The Economist Rapper

When I learnt that every second-year student from the Grande École du Droit would be following a new « Economy and Corporation management » course, taught by Jean-Philippe Denis, a renowned teacher, I must admit that I was rather skeptical at first. Indeed, I did not think it would be very useful for the law students that we are. Besides, as I did not like this subject when I was in high school, I feared that the course would be boring. And I was completely wrong.

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All GED2, Véronique Magnier and Stéphane Baller   ©Christophe Rabinovici

Indeed, this course was not about calculating the GDP of a given country, or measuring the impact of an economic phenomenon on a given population, such as indebtedness. We had to think about abstract issues which are key to understand economy and its deep, yet hidden, relationship with law. We became aware that we were all part of a lot of different organizations: a friendship, our university, the economic market… You may wonder how is this statement related to economy and law, but the answer is very simple: it appears obvious that organizations are first imagined in abstracto. Once they are realized and “built”, it is up to the law, and to the rules it provides, to become their pillar and to ensure it does not collapse through regulations.

I can certainly understand that you might feel a little lost right now, as I was lost myself at the beginning of the class! However, this kind of conceptual elements are essential to understand how the “baby lawyers” that we are must deal with legal issues in our everyday life.

Now that I have made a little overview of the purely academic content of the course, I must talk about the most interesting part, which is… the professor and his innovative pedagogy! In order to give you an insight of his personality, I will give you a little fun fact : Professor Denis is very famous in France for having chosen a quote from the French rapper Booba as an exam subject (yes, a rap song as an exam)! In class, he frequently referred to French and American rappers, such as Jay-Z, to explain the notions, and he often showed us movies and videos to support his arguments. We understood that economy (and law) were absolutely everywhere, even in Hollywood movies. We were offered another way to perceive law and the world around us, and I think it is a real advantage of the GED.

The exam was very thrilling and stimulating as well. Professor Denis asked us to write a kind of article about the “Kerviel Case”, that we had to present in front of the class. Jérôme Kerviel was a trader accused of diverting funds from the “Société Générale”, who was discharged in September. In order to motivate us for this difficult task (and I assure you that it truly was), he told us that the best paper would be published on The Conversation, a real research website. You can imagine that it is much more rewarding than a good grade! And … I am quite proud to say that our group, composed of Ariane EDERY, Nina Ravine VA and I won!

This task was really challenging, perhaps the most difficult of the entire semester, but I thought it was extremely interesting to make us look at a case from another point of view.

Overall, although I was really doubtful at the beginning of the year, this course was the one I believe to be the most interesting and the most useful in the whole semester, as it helped us to form a legal reasoning in a totally different way from any other lecture, and any GED student should realize how lucky he is to have such a good teacher!

Timothée FORET (GED2)

Conference about Northwestern University in Chicago

We were very lucky to welcome on Tuesday, February 21th 2017, James B. Speta, professor of Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of law in Chicago, and senior associate Dean for Academic Affairs and International Initiatives at Jean Monnet University. He presented legal education in the United States, more specifically in Northwestern University and the life in Chicago.

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James B. Speta, Professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of law in Chicago

How is the Legal education in the United States?

At the very beginning of his presentation, before we had the time to ask any questions, James B. Speta answered the question we were all willing to ask: Why is education in the United States so expensive? He said that education was expensive in the United States because education was not regarded as a basic right, and their politics work differently than in France, where education is free.

He also told us there are 200 law schools accredited by the bar association right now in the United States.

Generally speaking, the number of JD student is going down, and the number of students doing the LLM is going up. Juris doctor, commonly abbreviated J.D., is the degree commonly conferred by law schools. It is required in most of the states to gain Admission to the Bar. The LLM is a master of Law.

But LLM programs are not regulated by the bar association. That’s why there are many differences between programs: which can be general or more specific, classes: mixed with JD students or not?

What about Northwestern University?

