Meet ECSL member Jenni Tapio, a Senior Associate at Bird & Bird LLP and Doctoral Researcher at the University of Helsinki
Jenni has experience within a wide range of legal areas, but thinks space law offers the perfect combination of technology, science, international law and politics. We have asked her to tell us about her work, her experience with the ECSL and if she has any tips for others who wish to pursue a career within space law and policy.
What is your name, where do you come from and where do you work?
My name is Jenni Tapio. I come from Helsinki, Finland. I work as a Senior Associate in a law firm called Bird & Bird LLP. My specialisation is in technology, telecommunications, space and satellites. I am also a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki Law Faculty focusing on Space and Cyber law. My thesis deals with cyber attacks on satellites. As part of my graduate studies I act as the Faculty Advisor for our Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court (MLMC) team.
Describe your workplace and a normal day at work:
My typical day includes drafting and negotiating commercial agreements as well as providing my clients with advice on legal and regulatory matters.
What is your favourite thing about the work you do?
My favourite thing is the people and the fascinating legal topics that I can work with on daily basis.
What is your educational background, and how did you get the job you have today?
I could describe my legal studies as a scenery route; my enthusiasm in several different topics has taken me to various legal paths. As my first legal degree I have a LL.B in English and European Laws (Hons.) from the University of Essex, UK specialising in International law. Additionally, I have a LL.M degree in Business and Competition Law with a focus on licensing and IPR, as well as a LL.M in Public International Law with a dissertation in Space and Cyber law from the University of Helsinki. After having completed the European Economy Area aptitude tests required to practise law in official positions in Finland, I have also passed the Finnish Bar examination.
I have always wanted to work in international environment. Before joining Bird & Bird I worked as an in-house counsel for Nokia and Airbus Defence and Space. Bird & Bird was an obvious choice for me as it is the only truly international law firm in Finland. It is also a law firm where I can pursue my passion working with commercial space and satellite legal matters.
How did you first get involved with the ECSL?
My first ECSL event was the MLMC2014 in Wroclaw, Poland.
What has been the ECSL activity that has influenced you the most so far, and why?
I might be a bit biased here, but the most memorable moment for me was the MLMC2017 in Helsinki. On the first day, we had a wonderful industry event co-organised by ECSL, Bird & Bird and various other partners at the beautiful Helsinki City hall. Hosting the moot court for the rest of the week was one of the best experiences, not only because of the success of my team, but because of the incredibly nice and warm space people who were courageous to take up the harsh Finnish weather with a smile.
Do you have any advice for others who wish to enter into a career relating to space law and policy?
Space law is a perfect combination of various topics; law, technology, science as well as international law and politics. It is also inter-governmental, governmental, national, commercial and academic. Therefore, whatever your specific background is, you can apply and develop your skills both within space law and in other related areas. And what is more, it's great fun!
The idea the “Meet the Members of the ECSL” series is to showcase the diverse range of opportunities within space law and policy, inspire others to enter into the field and encourage interaction between our members. The opinions expressed in this article are that of the subject(s) interviewed, and not the ECSL or ESA.
If you wish to be part of this series, or nominate another ECSL member/institution – please contact the ECSL Executive Secretary Ms. Mari Eldholm. firstname.lastname@example.org