Christian Moretti ’01 LL.M.

Leading the Way

By Mary Johnson

Summer 2011

Christian Moretti ’01 LL.M., a partner in the New York office of Venable who specializes in cross-border M&A and capital markets transactions, was recently named president of the Columbia Law School Association, making him the first LL.M. graduate to hold that position.

In addition, he is likely the first association president who once played professional basketball in Italy. Moretti, who hails from that country, prefers to downplay the latter achievement. (In fact, he chuckles nostalgically at the memory, humbly stating that “he used to play basketball.”) But the sport has played a central role in his life and helped place him on a path to the Law School.

In 1999, Moretti, then a criminal defense attorney, enrolled in a Law School–sponsored summer course at the University of Amsterdam designed to inform foreign practitioners about American legal practice. Conrad Johnson served as one of his professors, and the two bonded over basketball. “We share the same passion for the Knicks,” recalls Moretti, who delivered well-received opening remarks at the Law School’s Winter Luncheon in February.

The program nurtured Moretti’s then-nascent interest in international law. And after four short weeks of intensive coursework (plus the occasional pick-up basketball game with Johnson), Moretti decided to pursue an LL.M. degree at the Law School. Johnson readily supplied a glowing letter of recommendation.

Moretti notes that the LL.M. program was critical in his transformation from criminal defense attorney to international corporate lawyer. Now, as president of the alumni association, he is looking to give back by engaging the growing network of graduates overseas. “I feel like this should be my mission,” Moretti explains.
“These days, it is so important to accomplish the goals of the alumni association on a global level.”