In Northwestern, classes can go up to 65 students but actually most classes have only 20 to 30 students. The university integrated multidisciplinary courses in order to make lawyers ready to practice at the time they graduate. Northwestern has a wide range of degree programs. For instance, they propose a wide selection of business courses. The university uses the great legal community of Chicago to have the best education for their students, in addition they work very closely with business school such as Kellogg School of Management. Law and MBA students share the same education. For example, they follow courses such as contract drafting and structuring transactions.

The University has LLM programs since 1932. They build up a dedicated team of professionals to ensure personalized accompaniment. LLM program costs around 60 to 63 thousand dollars. The university receives around 115 students per year. To be admitted into Northwestern, recruiters are concerned about where the student studied, if the student had great marks, if the student had a high IELTS score and they are also sensitive to students who have ambitions and have a professional experience. LLM and JD students are in class together. James B. Speta believes it is enriching for both. Northwestern tries to integrate students very quickly by making events, parties and other activities that allow students from all around the world to meet and discover new cultures. For example, they organise a big soccer game between Northwestern University and Chicago University. They have a campus which is shared between students from Northwestern and students from the medical school and the hospital. It is nice to know that they also propose a scholarship that can go up to a quarter of the annual tuition of the LLM program. Scholarship criteria are merit, need and geographic diversity.

Most of the students take the New York bar after their year passed in the LLM program, the overall pass rate is 35%, but for Northwestern the rate is about 65 to 70%. Graduating to the bar exam after a year in a LLM program actually depends on the degree of seriousness of the student about the bar and if he attends a bar review course and goes all the way through it. The challenge is often between choosing courses they need to learn for the bar exam and the courses they want to learn.

It is interesting to know that the University proposes a new summer program of 4 months, which allows people to validate a LLM in a shorter time, although it is mainly made for lawyers who can’t leave work during an all year but want to complete their formation with a LLM.

How is the life in Chicago?

The University is in the downtown of Chicago, it is close to law firms and libraries. Unlike New York, Chicago preserves some serenity there is a lake and a bike path near the University.

James B. Speta reassured us about the “violence reputed in Chicago”. He said that there are violence, like everywhere, but not around the law school. It is a safe environment. Universities must respect the “Clery act”: which requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses.

It is easy to find apartments if students don’t want to live in the campus.

In general, it is not a cheap city but it is cheaper than New York or Paris.

Chicago is reputed to be a great sports city: hockey, soccer and football are very popular.

Chicago is a great place to study law because it is a business centre, people easily get in contact with alumni who can help them out if they need it and create a great network.

Personally, I’m only in my first year at the “Grande Ecole du Droit”. But one of the main reason I chose this formation is the LLM. Indeed I studied in Canada and in New Zealand when I was younger and above the great improvement of my English, it was an incredible enriching experience that I’m willing to repeat! I have a little preference for the United States, so I was very happy and honoured to receive the professor James B. Speta in our University, in order to have a specialist presenting us more precisely what a LLM consisted in and it was the occasion to discover particularly the University of Northwestern. I was a little bit concerned about the annual cost of the study and the possibility to obtain a visa with the arrival of the new president of the United States, Donald Trump. However, I was particularly attracted by the fact that students could pass the New York bar exam after their LLM.

Chloé Nateghi,

First year student at the “Grande Ecole du Droit”

Lysias Sceaux 2017: Our memorable experience!

lysias 2017

©Christophe Rabinovici

How to combine the useful with the pleasant ? The task can sometimes appear arduous. The so hoped conciliation can seem impossible, but every time it is reached it provides a considerable pleasure. By this expression, Horace, in L’Art Poétique, tries to enjoin his reader to find the balance between pleasing and instructing. This teaching seems as relevant in poetry as it is in pleading.

Yes, readers, it is a matter of pleading which will be discussed in this article. Especially the Lysias contest. The Lysias contest is a pleading and juridical eloquence competition organized each year in the Jean Monnet university. It allows students to try out this complex exercise while having fun in a kind and convivial atmosphere. From the beginning, I was very excited by this contest because I thought it was an interesting and innovative concept. Moreover, I had stopped acting after 5 years of practice so it was for me the opportunity to find back the ability to express myself and the sensations I used to get when acting.

