Before he applied to the Insurance LLM program at UConn School of Law, Andrés Avila earned a law degree from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and worked for an insurance law firm in Miami and London.
The question was not whether to apply to UConn Law, but when. He concentrated on gaining experience in the field of insurance, working in Latin American and international insurance and reinsurance dispute resolution, so he could apply at the right moment for him, both personally and professionally.
“UConn Law School offers the most respected insurance law program in the country and the world,” he said. He was attracted by the breadth of the program, which offers introductory and advanced courses in the field and the opportunity to sit for the New York bar exam and pursue a career in the United States.
He was also attracted by the entrepreneurial spirit in the United States. “It is about achieving the best version of yourself, regardless of the circumstances that surround you," he said.
Andrés graduated with an insurance LLM in 2017. His thesis addressed the impact of autonomous cars as a market disruptor of the auto insurance industry in the United States and worldwide. He sees new technologies such as artificial intelligence changing the insurance industry forever.
“It was an extremely appealing topic,” he said, “and if you are going to write a thesis about it, you had better like it.”
At UConn Law, he said, he made friendships with people from around the world and learned a great deal about U.S. law and insurance legal practice in the United States. The law school gave him the opportunity to learn, network, attend events and develop skills, he said.
After graduation he passed the New York bar exam and joined Saxe Doernberger & Vita P.C. as an associate in the firm's Northeast office in Trumbull, Connecticut.
“I never hesitate to proudly say I am a UConn Law alumnus and would encourage anyone to pursue a legal career there,” he said. “If I could come back in time and decide to do the UConn Law LLM program again, I would do it again a thousand times.”