While waiting for the results of our final exams to be released, I am going to briefly try to sum up what I have learnt through these three years I have spent in the Grande Ecole du Droit and how it has changed me.
In a few weeks, my classmates and I are going to leave France and go all around the world in order to pursue an LL.M.. For sure, I can assert that it has been a long road before we could finally begin to think about what to bring or not in our suitcases and how to survive with (at least in most countries) the very different kind of food which is going to replace our fine “club sandwiches”.
This year’s GED3 students, leaving at the end of the summer for their LLM – © Christophe Rabinovici
Most of us are going to pursue our LL.M at the place they preferred and it makes it very clear that the Grande Ecole du Droit gives us the necessary ambition (craziness would you say?) to begin an adventure such as the one of searching an LL.M while only in our second year of studies. Of course, it was not that easy: many of us had to take the TOEFL twice or were anxious about the letters of recommendation. However, now that it has been done, I realize that this process is an important part of the work we have to do on ourselves before being ready to leave.
Each year in Feburary is held an open house event at the University of Jean Monnet Paris XI. It is the occasion for students to present and describe their university to highschool students and to their parents. This year, motivated pupils from the Grande Ecole du Droit once again had the chance to represent their diploma during the event.
It appears that many parents come to this open house event for it is the occasion to collect information on the university but also on the specific diplomas offered at the Law school.
The Grande Ecole du Droit students presenting our diploma to potential applicants
Thus, during their presentations, some of the students met by sheer luck a parent who was greatly interested in the innovative concept proposed by the Grande Ecole du Droit. Very curious and enthusiastic about our diploma, he later admitted that he was himself an associate lawyer specialized in intellectual property and media law.
Obviously fond of the project into which we fit, Maître Fauchoux kindly offered us the possibility to meet professionals from his cabinet d’avocat in order to ask any question we had on the lawyer profession, which was still vague and abstract for many of us. The aim was to organize an informal meeting between GED students (from any year) and young lawyers from the cabinet to discuss more naturally with true professionals and freely ask questions.
The Lysias contest is a must at our law school; it is both a speaking contest and an advocacy one. First year students (L1) plead in civil law, while second year students (L2) plead in criminal law. The competition consists on four rounds. Candidates have six days to deal with a topic and write a pleading either as a prosecutor or as a lawyer. Then two candidates compete before a jury composed of lawyers, teachers and secretaries of the conference.
So the first round is made up of some undergraduate students in first year and 24 students in second year, some of whom were selected for the quarterfinals. For the last rounds, the jury designates the best candidates: four for the semifinals and finally two for the final. And then it is time for La Grande Ecole du Droit to make its voice heard. Indeed, five GED 1 and six GED 2 participated in this contest: Lydia BELKADI Tom GUELIMI, Ingrid BRUYAS, Allison CLOZEL Flora BOILLAUT, Elena AUCLAIR, Clemence LAMY, Inés RODRIGUEZ, Pauline BALAIRE, Alexis CORLAY and Ayoko DEGBOEVI.
The subjects tackled by students often resumed famous cases like the Oscar Pistorius one, but revisited. In addition, riddled with puns, they naturally lend themselves to humor, the jury assesses the true legal coherence of the argument but the ability to laugh, surprise or excite the audience.
Judges may sit, parties’ lawyers may be prepared to start their argument because today’s contract law class will be dedicated to a mock trial of the famous Texaco v. Pennzoil case that took place in 1987.
Anne-Isabelle playing a witness
A mock trial is an act or imitation trial. It is similar to a moot court, but mock trials simulate lower-court trials, while moot courts simulate appellate court hearings. It is a famous exercise in the Anglo-American law school program and has now no mystery for the GED2 students.
At the beginning of the mock trial, the judges represented here by Marie, Mathieu, Jaze, Ines, Juliette and Melissa entered the courtroom and all the audience, the class, stood up. The trial session could begin.
As the end of the second year of my law studies was approaching, I knew that it was more than time to start looking for an internship to do during the summer or at least very early in the fall.
However, as I am not one of the most organized students, I was very late in my research compared to many of my friends. Hence, I got to benefit from their experiences and some were kind enough to tell me where it was worth applying and where it was not. It was one of those times that I truly acknowledged the benefits of being a « Grande Ecole du Droit » student, seeing how we were able to help and support one another in our research.
Eventually, after sending tons of applications to law firms specialized in business law, I ended up having an interview that led to me being hired: I had an internship for the whole month of September. As I had time during the summer, I was able to find a job and forget a little bit about the internship. But as the end of august was approaching I started to get more and more stressed about the idea of becoming a trainee in a law firm for the first time.
Baya Hariche at the Grande Ecole du Droit’s integration day
What was I so scared about?
Let me tell you.
But more importantly, let me tell you why all this anxiety was unnecessary.
Flora, Mai and Thanutsika (then abbreviated to “Thanu”) are second year students of the Grande Ecole du Droit. They accepted to answer our questions and to share with us their experience of becoming a GED student after medical studies.
Mai “Law was an evidence” – © Christophe Rabinovici
Why did you choose to study law after medicine?
Flora chose Law school after medicine because she needed “to join a degree course where there are a lot of different interesting courses yet remaining really general, not one specialty only”. She explains it was because she liked “the diversity of courses and the panel of choices in medicine studies”.
Mai said that she had always hesitated between law school and medical school. However, after a bachelor’s degree in science she thought medical school was the more obvious choice. But when medical school didn’t work out for her, she did not even hesitate to choose what to do next: “Law school was an evidence”.
Thanu explained: “At the end of the year, I thought of what I wanted to do after, and I realized that nothing really interested me in the field of science apart from medical school. I considered doing a degree in biology like many others after failing the competitive exam but I didn’t really see myself doing it and the job market wasn’t great. I asked the help of a guidance counselor when I realized that I needed to completely reconsider my future. I remembered that during med school, I followed a class on bioethics and initiation to law. It was really interesting and new for me, and I thought that it was worth trying. I also remembered a guidance test that I took in High school that guided me towards law studies. I always wanted to do long studies and I knew it was risky but I really wanted to try and I’m glad I did.”