Why choose competition law ?

Last year, because I was doing my Business and Finance law Masters 1 by anticipation, just like every third-year student in the Grande Ecole du Droit, I had to choose one elective course each semester in Business and Finance law to complete the requirements of the Masters degree.

While I had chosen commercial law for the first semester, I wanted something really new for the second semester. I figured that competition law would be the one, given that I heard lots but did not know a thing about it. Let me just say that it was a great choice, I absolutely do not regret it and it helped me a lot during my LL.M !


Baya Hariche speaking at an EY event – © Christophe Rabinovici

The only negative point I remember about this course was its hours : we had class on Mondays from 5 to 8pm. Not a big deal when you love what you are doing, right ? That was not exactly my opinion at the time but let’s move to the teacher and the content of the class.

The thing I immediately found reassuring in this class, in which I was by the way the only third-year student, was the teacher. She was indeed also teaching a basic course on obligations for third-year students. She was hence a familiar personality, very organized and easy to follow, so I knew from the beginning that I would not have a hard time understanding the content of the class. Also her exams were challenging but nothing impossible when you had worked the whole semester and studied hard before the exam.

On the content, I believe that everybody has an idea of what competition law regulates: how undertakings (individuals or companies) can legally and loyally compete with one another. It is often hard to elaborate at first and that is the reason why I was looking forward to this class.

During the first semester of my LL.M in the U.S., I chose a course dedicated to the different competition law regimes, particularly focused on the comparison between the US, the EU and the Chinese regimes. In this very small class, I was the only foreign student and all the Americans students were very familiar with the American antitrust system so I did not feel completely lost as I was myself educated to the European competition law system.

I was really happy when I was reminded things from my competition law class from last year – it is often a sign of a very good class when you can actually remember things, right ? – and could often add to the discussion when we were discussing and comparing the competition law systems.

Finally, for the purpose of completing my LL.M program, I had to choose a class graded by a research paper. The competition law class from last year made me feel so comfortable and prepared that I decided to write my paper in this International Competition law regimes class and I ended up having a good grade !

On a final note, I can only recommend this class at the Faculté Jean Monnet which provides very good basics to tackle any other class related to competition law. But, more broadly, if you love a certain topic, do not be afraid to go for it regardless of any circumstances (you being the only L3 of your class or you being the only foreign of your class). Work hard and you will pull through it 100% !

By Baya Hariche