Name: Antti Makkonen
Hometown: Kuopio/Helsinki, Finland
Prior Education: LL.B., LL.M. and LL.Lic., University of Lapland, Finland. Ph.D. (Law) Candidate since 2013.
What I did before Law School: I worked as a banking and corporate lawyer for OP Financial Group, the largest financial institution in Finland. My specializations were corporate governance, bank mergers, covered bonds as well as consumer and corporate lending. Ph.D. program was a part-time project besides my work. After receiving the Fulbright scholarship I headed to Penn Law LLM program.
Why I chose Penn Law: Excellent curriculum in corporate and commercial law, well-known professors in these fields, LL.M. classmates from all over the world, a university with an excellent reputation both in the U.S. and internationally. Also, Philadelphia’s excellent location on the U.S. East Coast – for example, Washington, DC and New York are not at all far away!
My best experience at Penn Law: Graduation ceremony! I have never had such a tremendous graduation event. I really loved it! At that point I realized having achieved and experienced a lot during the past academic year.
Professor who influenced me most: Cannot name only one. Professors Skeel, Wachter and Fisch from the full-time faculty. They are excellent teachers and and dedicated scholars. I also had a pleasure to learn insights from the practical standpoint from Helen Pudlin and Mike Holston, experienced general counsels who gave a seminar course about the challenges in-house counsels face during their careers.
My favorite course: Again, cannot name only one. The most I liked bankruptcy, corporations, securities regulation and challenges facing the general counsel. International banking course at the Wharton School of Business was also worth taking.
My favorite Philadelphia moments: Philadelphia Flyers ice hockey games and running on the Schuylkill river trail.
What I am most proud of: In general, enrolling in the LLM program was definitely one of the best decisions I have done so far. Broadened knowledge on U.S. and international law & economics, new friends and connections from all over the world, better language skills, personal growth, having learned so much from the top legal scholars and professionals in the U.S. – priceless!
What am I up to now: Now after graduation I am currently doing my Ph.D. research here at Penn Law as a Visiting Fulbright Researcher for six months and after that I will return back to Finland to continue working as a corporate counsel for OP. My book, a legal treatise on Finnish housing and consumer finance (Asunto- ja kuluttajarahoitus - “Housing and Consumer Finance”), will be published in 2016. My Ph.D. studies will be ongoing on part-time basis.