This experience was particularly rewarding and I fully benefited from it. This contest allowed me to discover this famous exercise which is so specific to the profession of lawyer that attracts me particularly. It was also the occasion to take part in an activity other than my classes but still very close to Law.

This exercise is very formative because it allows to train for the academic practical cases but also leaves a large place to personal references and humor. This, I found very interesting because it allowed me to discover everyone’s personality through the way each students chose to tackle the subjects. Indeed, I believe there’s a part of our universe, our personality and our sensitivity that we share in every pleading. I think this experience can only be positive. It is a great opportunity to improve our fluency and oral skills and above all it brings a lot of confidence. I took a lot of pleasure in pleading because it is a very special and very exhilarating moment. But I also appreciated the preliminary work and the legal researches necessary to answer the subjects.

Furthermore, being able to present my work in front of such well-known personalities in the world of Law was very rewarding. The constructive criticism I received brought me a lot and I could note a real progress at each stage of the competition.The finale was a particularly exciting moment. Pleading, in a robe moreover, in front of a jury of such great quality, as well as in front of my friends and family was a tremendous experience. I look forward to continuing my journey at National level.

The Lysias Competition enjoys a growing enthusiasm in the faculty and the association does a remarkable work to offer this great opportunity. The Lysias adventure is an incredible experience and I warmly invite everyone to take the plunge!

Mathis (GED1)

Mathis

©Christophe Rabinovici

If speaking in public and doing lyrical flights like Bertrand Périer seems to be easy an natural for some people, the first step is sometimes hard to cross. It was with hesitation and above all, curiosity (and on a whim), that I signed up to the annual Lysias Sceaux competition. After applying, some doubts arrived, will I succeed? Will I be inspired by the subject? Where to start? Will I be able to balance this with my classes? So much questions that made me wonder: « Why did I apply? »

Then, the civil plea subject arrived and it was time to write. Interesting topics with amazing stories awake our overflowing imagination and all the excitation that goes with it. We see ourselves in the shoes of an investigator, of a lawyer, searching for every loophole in the plea of our opponent, every possible and imaginable explanation to defend our side the best. Each word, detail and interpretation of the subject allows us to make incredible, entertaining and surprising pleas all different from each other.

If the written part is an enjoyment, the oral part is even more exciting. Thanks to Stéphane Baller’s soft skills courses, public speaking and stress mastery were less difficult to me. Some of his tips remained in my head such as not opening my mouth if it’s to say « euh », taking a deep breath, playing with the tone or searching for eye contact, so much pieces of advice that I’m repeating to myself endlessly.

My name has been called, a horde of look is staring at me, my stomach is having butterflies and my hands are becoming shaky. I get up, my heart is beating wildly, I take a deep breath, say to myself « Time to shine », and I rush forward the plea impetus. Little by little, the hesitation of the first words gives way to the speech impulse, the plea becomes fluent, gestures are flying away and the pleasure of pleading, of convincing is sensational. The smiles, the laughs and the applause are resounding and these are to my mind the best reward that we can ever get from the public. It’s through my point of view and my feeling that I’ve shared my Lysias’ experience with you. If the non-participation isn’t such a big deal, taking part in Lysias is still an amazing life experience full of challenges, doubts, unforeseen events and first and foremost an enriching and unique experience that I can only recommend you.
Finally, the most important thing is to enjoy the written part as much as the oral part, to live delightful moments with the passion of words and to surpass oneself on unexpected horizons.

Ghisléna (GED1)

Open Day JM 2017

Every year in our university is organized an open day, and this time we were on the other side of the stand. The open day is a great opportunity for us to present our diploma to the high schoolers, and to get recognition. It took place on a Saturday, like every year, on February 25th.

It does not take much time to prepare, we only need to know who comes to hold the stand, and when. The promotion team, in charge of the organization of the day, prepares the list. It is always a great pleasure for our students to come, because it feels so rewarding to make other people discover the diploma we are so proud to be part of. We want to recruit the best students, our next mates, so we take the task very seriously. We prepare ourselves to make a clean oral presentation, fast and efficient, ready to answer every question. We only have our brochure to support us. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., we are here to welcome every visitor. Let’s be honest, it is very tiring!

