How a five minutes break at la Grande Ecole du Droit changed my life – From Paris-Sud University to the University of Oregon

 

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  • The chance of an application, the work of the will

During the break in the lecture by Professor Harris, on another freezing December day about a year ago, my eyes froze on one of the innumerable posters which line the walls of the faculty. That day, it was not a poster offering me a job as an English speaking baby sitter but one with the serious label ‘French-American Fulbright commission’ which is known to offer a generous scholarship in different US universities. The list also mentioned the criteria to be eligible. What a bargain ?! usually, you get discouraged when you see you’re not eligible although the first sight of the poster had made you dreamt. But this time, I checked all the criteria and was delighted to see I matched them all ! I was thrilled and I must say I already pictured myself on the benches of a US campus, holding a Starbucks cup. I was ready to live the American dream.

After a period of a few weeks of application punctuated by the writing of the application form, an oral and in short, an intensive work, I received the mail of selection by a warm day of spring.

• An exceptional academic experience

The program is called “Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Student Leaders from Europe”. The SUSI programs for Student Leaders from Europe last five weeks. The institutes consist in a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations, and lectures. In 2017, each Institute had up to 22 undergraduate students from all over Europe and included a four-week academic residency component and a one-week integrated study tour. In 2017, the institutes were hosted by the University of Southern Carolina, the University of Oregon, and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga on the topics of Civic Engagement, Environmental Issues, and Social Entrepreneurship, all respectively.

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The Institute I attended is the SUSI on Environmental Issues. It has allowed me to explore current themes in environmental studies, which included natural resource management, sustainable development/ sustainable agricultural practices, food security, ecotourism, energy generation (new and traditional forms), and water management and treatment. The program was interactive and experiential, with field trips to research facilities and opportunities for classroom discussion. The issues were explored from numerous angles: local grassroots activism and civic initiatives, market-oriented approaches, and federal government policies and regulation. I had amazing opportunities to engage with policy makers, lawyers, individuals in technical positions, community representatives, indigenous leaders, and other key actors committed to the protection and management of the environment.

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During these five weeks, I developed a project around green tourism with some other participants. I had the honour of presenting this idea in Washington DC at the SUSI Review Ceremony. Now back in France, I intend to continue this project in team through the program “Les Entrepreuneuriales”, Paris-Saclay edition, for which our project application was successful.

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• An extraordinary human adventure

The 2017 Summer will probably remain my most important summer in my young adult life. I participated in a human experience that made me grow up, challenge my achievements, widen my field of vision and finally has allowed me to access new perceptions as well on my field of study that on the surrounding world. I came back to France, changed, with all the unforgettable moments I had in the United States, determined, ready to meet new challenges.

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What I remember, after 5 weeks of seminar, is that only one person, one project, one moment can change our lives forever. To change our mentality, our thinking, to force us to see under another angle everything, that we thought, that we knew and force us to ask ourselves the toughest questions: Who am I? Did I understand what happened? Do I want to lead this life?

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Link for 2018 SUSI’s Application: http://www.fulbright-france.org/fr/espace-bourses-USA/programmes/summer-institutes-student-leaders

Link for 2017 SUSI on Environmental Issues video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQd9mhqEf7w&t=179s

Benjamin Bienert (GED2)

Introduction to Tax Law : The Afterwork

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

 

 

 

 

RunAssceaux 3.0 : “donnez votre soufflé à ceux qui en manquent”

 

On Sunday the 24th of September 2017, the second week of my first semester as a first-year law student ended, and assignments were already starting to pile up. And when it comes to school work, anxiety does not fail to follow, and neither does high expectancy of myself.

