The Bridge Experience

At the end of summer 2012, an accomplished first year of law degree at “La Faculté Jean Monnet” had helped me forget the disappointment caused a few months earlier by my failure at the Science Po interview. Then, I remembered what my friend told me over a cup of coffee. The University offers highly regarded programs to its most promising students and grants freshmen the opportunity to jump on the bandwagon.

One must admit that communication has never been the asset of the faculty, even more so at Sceaux than at the other Paris rockers. So, unless you are extremely anxious, an enthusiastic reader, or a constantly eager-to-learn individual, it is difficult to be interested in all of the information sections provided by the faculty’s lousy former website (hopefully, things have changed! – a little bit).

Very quickly convinced that I wanted to follow the business law path and to join a prestigious college program as the ones in business schools or private preparatory schools, I jumped at this opportunity and I took my chance. I compiled files of my high school and first-year bachelor’s degree in law results (which must certify a good level of English), and my motivation letter in a flash drive. I also slyly added my admission letter to post baccalaureate merit scholarship from AEFE (Agence de l’Enseignement français à l’étranger). You have to go with anything that can help you. Finally, I laid it all on tiptoe, to the B13 office’s student advisor.

A few hours later (yes, the GED was still in its early hours and could not repel the advances of a potential brave GED soldier, you unfortunate 2015 new 1st years!), A phone call informed me that Professor Magnier, Head of the GED Program and former Vice-Dean of the Faculty, wanted to meet me for an interview. To hear about my project. To get a quick glance at the person I was. In short, she had to decide whether or not I had the profile to join this elite and still secret squad.

The interview went well (take this, Sciences Po!) and I was officially joining team red and white at the reunification. They just didn’t know it yet.

Maher, Grande Ecole du Droit student, during the Lysias competition - Faculté Jean Monnet

Maher, Grande Ecole du Droit student, during the Lysias competition – Faculté Jean Monnet

One week later, school was already starting. I sat in the back of the class during the English legal advanced course of the very famous Professor Casset. I could feel all my classmate’s eyes on me and the 4 other newcomers. Inwardly frightened when I was asked to introduce myself to this audience, I tried as always to look cool and relaxed while, under this heavy pressure, my shirt’s buttons threatened to blow up. What happened next was a strongly-connected-thirty-people crew warmly welcoming me in their family. This team spirit I witnessed made me better understand how supportive and caring they were to each other, reminding me the mutual help most business schools make you think they are build upon (having been myself a prepa student, I can assure it is not what it looks like from the outside, individualism and wild competition being omnipresent).

At the GED, all students prove to be highly competitive and ambitious, but still the group is always pushed upwards by the leading pack. Every GED year’s Facebook private group, as well as the courses’ outlines sharing and the daily debates, help make life easier for one another. This spirit demonstrates that the GED is a group of friends trying to make its way through without loosing too many soldiers along the way. Thus, if the GED is an elite program, it owes it to the quality and involvement that requires its training. It expects the very best from us students, both intellectually and humanely.

Ultimately, joining la Grande Ecole du Droit was one of the best decisions I ever made. For several reasons: first, regarding the preparation of my future, because it helped me distinguish myself from the horde of second year students following a classic track. Secondly, it made me evolve the way I dreamed of, thanks to its one-of-a-kind curriculum design and its fourth year experience abroad. And thirdly, it made me connect with a great “family” and wonderful people I had the chance to further establish a special bond with, making me confident in asserting that I will hopefully interact with them for both friendly and professional purposes in the future. La Grande Ecole du Droit is and has been a unique journey for me so far, and in my capacity of “passerelle” student, I could not tell how much it helped me blossom, open up, and be fully aware of the law market, thanks to our valued partner: EY.

I saw these past years scroll in a blink of an eye, in both the good times and the difficult ones. Like during my second year first semester when I had a hard time adapting to the astonishingly different amount of work required. But with strength of mind, a large pinch of goodwill, and the tremendous support of my peers, failure was not an option for me, just as it will not be for you. I had legal courses taught in English for the very first time, and I also had to catch up with what had been taught the year before in “Le D.U.” courses (Prof. Abadie’s Constitutional Law II course for instance, which was the continuation of Constitutional Law I held the first year).

As a result, I am today a proud GED student enjoying his fourth year journey abroad. I am currently in the U.S. (Los Angeles, California). But as crazy as it might seem to you, even a thousand miles away, despite the fact that I enjoy one of the nation’s top-ranked law schools’ education, I happen to miss my GED classmates a lot. (But please never tell them that!).

I’m looking forward to meeting you all at the year-end GED events. Until then, GED students, inquisitive or curious high school minds, future cum laude-graduated GED1 hear me out. La GED has been a sensational journey for me and it is a part that is definitely worth taking. I have a strong belief that our program is becoming, and will become over the next few years, a true reference in the educational legal landscape. For the very reasons that more and more exceptional students want to take up the GED challenge, and that we (students, professors, head) all work together with the same goal: to be the best!

In short, I experienced the GED bridge and it was amazing.

Greetings from Los Angeles,

Maher Hachem,
Grande Ecole du Droit, Paris Sud, Sceaux
LL.M in Business Law, University of Southern California, USC Gould School of Law