In the morning, our director, Pr. Veronique Magnier, was there to answer questions from parents and students. She was as glad as we were, and certainly even more, to see such enthusiasm. Also, there was a graduate student, Pierre Delassis, who helped us diversify the presentations. There were not only first year students : there were also second and third year students, this allowed us to give a more global point of view of the Grande Ecole du Droit, from different perspectives.

openday

Dorian’s experience:

“For me, it was a very important and symbolic day. A year ago, I was a visitor, discovering the Grande Ecole du Droit for the very first time, asking questions, with stars in my eyes. Now, a year later, I am behind the stand and am presenting the diploma to the next generation. It felt so exciting! I met many interesting and interested young people, and even saw some students that I had already met in another presentation in a high school. This is what makes us happy, seeing very motivated students, willing to succeed. I will definitely be there next year!”

Katia’s experience:

“Last year I couldn’t come to the open day, so I had to find all the information and answers to my questions online, on the Grande Ecole du Droit website. Even though I found everything I wanted to know about the diploma without any problem, I felt like an internal point of view of the campus and the students was missing. So, when we were given the chance to take part in the organization of the event, I thought it was a very good opportunity to give students the point of view I didn’t get last year, when I was in their shoes. I tried to guide and inform them, to answer their questions about the classes, the student life, and the diploma the best way I could. Overall, I think it was a great experience, we got to meet many interesting and excited students, and I was pleased to give them advice on what could be awaiting them next year. I look forward to renewing the experience!”

We can both say that it was a great experience, it creates a first contact with the next generation of the Grande Ecole du Droit, and we can’t wait to meet them during the admission day.

Dorian Revillon d’Apreval and Katia Setbel, GED1

Baby Lawyer and Pistol Enthusiastic

When I was asked to write an article for “Life in GED” after my participation to the France Pistol Shooting Championship, I did not know what I could say about it.

I could spend days discussing about my own discipline, as every passionate athlete, but it would not be of great interest for my fellow undergraduates.

cecile

Cécile LESCARRET (GED2)

I would rather share what it has brought to my everyday life. Michel Cacheux, a wonderful coach and former member of the French national Shooting Team, once told me that to succeed a high-level athlete has to keep in mind five elements: Rules, Mental, Physical fitness, Strategy and Tactics.

I find this analysis quite alike the requirements a student should bear in mind for the finals. Everyone has to abide by the same rules in order to participate. Every athlete should be in the best shape possible (yes, even in pistol shooting I assure you) and in a positive and lucid mental state to perform. Moreover, an athlete needs to be strategic, knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses allows to have a lucid look on events occurring during a match and to fix what has to be fixed immediately. Finally, every athlete has little tricks that helps and reassures: drinking, munching, meditation… Every little tip providing some comfort may make all the difference in hard times.

But besides, being passionate is about having fun, push ambitions to the limits, always having faith and not being afraid to step back sometimes to reach the next level.

I am not the only passionate in the “Grande Ecole du Droit”, many of us have consuming passions. Some play music, some swim, some act, some even fight on a tatami! We all face the same joys, doubts and fears. We are all torn apart between our studies, our personal life and our passions.

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Elina ROUGEAU (GED2)

How do we manage to conciliate everything? I am going to tell you a secret… It is impossible! We do the best we can, but we are only humans after all. Sometimes, choices must be made. That means cancelling an event with friends to finish an assignment because you had to attend a training session before a competition. That means having to train at night or having to space the practice sessions and finding ways to compensate such as mental visualization. That means sacrifices.

But it is all worth it. More than a passion, after 8 years of practice, pistol shooting has become a genuine necessity. Trainings evacuate stress and competitions provide thrilling sensations but above all, the people I have met have contributed in the making of the person I am today.

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Claire Emeline AUDUC (GED1)

Through this article, I want to urge readers to believe in their dreams, no matter how hard it can be, as the song says, “ain’t no mountain high enough”.

Cécile LESCARRET