Having graduated from law school relatively recently, and having just taken my first formal steps into the world of legal practice, I must admit that the prospect of opining on what it really means to be “pro-arbitration” is a daunting one. Indeed, as Professor Bermann acknowledges, the concept itself is multifaceted, and sometimes—when one is faced with competing considerations of similar weight—even nebulous. The determination of whether a particular practice or idea is pro- or anti-arbitration often changes depending on the lens through which we examine it. It often requires difficult judgment calls, foresightedness, and where the cases are too close, leaps of faith.
In light of these inherent complexities, I cannot say with certainty what it means to be “pro-arbitration,” or what this concept will demand from us all moving forward. But what I do know, for sure, is that I find myself where I am today precisely because of it. The force of this “pro-arbitration” mindset, espoused by Professor Bermann and the students and practitioners he has trained, is evidenced by the sincere commitment I already feel—and have felt for some time—to the field of international arbitration. From where I stand (that is, the very beginning), the future of my career and of international arbitration is wide open. But the field is also fraught with challenges I can already see, and hazy from growing clouds of criticism. At the risk of restating what most of us know—and mindful of the impressive careers most of my co-contributors to this volume have already built—I am hopeful that what I can offer is a very humble assessment of what international arbitration must achieve in order to survive, and thrive, in the future.