Learning from the elders

The peculiar program of the Grand École du Droit (GED) encourages its students to choose at an early stage the legal field they want to study later on. Indeed, once we come back from our LLM year, we have to apply for our “Masters 2”, which mean that it’s necessary for us to know very early what we appreciate or not.

However, when you’re a second-year law school student, it’s quite difficult to determine which legal area is interesting or not. Being a GED student means living in the fast lane (http://grandeecoledudroit.blogspot.fr/2016/02/saison-6-episode-3-un-master-100-lheure.html), it also means taking important decisions before other students, and this can become confusing.

Fortunately, being a GED student implies benefiting from a cooperation spirit and from an alumni network, which often facilitate our lives. Concerned about our worries and academic guidance, several former GED students came to advise us! Some are still studying (masters 2, bar school …), others have already begun their career, but all of them have endured these 3 years as GED students and lived an LLM experience. Through short meetings of an hour with the current GED students (GED 1, 2 & 3), each of them presented their academic background and the courses that composed their LLM as well as their masters 2.

Charles Bouland explained how he landed in the master’s degree “Space Activities and Telecommunications Law” directed by Pr. Achilleas, which is well-known by GED students since he teaches international relations and space law during the first GED year. He also related his tribulations during his LLM year at the University of Montréal (http://grandeecoledudroit.blogspot.fr/2014/09/les-tribulations-dun-ged-au-canada.html) and some tips about the (cold) life in Quebec. Charles underlined the importance of choosing a masters 2 and the topic of our research paper before going abroad.

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Charles Bouland presenting his personal background.

We also had the chance to have the testimony of a former GED student from the first generation of the diploma, Alexandre Carteret. He is specialized in corporate and financial law and obtained an LLM from the University of Georgia (UGA law school, USA.). Alexandre brought forward the benefits of an LLM in such a particular place that is Athens, and the reasons why he chose that legal field. His internships in both legal firms and banks made him acquire experience, which enabled him to give us valuable advice, especially for me since I also wish to specialize in financial law.

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Alexandre talking about his internship in a major banking group.

Next, a second Alexandre visited us, but in a totally different legal area: national security. Alexandre Rodde qualified for an LLM degree in National Security and Defence at George Washington University (Washington, USA), and is now preparing an exam in order to become police commissioner. Alexandre firstly exposed the particularity of the national security sector, how he managed to study this area of law thanks to the GED program, and the various job opportunities that we can get to in this field. He then highlighted the interest of networking during the LLM year and the significance of an associative life, both elements which allowed him to obtain an internship at the French embassy in Washington D.C. !

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Alexandre showing the different job opportunities in national security and defence.

Alexandre’s intervention has been very enlightening for Mathilde (GED 2), who also hopes to have a professional career in international security and defence:

“Determined to pursue a professional career involving international relations, security and defence, the intervention of a GED alumnus has been to me a great opportunity to identify the issues of this multidisciplinary sector, and to prepare myself to what I could expect in achieving an LLM in this field.

Alexander’s presentation allowed me to have a better overview of the job opportunities related to this sector, which enables both legal practice and diplomacy, but also allows to work in companies such as Dassault or Thales, or even pretending to apply for competitions within the public sector (e.g. : police commissioner).”

Mathilde, GED 2.

Finally, the intervention of the GED alumni has been far more than worthwhile for us. These various testimonies permitted us to discover many topics, courses and legal fields, but also to learn a few tips and tricks regarding the LLM year.

Cooperation and promotion spirits, but also the diversity of the profiles and backgrounds within the GED, are the richness of our diploma; which helps us formidably and illustrates how it is a unique university program. Communicating with the elders is the best way to make us dream and realize that we can achieve great things while pursuing our ambitions.

We are now waiting for the upcoming presentation made by Pierre Delassis about Tax Law !

 Santiago Ramirez (GED 2).