I could have stayed home, locked up in my room all day, in order to finish (and to be honest, start…) my civil law assignment, due on Tuesday; but I had something else planned for the morning. Indeed, on Sunday the 24th of September, the third edition of RunAssceaux took place. RunAssceaux is a project created by the Grande Ecole du Droit students, which aims at raising funds and support the charity Vaincre la Muscoviscidose (literally Overcome cystic fibrosis). The charity organised once again their annual race/run, the Virades de l’Espoir, in which several GED students participated, myself included.Runassceaux 1

It is thanks to this annual fundraising event that I discovered what cystic fibrosis exactly was. This life-shortening disease is a genetic disease that causes lung infections and, over time, limits the ability to breathe. Each year, families, friends, students and colleagues gather round and run together in an act of solidarity, to show their support and raise awareness about this little-known and yet life-threatening disease.

When I arrived at around 9 am at the Parc de Sceaux, it was crowded: you could feel the overall jovial mood, and we were blessed with a wonderful weather, which made the park itself even more lovely. I eventually spotted the other GED students: some came to run, and others came as volunteers (to make sure the event goes on smoothly). After taking a few pictures, we joined the other runners at the start line, and off we went on our 5-km run!Runassceaux 2

Since I have always lived near the Parc de Sceaux, I was already familiar with the race circuit (although I did discover a few passageways I didn’t know the existence of): among the trees, flowers and lakes, the Parc de Sceaux really is a pleasant place for a morning run. I am not particularly athletic, but I actually enjoy running (as long as I have my music with me): it allows me to clear my mind and I definitely feel much more energetic afterwards. It seems to me that taking some time off from studying and doing some sort of physical activity or hobby (making music in my case, for instance), makes you more productive in the end. Yet, students and actually people, generally speaking tend to neglect physical and mental health nowadays and I believe that’s a shame.

On the whole, I very much enjoyed taking part in this fundraising event. I did my work out of the week, and I received a medal (we actually all did). But more seriousIy, I am most importantly glad I was able to contribute to a good cause. This year, RunAssceaux collected 505€ (thanks to the contributors): this money entirely went to the charity, and I hope it will help create new treatments for the patients, improve their living conditions, and hopefully find a cure.

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Lizy KIM (GED1)

My first event at EY

I have to say it was pretty stressfvu d'EYul and quite intimidating to enter the “Tour First”, tallest skyscraper in La Défense. The EY offices are really awesome (especially at sunset) and so huge that I felt tiny! I wanted to make a good impression although I did not really know how to act. We were all well-dressed and quite impatient to discover this world.

             © Christophe Rabinovici

invitée rentrée EYThis year, thanks to the organization and Mr. Baller, two new things were introduced. First, in addition to the speeches of Mr. Baller, Pr. Magnier and Léa Jouannin (current president of the AEGED), a high school student was invited to speak. I was really impressed to see a 17-year-old girl standing in front of a whole crowd, speaking so easily. I would have been too shy to just think about doing that!

© Christophe Rabinovici

Moreover, our parents were invited to join us for this event. I was really proud to show my father what I do – my mother was in India. Besides, seeing my father so captivated by my studies really encouraged me!
Indeed, Mr. Baller and Pr. Magnier presented the LLM and different destinations which made me dream. Moreover, Léa Jouannin outlined the association AEGED. The AEGED is really important and fosters links between different promotions of students, but it also enables us to know how to promote the school or how to create events like this one. professeur magnier et maître baller

© Christophe Rabinovici

Furthermore, I really understood during this event that I am not a high school student anymore. I also understood that I am not only a first-year law student but also involved in EY afterworks, conferences and professional discussions. Indeed, the different speeches helped me to realize that I am now in the active life. The ‘Grande Ecole du Droit’ is not only a law school, it also means important events and meetings with professionals and students.

After the speeches, a cocktail was organized and enabled me to talk with students and parents. It was a good way to learn about the working life and discover other professions. I was really curious but quite shy at the beginning. It was difficult for me to talk with people I did not know. Hopefully, I could count on the other students and we helped each other – after all, we’re all in this together.

