Mathilde’s point of view
Eight o’ clock on a Friday night. While Parisian Ernst & Young lawyers discuss their plans for the weekend as they walk out of the elevator, I get in heading to the 27th floor.
The afterwork team, which I am part of, is holding a conference that night and the room is surprisingly full, but everything seems to be under control. In the organizing team’s mind, it is a mess though. We won the first round: our communication worked and the room is full. We are all hoping that the conference will go well. It is the occasion to answer all of the questions students may have about tax law but we mustn’t be too long.
The biggest challenge is thus that of the speakers, professional tax lawyers and directors who all came with different interests: sharing their experience or maybe find their next intern.
Organizing such an event teaches many things and is a beautiful challenge right at the heart of the professional place. We got to organize ourselves as a team, distributing roles but then always referring to a leader. We got to contact some of the best professors and Masters directors and of course professionals whom we might meet again as lawyers in our careers.
As a consequence, it is very important to make a good first impression to them without taking the front of the scene: they are the ones we must hear from first. But planning this conference also brought some surprises. An odd issue came up, as to how we would thank the speakers for instance. I know it does not sound very important, but that’s a tough question. Eventually, we went for the classical chocolates, but I think Roxanne’s final picture is much more meaningful.
A great challenge was also that of the settling of the conference as it took place as The ‘Tour First’ where our partner Ernst & Young is headquartered. Being the highest skyscraper in ‘La Défense’, the access to the conference was very controlled and needed more logistics than usual.
The Grande Ecole du Droit is very lucky to be well surrounded by professionals and I think that all our guests were satisfied with the way EY and the GED welcomed them.
As to conclude, I’d like to invite first-year students who like challenges to host events like this one and I would be interested in meeting students and professors from all Parisian universities, but also professionals to come and join the Afterwork team!
Juliette’s point of view
Having joined the Grande Ecole de Droit this year, during my second year of studying law, I am keen to catch up on all the activities and events the GED organises. What better way to learn than to actively participate in organising an afterwork evening!
While talking to my « marraine » (interestingly I cannot find an exact word to translate this word into English to reflect its true meaning!) I learned that the next Afterwork event would be dedicated to tax law. As this could be the area I would like to specialise in once qualified, I jumped on the occasion to help lead the organisation of the event.
Once I was told 150 people were expected at the evening and that I was due to speak in front of everyone I started feeling rather nervous….
Let me tell you about the evening itself. It was held in the offices of Ernst and Young at la Défense, and several professionals specialised in tax law were invited to speak about different aspects of Tax law. The objective was to allow students who still don’t know exactly which branch of law they wish to study to have a clearer idea of what tax law entails.
We were very fortunate to hear presentations from:
• Pauline Biaggi, lawyer in transaction and tax services in EY society
• Lucie Thomas, international tax manager at Christian Dior
• Locif Choulak, Tax intern in CMS Bureau Francis Lefebre
• Francois Dutertre, tax director in Allianz France
They explained the reality of practising everyday tax law. In addition, a professor involved in teaching master degrees in law was there to explain his courses and what directors expect from students who would like to apply.
Following the presentations, students had the opportunity to ask their own questions to deep dive into particular subjects of interest. Thereafter, other students started asking very pertinent questions, in front of all the room, which was good as it allowed everyone to learn more together especially, as many students do not have the courage to ask questions in front of everybody.
The evening ended with a cocktail, which was well attended. Discussions continued amongst the students and with the speakers. The evening was judged to be a success by many, it certainly gave an excellent overview of what to expect from a career in Tax law, and what courses are available. A big thank you is extended to everyone who took part, and enabled this evening to be as successful as it was.
Juliette Perrotin and Mathilde Thibault (GED2)