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This issue of OnTopic focuses on faculty research in the important areas of law and ethics in the business world.

Kelley’s Ace of Bass Takes on Harvard Law

Pablo Svirsky BS'06

Law Student, Harvard Law School

Pablo Svirsky

“The best thing about studying Business Law was just how applicable and useful the classes are in the real world.”

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Pablo Svirsky’s first love is music. Playing the bass, to be exact. As an undergraduate at IU, he was so fascinated by intellectual property (IP) law and how it applied to the world of musicians that he crafted his own major, Music Business—and Kelley Business Law courses were a crucial part of the curriculum.

“The best thing about studying Business Law was just how applicable and useful the classes are in the real world,” he says. “There really wasn’t much time spent on theory or history. It was all about learning law and how it works in the real world. As for being a musician, I think it’s incredibly valuable to understand how copyrights work. My senior year at IU I put together an album with my band and my IP knowledge really helped make sure I did it right. Also, some of my classes at Harvard have been easier because of the knowledge I learned at Kelley.”

Svirsky says that Harvard Law lives up to its reputation—but his Business Law experiences prepared him well. “It’s intense,” he says. “I’m as busy as I’ve ever been and have been doing as much school work as I ever have. In the most direct way possible, though, there have been some things covered in class at Harvard that I specifically learned in my Kelley Business Law classes. More important though, knowing how to think like a lawyer and really just understanding how law works in a general sense is extremely useful now.”

After graduation, Svirsky plans to work at a large law firm for a few years. Ultimately, he wants to work in racial discrimination law, specifically the American Civil Liberties Union’s Racial Justice Project. “Any organization that deals with how the criminal justice system disproportionately affects black people would be very interesting to me,” he says. “Really though, my dream job is to play bass professionally.”

Published April 11, 2011