Former Students

FACULTY REUNIONS: Interviews with former UIB Faculty of Law students.

ANTONIO JOSÉ TERRASA GARCÍA.

Terrasa
  • Graduated in Law in 1980.
  • Other titles: Balearic Islands Jurisprudence and Legislation Academic.
  • He works professionally as a: JUDGE.
  • He is currently PRESIDING JUDGE AT THE HIGH COURT OF THE BALEARIC ISLANDS.

Antonio José Terrasa Díaz

What do you remember about your student days at the Faculty of Law in Palma?
Now I would highlight (since if you had asked me 35 years ago my answer would have been something else for sure) the intense but small-scale university life. The current campus is completely different with its major facilities but at that time, we were mostly based in the old School of Commerce (next to Sa Riera) and lectures were given mostly by professionals from the legal world instead of professional lecturers. Basically, I would underline the effort and excitement of everyone involved looking forward to a newly-created faculty.

Which lecturer had the most impact or influence on you and why?
It is hard to pick one since I had many, and undoubtedly lots of them had a special impact for me. If you'd have asked the opposite, it would have been easier to answer.

Is there any story or situation from your student days that you can't forget or that stands out?
Being around lots of older students who were working and studying at the same time was a really enriching experience, in addition to creating striking situations, some of which were really fun since we were so young.

What did you like the most and what would you have changed at the old faculty?
Its nearby location was convenient, although it took a little away from what people generally associate with a 'university atmosphere' since there were not many of us and we couldn't easily mix with other faculties.

What do you imagine the faculty is like today?
I don't need to imagine it as I know it, although not in-depth. I go there from time to time and I have a good relationship with many of the current lecturers. It has changed a lot and is much more of a university centre. The resources and methods have also evolved. In my humble opinion, the Bologna Process presents some special problems for teaching law.

What advice would you give to our students, especially in terms of joining the professional sphere?
I wouldn't dare offer advice based on my own experience since I think the current situation is different, much more insecure, especially when it comes to employment. Nonetheless, I think it's true for anybody that it helps when you do something you really love.

Are there many differences between judges from the past and judges 2.0?
Yes, I think so. Standing for values and constitutional principles has been a major evolution for practising and interpreting law. Alongside this, the work of judges has taken on a new dimension, along with a prominence that is not always appropriate or welcome.

What challenges does the Balearic judiciary face?
The general challenges of judiciary: making the effort to try and provide useful decisions for a society in crisis.

Finally, would you study law and take the bar examination again?
Thinking about changing law for any other now is hard. I'd really have to think about it to answer that one and it wouldn't be easy to decide. I can only say again that loving what you do is key, much more so than identifying with a specific role to play in the field, since this depends on events.

 

Martín Luis Aleñar Feliu

  • Graduated in Law in 1984.
  • He works professionally as a: LAWYER.
  • He is currently DEAN OF I.C.A.I.B.
  • Hobbies: Music, paddle tennis, sailingvela.

Martín Luis Aleñar Feliu

What do you remember about your student days at the Faculty of Law in Palma?
When I started, I remember the debates in the corridors of the faculty about the political situation and the news coming in every day. It was the first year of democracy and the first election was coming up... the 'little groups' in the faculty bar were really interesting. There was a lot of concern going around. I also remember long days in the faculty library in Sa Riera and many nights with colleagues in an office by the Bar Bosch, where we'd go and have a glass of cinnamon milk before it closed and then head back to study the night away.

Which lecturer had the most impact or influence on you and why?
Many of the teachers had an impact on me: Antonio Monserrat, Román Pinya, Miguel Masot, Juan Vidal, Carlos Gutierrez, Isabel Tàpia, and lots more. I especially recall my classes with Andres Ferret, they were a draw, a performance that really showed his passion for everything he taught.

Is there any story or situation from your student days that you can't forget or that stands out?
One afternoon in February 1981 I was preparing a paper on the Spanish Constitution to hand in the next morning. I got a call and was told to put the radio on - some military officers had stormed the Parliament building. I thought that the paper might not be that urgent but I did get it in on time, even though in the end we got an extended deadline!

I also fondly remember our 'Notes Committee' where we spent nights transcribing class notes with an old typewriter that would always break down, then putting these through an old hand crank stencil duplicator with lots of care, organising the pages and stapling them by topic. The notes had to be ready in time so that everyone could study for their exams.

What did you like the most and what would you have changed at the old faculty?

I was there in the early years of the faculty and most of the lecturers were lawyers, notaries, registrars with the gradual incorporation of university lecturers and professors. I really liked the practical applications that the teachers explained in their lessons. We could have maybe had a bit more of a university atmosphere. If I remember rightly, in addition to law there was only the faculty of philosophy on the opposite side of Palma. That certain university feeling was missing, even though we were like a big family, which was nice.

Looking at things now, I would change a lot, but things were different back then: we didn't have the same resources and university training wasn't planned out with the aims we have today.

What do you imagine the faculty is like today?
New technology has led to radical changes.
Nowadays, you have immediate access to information, it's not about how to find information but more about knowing how to select it, process it and knowing its practical applications.
I imagine that now more attention is paid to teaching how to argue - expressing yourself correctly is fundamental.

What advice would you give to our students, especially in terms of joining the professional sphere?
The advice I have is probably similar to what is said at the university: specific training is never a bad thing, you always get something out of courses, masters, conferences, seminars, etc. Moreover, knowing how to speak a language well is fundamental.
In turn, if someone decides to practise as a lawyer, they need to be aware that it is entirely vocational, schedules are often never fixed, and that it requires great dedication.

What major changes have you seen in legal practice over the last decade?
We've gone from the 'all-round' lawyer to specialists, and from individual or family-run practices to multidisciplinary offices with specialised associates.
It's impossible now to imagine an individual, all-round practice working on all types of cases. Specialisation is taking on ever more importance.
In judicial practice, we are now coming into the era of electronic files and paperless cases. This is bound to represent a new way of working.

What are the challenges the Bar Association faces?
The main challenge for the Bar has always been to ensure members actively participate in the association and take advantage of all the services it offers.
There is much to do and improve but I think we are ensuring the Bar offers intense training and cultural activities.

Do you have story, personal or not, that can explain the greatness of our profession?
At the oath ceremonies for new lawyers, I always tell them that the best thing about this profession is seeing justice served and being part of that process. One of the greatest aspects of our profession is, without a shadow of a doubt, seeing justice being served.