This event was very helpful to begin this year with more serenity. The presentation of the GED and the AEGED made me understand what I am going to do and what I will need to face. Each of us at our own level can help and support the association, and that is very motivating and rewarding. Besides, I know we can rely on the other students and on the teachers.

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© Christophe Rabinovici

To sum up, the start of the new university year at EY was important for me and motivated me! It was a really nice and helpful evening, and I am already waiting for the next one.

Agathe Ardisson (GED1)

L’Québec c’était bin l’fun.

On August, 1st 2017, I set foot on the Canadian ground for the first time.

First, I had to go through the immigration services in order to get my work visa. Like everywhere, going through customs is always complicated (talk to Elina Rougeau about it, she can tell you about that). However, what a surprise to realize that yes, some people really enjoy working at the immigration services and actually smile! This is not a lie: Canadian people are really nice.

Once I got my work visa, I had to go to Claudette’s. I didn’t know anything, I had found an accommodation randomly one week before; I had no guidebook, had not done any research about the city nor the place I was about to stay at for a month. After dragging my luggage without wheels (thanks Air France) for some ticanada 1me, I finally managed to find Claudette’s house: a typical Montreal condo.

I didn’t imagine what my meeting with Claudette would happen to be. This woman was simply amazing. Let me present you Claudette, 67 years old, climbed Mount Kilimandjaro when she was 60 and takes lectures about religion at university. What more can I say?

Since my internship started a week after my arrival, I had time to visit Montreal by riding my Bixi (Montreal’s Velibs). At the beginning, dealing with the Quebecker accent was pretty harsh. As an information, ‘slistes’ are nor slugs but cyclists. I think you have ‘pogné a touch’*: Canadian French is different, but you quickly get used to it. At some point, you actually end up talking just like them.

More seriously, this is an article about my internship so I’ll just stop pretending I’m part of some backpackers’ blog. I did my internship in a law office called Goudreau Gage Dubuc, specialized in IP/IT and located in the business center.

The first day of an internship is always stressful and that’s even more accurate when you do it abroad. I was surprised to see that my arrival had been well prepared. As soon as I arrived, there was a sign welcoming me, I had an office to myself and I could take as many coffees as I wanted. It was pure luxury.

The experience of doing an internship abroad is very educative. During my internship, I had a great autonomy. I won’t bore you with my missions of research on patentability, study on counterfeiting and writing of official letters.

To me, an internship abroad means above all living like an authentic inhabitant of the country or the city. It is easy to live in Montreal without ever having the chance to speak to an authentic Quebecker. My advice is then to run away from French people.

Ok, I’ll admit it, I saw French people. August 2017 in Montreal was like a reunion of students from the GED. But luckily, although Elina Rougeau and I lived as roommates for a few weeks, and I saw Adèle Raulin a lot, we did mecanada 2et Quebeckers.

When I think of Montreal, two things come to my mind: a French-style tradition and a multicultural city. I was lucky enough to live two kinds of experiences. Indeed, with Adèle who just started her LLM in Air & Space Law in McGill University, I discovered the North American atmosphere. I went to several McGill orientation events along with Adèle and I got to meet people from all over the world. This experience convinced me to apply to McGill for my LLM.

To finish, I got to live the Quebec experience with Elina. Thanks to road trips, amazing encounters with inhabitants from the village of St Prim and St Felicien or the ‘épluchette de blé d’Inde’*, I discovered the Quebecker way of life.

PS: I strongly recommend an internship in Québec where it is not necessary to do to it during two months to be paid.

* Pogné a touch: you got it
* Epluchette de blé d’Inde: corn

Jasmine Merdji-Larue

The Orientation Week-End

 

GED WEI 3As a new GED1, I was obviously thrilled about this orientation week end !

As I was getting on the coach at noon on Friday, my mind was full of several feelings : joy, excitement and curiosity.
I can tell that good vibes were already spreading in the bus on the ride to Blandouet-Mayenne. It allowed us, newcomers, to listen to some GED2 and GED3 telling funny stories about themselves and jokes. From that moment on, a bond was born between us and them.

