A Short Profile of Pramudya A. Oktavinanda

An Indonesian capitalist lawyer, a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago Law School, an avid reader, a devoted gamer, a part time traveler, and a day dreamer. 

I received my undergraduate degree in law (SH) from the Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia focusing on Business Law, Procedural Law and Islamic Law, and was named as its Best Outstanding Student in 2004. I received my master degree in law (LLM) from the University of Chicago Law School, concentrating on Law & Economics and Corporate & Securities Laws.

Currently, apart from working as a lawyer in the biggest corporate law firm in Indonesia, I am also writing my dissertation on the application of Law & Economics to various areas of Islamic law (with a goal to show that the original conception of Islamic law is efficient and welfare maximizing, and clearly separates moral from legal issues) as a Doctor of Jurisprudence (JSD) candidate at the University of Chicago Law School under the supervision of Prof. Anup Malani and Prof. Tom Ginsburg.  

I am primarily a capital market and securities lawyer, having an extensive experience in initial public offerings (IPOs) of equity and debt securities, mergers & acquisitions of public corporations, financial engineering, corporate & business restructuring, and Islamic finance transactions. I am focusing on the following industries: broadcasting & telecommunication, banking, energy, electricity, mining, and infrastructure.

My main academic interest is the application of economic analysis in the following areas of law: contracts, dispute settlement, criminal law, corporate law, family law, and Islamic law. I am also interested with public choice, i.e. the application of economic and political science analysis in understanding how legislators, judges and government behave within a legal system.  

On economic system, I believe that capitalism with its free market concept is currently the best economic system which would enable the society to gain the most optimal prosperity and welfare. It's not the perfect system, but until someone can show me a better economic system, I will stick with capitalism. Hence, the reason why I call myself the Capitalist Lawyer.

On legal philosophy, I consider myself as a legal positivist. I believe that law is a social fact and I see no good reason why the validity of a law should depend on the moral values contained in such law.  However, it does not mean that a law cannot contain any moral values nor that a law cannot pursue certain policies goal such as the idea of efficiency and welfare maximization described by the Law & Economics school of thought. Hence, what the law should be and what determines the validity of a law are two separate issues.

On being a lawyer, I believe that professionalism, intelligence, tenacity, relationship management, and dedication are the main keys for developing a lawyer's career to the next level, though all of them would be useless without first having a great passion to take the path of a lawyer's life. After all, the profession of lawyer is not an ordinary job, it is essentially a way of life.

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