UCL Faculty of Laws


Theodora-Iliana Papacharalampous

What encouraged you to pursue a Master's degree at UCL Laws? 

I knew that I wanted to study Law at a Postgraduate level at UCL since I was a fourth year Undergraduate student at the Law Faculty of the University of Athens. At that point, I discovered that I was interested in International and European Environmental Law when I took a related module. Moreover, I made the decision to complete a Postgraduate programme in Public International Law, which interested me as well, after my Undergraduate studies and then to continue my Master's studies in Environmental Law. So, I started to search reputable LLM programmes in Environmental Law in Greece and abroad. The LLM in Environmental Law and Policy at UCL was among the top programmes in the field, and the modules were very interesting and multidisciplinary. Another reason for having chosen UCL for my second LLM was the very positive feedback shared by friends who had previously studied at UCL during the time I submitted my application.

What did you learn during your time at UCL Laws, in class or out?

I acquired a solid knowledge about the UK's environmental law and policy which I consider very important because I was not familiar with the UK system before my LLM studies at UCL. Moreover, I learned how to write Distinction-level academic essays in law in a language different to my mother tongue, and how to present my arguments using legal terminology in a coherent manner irrespective of the complexity of the topic under discussion. Most importantly, I had the great opportunity to meet students from all over the world - even virtually - and learn how to work collectively either in research projects (I was a member of the 2020-2021 UCL PIL Pro Bono project's team) or in module assessments. Last but not least, I gained very important teaching skills when I was part of the teaching team in Laws' Connections 2021 Climate Change at UCL, thanks to the valuable guidance of Professors Maria Lee and Steven Vaughan.

What is your fondest memory of your time here?

The fondest memory is when I served as a tutor for the Laws' Connections 2021 module, for first year Undergraduate students at UCL, teaching on the Climate Change case study. In September - October 2021, I had the great chance to be part of the teaching team along with final year Undergraduate students, LLM students and PhD students at UCL; and guide freshers on how we analyse case studies, decisions and legal texts on climate change law and policy topics. Furthermore, we had the chance to discuss really interesting climate change law and policy matters during those introductory sessions. However, this great experience would not have happened without the valuable assistance and support of Professors Maria Lee and Steven Vaughan who shared that opportunity with me and the other LLM students. Since I would be interested in following a career in academia, I enjoyed this teaching experience to the fullest!

Can you tell us a bit about your current role and what a typical day looks like to you? 

I am about to start a new position as an Associate in the Tax & Legal Line of Service (specialisation: Energy and Tax) of PwC Greece. Prior to this, I was working as an in-house lawyer in a leading Greek group of companies that make investments in renewable energy projects in Greece and abroad. In parallel, since December 2020, I am a law tutor to Undergraduate and Postgraduate students in Greece and I am working both as a freelancer and at a private tutoring centre. Moreover, in September 2021, I signed a contract with another private tutoring centre in Greece where I am working via distance (online) as a terminology specialist and rapporteur on legal English programmes. So, a typical day is very busy for me because I try to adjust to different roles in the best possible way. Nonetheless, when I teach, I feel great irrespective of the daily tiredness and this is the best reward. Beyond doubt, the LLM at UCL helped me to make my CV stand out and find excellent job opportunities very soon after finishing my studies.  

What have been your career highlights to date? 

As a lawyer, I managed to successfully complete all the legal aspects of a huge renewable energy project between the group of companies - where I am currently working - and a very renowned foreign investor. As a law tutor, I would choose the teaching experience in Laws' Connections 2021 at UCL and also my first time teaching law in Greece because I had the chance to begin my tutoring career with the Public International Law module that is the field of law of my first LLM (LLM in Public International Law, University of Athens). 

What are your career plans for the future? 

I imagine myself with a career in the academia. So, I would like first to do a PhD in International Environmental Law and then apply to teaching positions either in my home country (Greece) or abroad.

What advice would you give to prospective or current students at UCL? 

My motto in life is ''Everything is possible and you can achieve all your dreams as long as you believe in it, work on it, and never give up''. So, I would advise current or prospective students at UCL to enjoy their time there to the fullest and gain the skills and knowledge that are important for their career and life.