01 September 2021

Interview Cecilia O'Neill, Dean of the Law School of the Universidad del Pacifico


The Impact Lawyers publishes a series of interviews with deans of the world's leading law schools. On this occasion, Cecilia O'Neill, Dean of the Law School of the Universidad del Pacifico (Peru) answers the questions in this interview


In recent times and understanding the transformation that the legal sector is going through, do you think that different subjects should be taught? For example, subjects related to management, business management or technological skills.

I am convinced that to be a good lawyer it is not enough to know law. A lawyer must be ready to make people's lives better, and for that it is essential to approach legal problems with an interdisciplinary approach. This is the academic approach chosen by the Faculty of Law of the Universidad del Pacífico, which has designed its legal training hand in hand with solid knowledge in economics, business, humanities and social sciences.

Another aspect that the Faculty is committed to is academic training with an adequate handling of general and specific technological skills, referring to the management of legal services from an innovative perspective.


In your opinion, is it advisable for law students, at the university stage, to specialise in a specific area of law or, on the contrary, do you think that specialisation is a process that should be followed later, once the law degree has been obtained?

In my opinion, at the undergraduate stage we should encourage students to think like a lawyer, but not a traditional one, but one who is empathetic to the needs of his or her clients. To do this, before finding legal solutions, they must learn to look for the problems they face.

In order to identify the problem to be solved, it is essential to have a solid general training in law, complemented by knowledge of other disciplines. Law graduates must be ready to decode a problem with legal relevance, and have knowledge of other disciplines, which will allow them to identify the edges of the problem and the specialists who will provide the solution. It is therefore preferable that specialisation takes place at a postgraduate stage.


universidad pacifico law school dean cecilia oneill


Do you think it is advisable for practising lawyers to form part of the teaching staff of universities, or do you think it is better for university professors to dedicate themselves exclusively to training?

Yes, it is desirable to include practitioners in the teaching of law. I believe that the ideal team of law professors is one that is made up of professors interested in developing an academic life alongside practising lawyers. In both cases, it is essential that they deal with legal issues in depth and that they have a real passion for training the next generation of lawyers.


What sanction does a student caught cheating suffer at your university?

The student is suspended.

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