When we arrived, we could not see our cottage because the older students urged everyone to close the curtains in the coach. At last, we got out one by one, and we were all starting to feel nervous. Indeed, we did not know whatever was the tricky situation the GED 2&3 had planned for us. We did not wait for too long though…GED WEI 1
After all the GED1 were tied up together, the GED2 and GED3 came from everywhere, throwing a strange mixture all over the place which was composed of milk, water and flour I assume (although I am not quite sure about the recipe). That was a cheerful welcome in the « Grande Ecole du Droit » and I thought that this week end started well.

I was not disappointed at all by the rest of the week end. I was very eager to discover my new classmates and the activities we did helped me to do so.
For instance, a bruising fight was organized which opposed 4 teams during these 2 days. It was so much fun!
We challenged in several games and this contributed to build a sense of unity and mutual support.

Last but not least, the meals and endless parties we shared all together were the moments I enjoyed the most. It was an opportunity to learn from the other promotions, to find out about their personalities and their experiences in la « Grande Ecole du Droit ». I also think that discovering my « godmother » in GED2, Claire, and my great godmother Lucille in GED 3 was a precious gift. They were both greatly cheerful and welcoming.

GED WEI 2

In a nutshell, this week end was a rewarding experience which enabled us to strengthen the intergenerational link between all the members of the GED. It also gave us the opportunity to fit in and to become part of this caring group.

Eléonore Schmautz (GED1)

« Wir sind alle Berliner »

From May 9 to May 15 2017, the GED planted its flaged mur de berlin ghislenag in Berlin Kreuzberg, a central area of Berlin.

The decision of this year’s prom trip destination was subject to many discussions but the success of the experience is undeniable.

The GED2 and GED3, despite being used to travel by bus, decided the best option was to travel by plane, so we left Roissy CDG in the morning of the 9th of May. Once in Berlin, we rode buses by teams to go from the airport to the youth hostel. The place was sort of underground, with a view on the street and unmatching furniture. It made us feel instantly home.

As everyone was hungry from the journey, we quickly went down to discover what the street offered: kebabs and doners, vegetarian snacks, burgers… it tasted like a good start.                                                                                       © Ghislena Ly

Different groups got together to walk to the middle of the town (Berlin Mitte) and see The Wall Museum. The Berlin Wall stands still erected for us to see on hundreds of meters. The styles of the paintings are really diverse: some are colourful and express hope while others represent the traumatism of WWII.ged voyage a berlin ged 3

As wandering around the city seemed like a good way to get accustomed, some of us decided to go back to the youth hostel by walking. Some of us may have got lost, while others were discovering the German subway for the first time. Different teams and groups started their own discovering of the city. This organization followed us the next days, from Checkpoint Charlie to the Jewish Museum and to Schloss Sanssouci.

Organizing the nights was maybe the hardest part.

We often gathered around homemade meals in ged voyage a berlin 3ème photothe living room of the hostel. But when it was time to discover the nightlife, getting around 50 people in a club was harder than we had expected. In the end, the big group always had to split, but for the best. It enabled us to get to know each other, past the benches of Jean Monnet and the 27th floor of the tour First at EY.

I believe this trip was the great conclusion we needed after this ‘short but hard year’. It brought us closer, enabled us to party, discover historical places… and maybe think about our LLM destination?

ged dernière photo voyage à berlin

View of the hostel from an opposite building                       © Claire-Emeline Auduc

The last generation of GED acknowledges the team in charge of the organization, who did a great job and sets the bar high for next year!

 

Claire-Emeline Auduc (GED 2)

Admission Day : Chapter 2

Exactly one year ago, 28 of us were hopeful high school students, coming to Jean Monnet for the first time as candidates to the first GED Admission Auditions ever.
On Saturday, May the 20th 2017 the second edition of this admission day took place.
The previous team in charge of the organization had done a really good job, making the day a real success. Since the bar had been set so high, the main question was the following one: how could we welcome our future fellow students even better?

