Why we chose financial market law

Tom Guélimi (GED 3)

Just like any third-year student at the Grande Ecole du Droit, I had to choose two courses of M1 in business law to study before leaving on my LL.M. During the first semester, I followed the international private law course (you can find Maxime François’s article on this course below) but this semester, I decided to go with financial law. Basically, it’s the law of the markets on which investment services are offered and operations take place. These are all under the control of a national entity, in France the AMF.

This area of the law has become particularly important and interesting after the financial crisis of 2007 because of all the efforts that were put in the regulation of the financial markets. But aside from the fact that this subject is fascinating and very stimulating intellectually, why should you chose this course for your second semester?

First of all, everyone starting in this class feel like they’re being spoken to in a completely different language which makes you at the same time very curious but also a little bit stressed about the final exam (an oral exam by the way, beware). Indeed, you will feel as if you were part of a special group allowed to understand how the world of finance works and the feeling of uneasiness actually quickly goes away after a couple of classes.

Second, the professor teaching financial law is amazing (in a good and a bad way, trust me). Professor Paclot often says “If you understand what I am saying, I must not have been clear enough”. He actually is quite clear most of the time and manages to make very complex situations or rules of law sound very simple. Even better, he does not hesitate to criticize the judicial decisions or the applying rules of law. However, you should not join this course if you do not like to participate because he might test you on your general knowledge from time to time.

Finally, this course, if you choose to accept it, can be a major asset in your academic background since very few students attend it (average of 20 students) and even fewer students have the chance to take this course during their third year. As I have mentioned before, this is a very complex and modern area of the law and it embraces a lot of fields of business law so it may become handy in your future career.

I hope I haven’t spoiled you anything and have left you curious enough to join the course. Good luck to you and may the law be with you.

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© Christophe Rabinovici

Santiago Ramirez (GED 3)

I have to admit that selecting my Master 1 courses wasn’t an easy task for me. Indeed, when it comes to choosing courses, I believe that it’s essential to combine your personal tastes with a coherent academic project. During the first semester, I decided to study ‘Corporate Taxation Law’. It was a strategic decision, since ‘General Taxation Law’ is taught during the second semester of the third year of LL.B. As a result, at the end of my third year, I will benefit from a strong knowledge of French taxation law.

For the second semester, it was a much trickier question. I was eager to study almost every courses … However, I decided to discover the mysterious world of the financial markets. It was a logical choice. On one hand, I’ve always been interested in economy and finance. On the other hand, financial law isn’t taught in every French universities, and it’s an emerging subject in the legal field.

But Santiago, why should I choose financial law?!

Well, because you will understand the bases of a key sector of our modern economy.

Every day you hear about the results of the “CAC 40” or the “Down Jones“. Many companies around the world rely on financial markets in order to fund their activities. Since the financial crisis of 2007/2008, everyone has heard of ‘subprimes’, ‘swaps’ and other weird names of financial products. In France, the Kerviel scandal (which lead to an epic lawsuit), renewed the touchy debate surrounding the wrongdoings of the financial world. However, who understands anything of this whole mess?

The course of Financial Law, taught by Professor Y. Paclot, sheds some light on these issues. Financial law focuses on the regulation of both uses of financials services and the relationships between the protagonists who operate within this sector. It would be quite difficult to explain you in details what do we learn during these weekly classes, so I’d rather tell you why I don’t regret my choice.

This class enabled me to acquire a better comprehension of what are the financial markets, why do they exist, what are their functions, why are they essential, who are the key actors in this field, why regulation is a significant role for the states etc. Most importantly, it’s really interesting within a legal point of view to demystify what is seen by everyone as an evil and gloomy world. Studying financial law gives you the tools to develop your personal opinion on financial markets.

Moreover, Pr. Paclot perfectly handles its subject and explains tough principles in simple ways:

“You all know Canada Dry right? It almost tastes like alcohol, but it’s soda. Well, it’s the same thing with hedge funds. They are almost companies but they’re not: they don’t have a complete legal personnality”.

