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.

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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)

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.

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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

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

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.

Continue reading

The welcoming of a new “GEDeration”

Last year, we decided to build a team in order to start organising the huge orientation week-end! Once the team was constituted, we had one initial objective: finding the best place to welcome the new “Grande Ecole du Droit” students. After long hours of research, we finally found a perfect cottage located in the French countryside, two hours away from Paris. During the summer, several meetings were organised to plan all the activities and the way the week-end should progress. Continue reading

A legal internship in Italy: observations on Italian and comparative Law

This summer, I decided to combine both my desire to travel and my desire to do an internship, so I figured a good compromise would be a legal internship in a foreign country. I had an opportunity to do an internship in an Italian Law firm in Italy, and speaking Italian was a real prerequisite.

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This experience was really rewarding linguistically and culturally speaking, but it is on the legal aspect that I would like to focus as a Comparative Law student from the “Grande Ecole du Droit”. Continue reading