As a second year student at the Grande Ecole du Droit, one of the courses you will have during your second semester is American Law II, taught by Pauline Abadie. With a strong educational background in American law (she studied abroad with an Environmental law LL.M in San Francisco), Pauline Abadie has a different way of teaching from other French professors: she uses the Socratic method. This enables pupils from our diploma to speak, write, and think naturally in English.
Pauline Abadie, our American Law professor at an EY event – © Christophe Rabinovici
The topics tackled during this semester are very varied. Readings have to be prepared for every lesson, and two or three pupils a week have to prepare presentations about a high-profile case linked to the topic. Here are a few of the topics studied: the Supreme Court of the United States, the equal protection clause, the death penalty, criminal procedure & the incorporation doctrine, the issue of the Guantanamo detainees …
Of course it is very important to have a prestigious law firm’s name on your resume. But before that, working in a small law firm could be a “plus” for your legal culture and your future legal practice. Therefore, here are the 5 main reasons why you should make your first internship in a small law firm:
Number 1: It is much easier to obtain an internship in a small law firm
Let’s speak the truth. When you are a second year student, no one trusts your legal skills. Instead, you may suggest making photocopies or legal secretary office for instance. Small law firms always need such services. As for me, at first, I had great difficulties to find a position in a law firm since I had no previous experience and no string pulling. As a consequence, I took my phone and rang all the lawyers in the phone book. After repeating at least 30 times the same introduction, a lawyer accepted to meet me for an interview. I was simply meant to be at legal secretary. But I did far more interesting things.
Mandy Tinot surrounded by three other GED students at an EY event – © Christophe Rabinovici
May 2014, panic time. It’s end of year one at the Grande Ecole du Droit. The results are just in. I remember getting the email announcing we could collect our grades, I remember queuing (or getting in the line, as the Americans would say) to get mine. It turned out, at my great relief, that I was good enough to stay. That was a relief: the last thing I wanted to do was to re-sit any of the exams. Why? Obviously I wanted to be on holiday, but I also wanted to get a job.
Emma (second from the right) with other second year Grande Ecole du Droit students at the integration day – September 2014
I have to admit I had gone to a few Parisians shop with my CV late-winter, however I was turned down by all because I was too early and/or only wanted to work for a month (most employers need students available for two whole months). I had summer plans, so working for two months was not an option. This brings us back to the difficulty of receiving my exam results: no re-sits for me, but also no job (it had do be one or the other). Panic: I had put research for a job aside while working for the finals. As a student, let’s be honest, money is an issue. Of course, if a lawyer had offered me a work placement, I would have accepted with great delight, even without being paid! However, this was not the case. I needed a summer job, and paid by preference. As any desperate person would do in a similar situation, I started contacting family members …
Between two essays at the law school’s library, Raphael Galvao, General Secretary of the AEGED (l’Association des Elèves et anciens élèves de la Grande Ecole du Droit) and second year student, granted us a little time, at the beginning of the second of semester, to answer our questions. Here is for you the transcription of this interview.
With his usual nonchalance, which in reality dissimulates a tremendous seriousness, the iconic Raphael answers our first question.
Raphaël (right) at an EY event – © Christophe Rabinovici
- How did you discover the GED?
Very early, I knew my future job would imply the English language in order to be capable of studying abroad, and then, living abroad. I decided to gather information about law studies since I am a literary person who loves to write and argue. However, I wanted a university course which stands out, so I searched all the different possibilities to study law. I found double degrees that allowed me to both learn law and develop a high level of English thanks to a magazine which listed available courses. I immediately understood that this totally fitted my expectations and I went deeper into my research until I found the Grande Ecole du Droit on the Jean Monnet University’s website.
Flora Boillaut (GED1) performing at the Lysias competition in March 2015 – © Christophe Rabinovici
The 2014-2015 promotion of the Grande Ecole du Droit is mainly composed of people from the scientific branch in high school. Others are from the economic branch while the literature one is the less represented. How have these students discovered this very special curriculum ?
The usual process to access a school after the baccalauréat is APB (Admission Post-Bac). Many of us have discovered the GED through this process. APB is a huge website with many interesting formations but the choice is very broad. Only short periods of time are given to pupils to make a decisive choice. This is the case of Opale who was interested in learning French-English law and joined the GED, “without really knowing the prestige of the partnership with EY and the famous LLM”. She has discovered that the GED is more than just a French/English law training. Similarly Lucie and Salomé « explored the depths of APB » and went to the open day of the university “to seek information directly from students.”
The first year students of the ‘Grande Ecole du Droit’ at the 2014 Christmas Party – © Christophe Rabinovici