To finish this article which is getting way too long, I will be more academic. Financial law is a fascinating subject because it completely blends many legal areas. Every time we must refer to our knowledge in corporate law, constitutional law, public law, european law, criminal law, but also (and mainly) to general civil law. I would say that financial law is an advanced use of contract law and property law. Today, I realize why during my entire second year each one of my professors used to repeat that we will use contract law in every legal field. ‘Forward contracts’, ‘usufruit’, or ‘conditional obligations’ are legal notions that now make more sense to me.

At the end of the day, financial law is a complex course because we barely have expertise in finance, but also because this legal area uses other legal concepts with a much more technical approach. Nonetheless, it is probably what renders this subject exciting.

At the beginning of the semester, it was pretty funny and reassuring to see that the twenty fourth-year students of the Master 1 were as much lost and troubled as Tom and I felt. Unfortunately, I guess that the upcoming final exam will be less funny.

SantiaGuél (GED 3).

My First Semester – Rose Pommeray

My name is Rose and I started at the Grande Ecole du Droit last fall. Before university, I lived in Oslo, Norway and at the end of high school I had no idea of what I wanted to do. It was very complicated to find information as I couldn’t visit the universities, go to conferences, I didn’t even have a guidance counsellor… I knew I wanted to study law, but I was looking for something a little more specific so I started looking on internet and on APB for a selective university course. For a long time, I planned entering a “classe préparatoire”, a double diploma in law and economy, law and philosophy, law and just something else… I ended up finding the Grande Ecole du Droit. I sent my application and got in after an oral examination through Skype with Pr. Magnier. I passed my baccalauréat and left Oslo at the end of June.

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©Audrey Ailloud/Elina Rougeau

University is a thousand miles from high school. In Oslo, we were 16 in my class and I arrived in September in an amphitheater full of people. Among other things, it changes the relationship you have with the teacher: I used to ask questions as soon as I didn’t understand something, the rhythm of the course was adapted to us… In a university course, you take notes, you can eventually ask a question during one of the two 10 minutes’ breaks but it stays very anonymous. I was quite frustrated about it at first, but the courses were so interesting and the teachers so good that I accepted it fast, but I was still very happy to start the Grande Ecole du Droit courses. As a selective diploma, we are only 30 to follow each Grande Ecole du Droit course and I enjoyed being in a class and interacting again with a teacher. Our American Law course for example is organized like a course in an American university: the teacher presents a topic and asks questions about it that we answer all together. Of course, you need to prepare the topic before going to class: University gives you a lot of autonomy, which is good but also very demanding. I have learned a lot these past few months and grown tremendously as a person. It takes a lot of organizing and responsibility to succeed at university. The Grande Ecole du Droit helped and helps me with this complicated aspect of university through the personal support we get from the older students (second and third year students). A tutoring system is set up each year when new students attend the Grande Ecole du Droit and we all get a tutor to whom we can ask specific questions about anything we struggle with in our studies. Second year students also offer to organise coaching sessions on methodology and different subjects first year students struggle with. This whole system is very reassuring and made the transition from high school far easier that it would have been if I had attended only a classic “licence de droit”.

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©Christophe Rabinovici

University is an infinite source of knowledge and we have very good and inspiring teachers at the Jean Monnet Faculty. However, courses are very theoretical and academic, and the only way to think about and try building our professional future is to find and attend Conferences, which often take place at the same time as our courses… University in general doesn’t provide help to look in the future and be ready for professional reality. This is a major asset of the Grande Ecole du Droit: we have a course called “Soft Skills and Professional Project” (delivered by a Partner from EY Law Firm, Stéphane Baller) which is all about preparing us for the future. I must confess it both stresses me and reassures me. It forces me to focus on my professional future, though being a vague and abstract notion, but I have learned so much in such a short period from Stéphane Baller that I think of the future more peacefully.

I have learned a lot throughout this Semester, and I’m very satisfied with the choice I made to attend the Jean Monnet faculty and the Grande Ecole du Droit. It can be difficult and stressful at times, but I am far more confident than I was six months ago and I am ready for this second semester.