The task was given to a group of 2nd year students, led by Hortense Derrien (Ariane Edery, Blandine d’Humières, Flora Merret, Nina Ravine). Two first year students were added to this team (Mathis Aubry-Lallement, Claire-Emeline Auduc). All of them were granted the advice of the original team (Adrien Aing, Julien Blavot Goujon, Erwann Le Noac’h, Wassim Mokadem). This way, we could pursue what had already been accomplished last year. In addition, we were taking into account the former candidates’ ideas and remarks.

We started by making a clear list of what had to be done and how the day would be organized. Professor Magnier had selected the students who were to be auditioned from APB and we had to contact them and organize the auditions. Just like last year, the admission would be decided upon 2 auditions. One occurred in front of a “little” jury made of students whereas the other, more formal, was compounded of alumni and teachers. We were glad a lot of former GED students accepted to come. The grand jury was carried out by Pierre Delassis, representing the alumni.

Elaborating a running order required the exchange of several emails with the candidates because it often depended on their availabilities. The team took the time to make it perfect, which was necessary because we wanted to avoid any delay which would have jeopardized our all organization.

Sticking to the timetable was the main demand made by the GED1. Indeed, our goal for this year was basically to take the basis of last year work but with a little more organization.

Once we had the GED1’ opinions, we knew what was to be improved. For example, the “pre-coaching” set to put the candidates in the mood by explaining a few things before the actual auditions had to be kept because of how helpful it had been the previous year. We also decided to define roles for every student to occupy during the day: welcome the students, pre-coaching, visits, digital team, juries, bake sales… A major improvement was also the room specifically arranged to welcome the parents. GED students were always there to answer questions or simply discuss with them, which was appreciated.

Most of the parents appreciated the fact that they learnt about the course thanks to the talks given by Maitre Baller and Pierre Delassis in the amphitheater, and that they could also speak directly with the students.

[…] Once arrived, I was amazed by the great organization and most importantly by the kindness and helpfulness of the students. Answering all our questions, and really concerned about how it went. […] I also considered the exchange with the members of the jury as an instructive experience and fruitful discussion regarding the future of the course and what we can personally bring to it. In conclusion, it attracted me even more and confirmed me into thinking this is what I want to do later.
A candidate to the Grande Ecole du Droit.

Ged admission day  GED1 students discussing with candidates in the pre-coaching room.
© Ghislena Ly/ Audrey Ailloud

 
Another point we put a lot of thoughts in was the bake cake. Last year, a lunch had been prepared but not everyone was aware of it and it was somehow served a little late. This year, we decided to have everyone participate in the sale. In addition, the team made sandwiches in the morning. Almost everything was sold out and the remaining sandwiches were given to homeless people in the evening.

Among the different roles we had defined, one consisted in waiting at the station to guide the candidates towards the university. But we soon realized it was useless, the families being already informed thanks to the signs we had put the day before. It was satisfying to see we had thought of everything, even though it seemed excessive sometimes. The goal for next year is thus to find a balance to make the day even more dynamic.

As part of the creation of the “Journée des Oraux” in 2016, I was offered another chance to help find out the GED 1 of tomorrow thanks to my presence in the Selection Juries. Hence, I felt glad and very pleased to see that the big project my teammates and I left incomplete evolved into something really amazing, something that made our directors very proud and the students dreamy. Now, let’s hope that the next generation will also be glad to be part of the great adventure of La Grande Ecole du Droit!
– Julien Blavot-Goujon, member of the 2016 organization team

At the end of the day, the task left was maybe the most important. Maître Baller and the juries gathered in a room where they exchanged their views and finally, 30 names emerged.

