According to the latest statistics from the General Council of the Judiciary, 60% of the candidates who successfully earn a spot in the judiciary via public examination are women between the ages of 23 and 41. Lucía Canella is one of them. Shortly after turning 30, Lucía passed the exam to become a judge – a career to which she dedicated six years of study, hard work and concentration. We sat down with her to learn more about the process.
The fruits of hard work
-At age 30, you passed the public examination to become a judge. How did you prepare for this?
3Thirty is an age that is both young and old, depending on how you look at it. What I can say is that I’ve dedicated tens of thousands of hours to this goal – studying, working and concentrating. I have sacrificed a great deal and, in some cases, missed out on important moments. While everyone else was getting on with their lives, I had my nose in law books. I couldn’t afford to do otherwise – when you’re trying to pass one of these exams, time is your most valuable resource – and I couldn’t get distracted from my goal. I had chosen a long-distance race and I had to go all the way.
Throughout these years, my schedule has been very strict. I only rested one day a week, but as the exams drew nearer, it was more like half a day or none at all. My days consisted of at least 10-12 hours of study, depending on the season. But since I was preparing for what was clearly my calling, each day of study seemed like another step in the right direction. The only thing I couldn’t do was fall behind. The journey was tough and it often tested my strength and enthusiasm, but finally I managed to pass.–
-What motivates a law student to aim for such a tough exam? And what did you get out of the experience?
During my internship at KPMG during the master’s programme, I understood that it was not the place for me. I didn’t get any satisfaction from being at a professional office, despite being surrounded by great professionals. It further convinced me of the choice I had made to try for a spot in the judiciary, which was what really motivated me.
-When did you discover your calling?
In the fourth year of my degree programme, in 2012. As a part of the curriculum, we spent time at the Barcelona courts for the Judicial Practicum subject. It was a unique and very rewarding experience. I knew then that I wanted to apply for the judiciary and decided that, after finishing my degree and the Master in Legal Practice and International Business Law, the judiciary was my target and my passion. From that moment on, I threw myself into achieving that goal.
-Where do you go from here, and what do you expect from this new stage of your life?
Even after all these years of great effort – which have been very tough – I’ve still got some work ahead of me. I will keep working both in the academy phase and at my next destinations, which I will embrace with the same dedication and hard work as I have done up to now. I hope to learn as much as possible and give the best of myself wherever I end up next.
Follow your passion
-How has studying at Esade helped you in your professional development?
I chose to study at Esade because I knew it was the best institution in Barcelona. From the time you begin your studies, you have to apply yourself fully. Our instructors demanded a very high level of study, effort and dedication. They don’t give you anything for free – quite the opposite – but this helps you do as well as you can on each exam and learn as much as you possibly can. I can say that the training I received was highly valuable when I started studying for the competitive exams, especially in the area of civil law. The culture of hard work they instilled in us has served me well.
-When in your career has Esade been the most present for you?
Esade has always been present, throughout all these years. I am grateful for the education I received and the dedication of the faculty, who guided and trained us over the course of four years as well as in the master’s programme. I am also grateful to the faculty’s dedication in the classroom and for sharing their professional experience with us.
-What does being an Esade alumna mean to you and what sort of a connection do you have with the institution?
I have been 100% absorbed by exam preparation for these last few years, so I haven’t been able to participate or take full advantage of the alumni community, but being graduate of Esade is source of great satisfaction for me.
-What advice would you give to other alumni who are interested in preparing for public examinations to join the judiciary?
Follow your passion. The process will test you, many times over, but if you manage to get through it, the feeling of satisfaction is indescribable. Every day is a step forward. Every day you have to give the best of yourself to advance as much as possible. You have to be very strict about planning your study schedule each week, since it is impossible to make up any time lost. If any alumni wish to contact me, I would be happy to given them some pointers.