
My Favorite Philadelphia Moment: Visiting Independence Hall for the first time. The horse carriages parked out of the beautiful, red brick building seemed to suggest that the lines between the past and the present are blurred in this part of the Old City. There I was, at the place it all started: the birth of a nation, the adoption of a Constitution which served as an inspiration for many others around the globe, the debate on how a modern democratic State ought to be like.
What I’m most proud of: Making it through a challenging academic year was an amazing personal accomplishment. What I am most proud to have learned at Penn Law, however, is how to put these newly acquired skills at good use. My first acquaintance with pro bono showed me how a small amount of effort might actually be a big deal for someone else: when I volunteered to assist the preparation of simple tax returns, I couldn’t imagine the positive reinforcement I would get through the instant gratitude of the people that I would help.
My Extracurricular Activities at Penn Law: I joined the Journal of International Law as an Associate Editor, a position which gave me the opportunity to read amazing articles in advance, perfect my bluebooking skills and, above all, make wonderful friends. In my free time, I would also enjoy a game of tennis at Levy Tennis Pavillion with friends or make short trips nearby, to New York or D.C.
My Favorite Place or Activity on the University Campus: If you enjoy walking, the campus offers simply a myriad of opportunities. My favorite itinerary was heading down to Locust Walk, my coffee in hand. Eerie in the winter and blossoming in the spring, the walk has a magical quality. I would sometimes stop to observe the squirrels playing around or admire the College Hall, standing majestic in its Gothic Revival glory. Then, I would enter my final destination, the beautiful Fisher Fine Arts Library, for an additional round of studying.