We look forward to meeting them and we hope they enjoyed the experience as much as we did. See you next year!

Organizing this day was our way to contribute to developing the Grande Ecole du Droit. The general mobilization shows how committed every student is to improve the quality of our formation.
– Hortense Derrien, leader of the 2017 organization team

ged organisatPart of the organization team (Claire-Emeline Auduc, Mathis Aubry—Lallement, Hortense Derrien, Flora Merret, Léa Jouannin)

NB: we would like to thank the university, Professor Magnier, Maitre Baller, Pierre Delassis and all the students (former and current) for coming and being so effective.

 

Claire-Emeline Auduc (GED2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working with Transparency International France

A few days ago, I was reading the news and among all the titles, one in particular caught my attention: « The presidential candidates respond to the 11 recommendations made by the NGO Transparency International France. » Can you believe that students in second and third year of the Grande Ecole du Droit had participated in the elaboration of these recommendations?I was one of them and I can tell you that it was one of the most enriching experiences I have ever taken part in.

TIF2During the first semester, Professor Magnier offered some students the chance to work on a project with the French section of the German NGO Transparency International, known for leading the fight against corruption and driven by a vision of a world in which states, businesses, civil society and individuals in their daily lives would be spared with corruption in all its forms.

The issue of transparence already concerned my classmates and me, and I immediately knew that it was a great opportunity for us to embark in such a project. As I am a quite discreet student, I was not expecting to be responsible for the coordination of the mission. However, since I joined the Grande Ecole du Droit, I was confronted to a lot of opportunities that helped me grow and evolve. This experience was one of them.

For the upcoming presidential elections, Transparency international France launched a campaign in order to ask the candidates to commit to the 11 recommendations if they were elected. The recommendations of course dealt with the issue of public life transparence, therefore we particularly worked on the participation of citizens. We were asked to make a comparative study of the different legislations adopted by European countries, North America and even Asia, with Taiwan regarding two mains themes: the right of citizen petition and the mechanisms for citizen consultation prior to projects or bills. We were fortunate to work with Ms Bounaud, general delegate of Transparency International France, who is a great person with convictions.

After some long hours of research, I am proud to say that we met the challenge.

This experience has allowed us to gain a more concrete approach regarding the field of comparative law and the work with an NGO. Indeed, this mission has taught us the progress and shortcomings in this area between the countries studied. As citizens and law students, we were very proud to have been able to participate in this work, which was useful for the modernization of democratic life.

As you can imagine, we will of course continue to work with Transparency, in order to spread the issue of transparence that every societies have to overcome.

In this way, we invited Ms Bounaud during a conference where she presented the 11 presidential recommendations to the law students of our university. I assume they were quite interested about how we can improve the transparence of public life, especially on this time of presidential election in France.

We also had the chance to attend the yearly volunteers meeting. We were impressed by the number of new volunteers who wanted to join the association. As a matter of fact, they were mostly from law background such as law student, law teachers, former judge of the Cour de cassation but there were also people working in private sectors.

We realized that all these people wanted to improve the society as some of witnessed corruption during their work. We understood that corruption was an issue that society have to deal with, which is not only present in public life, but also in universities or private companies.

This meeting clearly motivated us to help Transparency in the new mission they have given us, consisting in developing information sheets about some concept of law for the general public. Being able to put into practice our legal knowledge to support a worthy cause is something that we are all proud of.

We are thankful to our director Professor Magnier and Ms Bounaud from T.I France for this amazing experience.

TIF

We invite you to visit the website of Transparency international France: https://transparency-france.org/

The 11 recommendations to the presidential candidates: https://transparency-france.org/recommandations-presidentielle-2017/

The presidential candidates who responded to the 11 recommendations : https://transparency-france.org/project/23032017-transparenceethique-de-vie-publique-candidats-sengagent/

Don’t hesitate to support them!

Hind El Khalfi & Mathilde Floréan (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.

J. Speta2

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”