American Law II: a must!

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.

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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 …

This year, every lesson started with a role play: a theatrical summary of chapters we had to read from the Contempt of Court book (see article by Avrile Floro “CONTEMPT OF COURT: The Turn-of-the-Century lynching that launched a hundred years of federalism“).

 Every week, the plays became more and more sophisticated: every group of pupils had to come up with a novel idea to what had been done in the previous classes. Pupils would sum up their couple of chapters by fitting the TV show “Faites entrez l’accusé” to the 1906 case, or by creating a museum visit about the consequences of the lynching. Every week, the students came up with a very different idea, and many made us cry of laughter! I hope there will be as many hidden talented actors next year for this course.

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Elena, Melissa, Héléna, and Mathieu (GED2) summed up the chapters concerning the contempt of court trial by examining and cross-examining the different witnesses (played by Melissa) – March 2015

Another key moment this semester was an important guest. For our lesson about the right to privacy, our class had the honour to be taught both by our professor Pauline Abadie and by the Deputy Mayor of the septième arrondissement of Paris, Philippine Hubin. Because of many of us in GED2 wanting to do an LL.M in the United States of America, Mrs Hubin’s experience as an NYU LL.M Student was truly helpful and enriching. Not only was Philippine Hubin very humble and open about her career, she happily answered any questions we had by email in the weeks that followed. For her time and kindness, we thank her ever so much.

Also, many thanks have to be given to our professor for two years Pauline Abadie who made every lesson different, fascinating and lively!

By Emma Laudinat