Carlos Barnard Villalba
Carlos Barnard Villalba came to Columbia Law School to make a transition to corporate law. He had worked at a law firm and clerked for three years for Associate Justice Sergio Salvador Aguirre Anguiano in the Supreme Court of Mexico. While he found both experiences rewarding, he realized that, as he put it, he “prefers to be part of the deal than to be the referee.”
Carlos sees the corporate sector as a valuable contributor to a more productive society, the broader goal that first drove him to the law. “If the right conditions are met in business transactions, companies will be better off and provide better services, which keeps and creates jobs, and has real benefits for society,” he said.
New York City and Columbia are “the best place to get knowledge from teachers in the field, who are working on a day-to-day basis on the business issues they’re teaching,” he said.
While at the Law School he served on the board of the Columbia Latin American Business Law Association and invited Justice Aguirre to talk to the group. He also brought a bit of Columbia Law School to Mexico when he hosted fellow LL.M. students from Japan in his hometown of Guadalajara over winter break.
Carlos said personal growth was just as important an experience in the LL.M. program as academic and professional growth.
“You have to adapt to a new environment,” he said. “Many cultures are sharing the same experiences here. You’re all riding the same wave.” After graduation, Carlos plans to work in business law in the U.S. before returning to Guadalajara.