The First Graduation Ceremony of the Grande Ecole du Droit

The graduation ceremony took place at EY Société d’Avocats on October 21 2016. On that very evening, we saw our project come true.

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The 2016 graduates © Audrey Ailloud

We wanted to organize a great ceremony that everyone, especially the graduates, would remember. We thought that it would be logical to reward the students after four years of hard-work at the Grande Ecole du Droit. To make this evening unforgettable, we decided to gather the family and friends of the graduates. We also invited all the Grande Ecole du Droit students and our teachers.

For this special event, we wanted the program to be interesting and lively for all the guests. We nominated Léa Jouanin and Camille Collos to orchestrate the evening, in return for their devotion and volunteering.

First of all, Maitre Baller welcomed the guests and the graduates in the premises of EY société d’avocats. Then, Léa and Camille presented themselves, made a presentation of the conduct of the event, and introduced us. We presented our project, explained how and why it came to our mind, and finally thanked all guests for coming.

Then, Professor Magnier came on the scene to talk about the Grande Ecole du Droit: how the course was created, and what it had achieved in those seven years. She also congratulated our students, which was an emotional moment.

After that, we started the real graduation process. We split the students into two groups, according to the destination of their LLM. Firstly, the students who did their LLM in the United States or in Canada were called; secondly, it was students who did their LLM in Europe who came to the scene. In both cases, Hortense Derrien gave the diplomas to Professor Magnier and Maitre Baller who gave them in turn to each students. After a quick « bise », a photo was taken by our two photographers, Audrey and Elina, for a lovely memory of that moment. We were glad to notice that some students even shared photos of the event on Facebook!

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Camille Grimaldi, former President of the Association of the GED, posing next to Pr. Magnier, director of the degree, and Maître Baller, our lawyer partner © Audrey Ailloud

However, between those two groups, we welcomed Flora Boillaut on stage, who was laureate in the Lysias contest – a national and inter-university competition. She explained the main differences between the profession of lawyer and legal advisers in a company, enlightening us about the treatment of professional secrecy in both cases. Indeed, we wanted this event to be a reward for the students but also an interesting moment for all guests.

That’s why we also planned two little surprises for the graduates. The first one was a short video of our fellow students who are currently abroad for their LLMs, in which they congratulated their predecessors. We thought it was important to include them because they were close to this generation of graduates and a lot of them wish they were here! However, they shouldn’t worry, for it will be their turn soon enough. The second surprise was a very emotional video gathering pictures of this graduated class, from their first year in the GED to their last. We clearly wanted them to cry at this point!

Then, we had the honor to hear the speech of the valedictorian, Gaëlle Benoist, and Locif Choulak. Both speeches were funny and emotional in their own kind of way, and I think the whole audience, including us, were very touched by their words. As members of the organization team, it was a real pleasure to see that they appreciated the ceremony and devoted themselves to speak at this special event. We thank them both one more time for this beautiful moment.

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Locif Shoulak and Gaelle Benoist giving their speech © Audrey Ailloud

Finally, we included a little award ceremony, where three main prices were given. They were chosen for their representativeness of the GED spirit. Indeed, the first was scholarly excellence, which naturally went to Gaëlle Benoist; the second was the best associative investment, and our former AEGED President Camille Grimaldi got it. Finally, the third award went to Baya Hariche for the best intergenerational link. The awards given were little owl statuettes, the mascot of our school.

After a few words to express our gratitude, Léa and Camille brilliantly closed the ceremony. Afterwards, it was photoshoot time for the graduates, and cocktail for everyone!

Throughout the evening, the organizing team was a bit nervous. We were all watching the ceremony, fearing a false move or a technical problem. However, once the last words had been spoken and once everyone had joined the buffet, we eventually got to relax. Our doubts about the success of the ceremony were quickly dispelled as our schoolmates were very comforting and came to congratulate us. That is when we started to debrief.

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The organizing team along with the helping team: from left Léa Jouannin, Salomé Auliard, Eva Beauvois, Juliette Hueber, Hortence Derrien, Camille Collos, Wassim Mokadem © Audrey Ailloud

First, we felt that the timing could be improved. The ceremony was expected to last longer and it caused a slight problem concerning the buffet, which was not ready at the time the speeches ended. However, Mr. Baller has always told us that it was crucial for the success of an event not to go over the time. At least, we complied with this instruction. Then, when asking the other students of the Grande Ecole du Droit, we thought that in order for the timing problem to be fixed, we could have given more importance to each graduate by getting them to speak more.

However, this graduation ceremony was the very first one for the Degree and we hope that this little impair will be corrected in the future. Plus, we hope that the graduates, their relatives, the professors, all the members of the Grande Ecole du Droit, Mr Baller and Pr Magnier will, above all, remember the highlights of this memorable evening: the Locif and Gaelle’s speeches, the video relating the evolution of the graduates’ class within the Grande Ecole du Droit, and finally, the famous launch of the graduation caps!

We have been told that this ceremony was full of emotions and we could not have expected better. So there’s only one thing to hope for: for this ceremony to be the start of a new tradition!

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Launch of graduation caps with Pr. Magnier © Audrey Ailloud

Juliette Hueber
Salomé Auliard
& Eva Beauvois

→ Go check the other photos of this special night: Photo Album Graduation Ceremony 2016