Student Spotlight: Rasmus Naeye LLM ’11


Given the range of clinic options available at Harvard Law School, why did you choose the Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP)?

I identified HNMCP as an opportunity to work on a project with professional clients supported by an extremely resourceful teaching team. In addition, I realized that the perspectives and knowledge I am gaining from the clinic would be directly applicable to the other courses I am taking this spring at the law school and at the Kennedy School in constitutional law, international law and leadership theory. Although I am sure that all clinics at the law school offer interesting learning experiences, the Negotiation and Mediation Clinic was the perfect match for me.


What was it about that the American Red Cross (ARC) project that attracted you?

The Ombudsman Office serves not only the American Red Cross but also the external stakeholder organizations with whom the ARC regularly works, as well as the general public. I think the overall complexity of this organization, in combination with the sophistication of the client representatives in the Ombudsman Office, was what made this project so appealing to me. An additional benefit is that I get to contribute to an organization whose work I greatly admire.

What have you found most challenging about the work?

From time to time it has been challenging to get the whole team of students and client representatives together, and find enough time to have the discussions we needed to. However, since we started out the project with a half-day meeting in person with our client, we got to know each other early, which I think helped a lot. Another challenge has been to align our hopes and aspirations for this project with the time constraints that we all face.

What have been the unexpected rewards?

It has been extremely rewarding to experience how well the work and cooperation in our student team went. It is a true blessing to work in a team that is passionate about a project and share an interest in the issues. My partners for this project, Tian Tian  ̕11 and Liz Alspector  ̕11, have simply been great. During Spring Break the team was literally working around the clock on this project as we were spread across the globe in three different time zones!

How do you think this experience will inform your future work?

Before coming to Harvard I worked for a Swedish law firm for two-and-a-half years. Although I would now like to transition into a public interest career, this project has inspired me to hang on to the “consultant mode” of thinking and approaching problems. Hopefully my previous work experience and this project will enable me to be an efficient and successful civil servant in the future and I will be able to draw on the experience of consulting both in the private sector and in relation to an NGO like the American Red Cross.

What are your other career goals/plans for the near future?

When I graduate I will be moving to Ankara in Turkey to work with a non-governmental organization in the human rights field. After the general elections in Turkey on June 12th, 2011, a constitutional negotiation is expected to unfold. The stakes are high and this organization hopes to be one of the key stakeholders in this negotiation. Hopefully my experience from HNMCP will enable me to make a valuable contribution to their effort.

Prior to his master studies at HLS, Naeye was an associate of Mannheimer Swartling, a leading law firm in the Northern Europe, specializing in European Union law and serving at the firm’s Stockholm and Brussels offices. This summer Rasmus is moving to Ankara, Turkey, where he will do work with a human rights organization and try to learn the language.
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