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Mathias Oleskow

In Production

By Mary Johnson

Winter 2009

American cinema deserves a bulk of the credit for inspiring Mathias Oleskow ’09 LL.M. to become a lawyer.

In his native Argentina, Oleskow says, the legal profession focuses more on the written than the oral. But the American movies he watched as a child romanticized the law with images of passionate attorneys pounding their fists on courtroom tables.

Although his father hoped Mathias would become an engineer, Oleskow stuck to his Hollywood ideals and immersed himself in the law when he entered the
National University in Buenos Aires. While in school, he worked at a boutique law firm, the Argentinean patent office, and a beverage machine importing firm.

By the time he graduated, intellectual property experience dominated his resume, which helped him land a job at a Buenos Aires law firm looking to start an IP department.  “It was perfect,” says Oleskow, who is a student senator and the director of student affairs for the Columbia Latin American Business Law Association. “I thought it was a good challenge for the future couple of years.”

At the firm, Oleskow helped establish the IP department and also took on mergers and acquisitions—uncharted territory for a copyright and trademarks pro. To increase his corporate law savvy, Oleskow decided to pursue an LL.M. at Columbia Law School.

Despite a focus on his studies, Oleskow can’t help looking forward. “All the deals that you study or read about in the papers,” he says, “happen here, in New York.” The allure of American law is proving strong, and Oleskow might just stick around.

Photographed by Erin O'Brien