Rose Pommeray

Nota Bene: If you want to apply, you will find the Grande Ecole du Droit on APB (Diplôme d’Etudes Juridiques Comparatives et Internationales, Faculté Jean Monnet, Université Paris XI).

A Christmassy night in La Défense

One of the many traditions at the “Grande Ecole du Droit” alongside September’s Welcome Presentation is the annual Christmas Party taking place at EY Law Firm’s headquarters in La Défense. Each year, the Christmas Party gathers all generations of the Grande Ecole du Droit’s students, as well as the program’s teachers and partners for a festive evening. The event is always a treat for the students after the first semester’s exams and a pleasant occasion to get together before the winter break. Unlike every previous Christmas Parties usually organized by the program’s founders Pr. Véronique Magnier and Me. Stéphane Baller, this year’s event was in the hands of motivated 2nd and 3rd year students. The main goal for us was to freshen up this traditional event as well as keep it entertaining for the audience. Challenge accepted.

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©Christophe Rabinovici

We decided to highlight the GED’s achievements in 2016 and thus, make it fully reflect on what has been a productive and innovative year. In fact, as well as being a perfect way to underline this year’s major events, choosing a retrospective dynamic for the evening allowed new students and alumni to catch a glimpse of the latest commitments of the student’s association, AEGED.

We first started our retrospective with the « Oral’s day », an innovation of the association which was set up in 2016. Among 1800 candidates and 150 eligible students, 30 would become the lucky ones and enter the GED, thanks to the four 2nd year students who organized this selection day. The purpose of the oral’s day, beyond recruiting interesting profiles, was getting to know those we would potentially “share our lives with” for the next couple of years.

From future GED students to freshly graduated ones, another novelty we decided to cast a light on that evening was the Graduation Ceremony. Indeed, this significant event was a key moment in the alumni’s lives: this never-done before ceremony meant a lot for former LL.M students as Locif Choulak recalled in his testimony. We looked back at the first ever ceremony of this kind at the GED as a rewarding night for those who successfully completed their LL.M and had just come back from their foreign universities all over the world.

During the event, we also wanted to present some students’ collaboration with TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL FRANCE which is part of TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL, a worldwide movement driven by one vision: a world where States, firms, civil societies and individuals in their everyday life won’t be affected by any kind of corruption anymore. This mission was achieved by a group of dedicated students thanks to the legal clinic of Paris Saclay created by Pr. Magnier.

Therefore, not only was it an opportunity to shine the light on some of the GED’s most impressive work throughout the past year, but it was also a way to look into the program’s near future and upcoming projects.

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©Christophe Rabinovici

One of the major innovations this year alongside the “Oral’s day” is the AEGED mobile phone application. Created by 1st year student Benjamin Rathelot, the app allows us to have a quick overview of the association’s ongoing missions and coming events and is meant to ease our everyday access to crucial information. When introducing his creation to the audience at the Christmas party, Benjamin shared his desire to further the GED’s digital revolution and expand its visibility through innovative initiatives.

The association also has many projects for 2017 as Me. Baller mentioned in his closing intervention, starting with the exportation of some activities of the AEGED such as the methodological guidebook to write a dissertation and many more projects to come. But one prominent event that was announced by Me. Baller that night was our all new partnership with the European Companies Legal Association French Chapter (http://www.ecla.org/)

Thanks to such a significant event we were once again proven that being part of the Grande Ecole du Droit is an exciting and rewarding adventure. We are very thankful for EY Law Firm to have considerably helped in the process of organizing the 2016 Christmas Party and look forward to the next one to be an ever more innovative and full of surprises event!

Camille Collos and Flora Merret

News from Loriane Sangaré !

Dear readers,

For those who don’t know me, I am Loriane, from the 2011- 2015 GED’s promotion. Two years have passed since I graduated from la Grande Ecole du Droit and I am still glad to provide new generations with my past experience and I particularly thank Hakima for giving me the opportunity to do so. As this year is based on the “intergenerational” theme, I will try to share my advice year per year, so that each generation of GED can find an interest reading this article. Continue reading