Why we chose financial market law

Tom Guélimi (GED 3)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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© Christophe Rabinovici

Santiago Ramirez (GED 3)

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

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

But Santiago, why should I choose financial law?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SantiaGuél (GED 3).

An afterwork on the “Building and Public Works” Sector

As a first-year student in the “Grande Ecole du Droit”, I am not very sure of what type of carrier I want. And because of the new environment, the courses, homework, etc., I don’t really have time to think about what I specifically want to do after university. Thankfully, the Students and Alumni’s association of the Grande Ecole du Droit (AEGED) is always here to set up events to help us figure out what we could do in the future. Last year the project “Afterworks+” was created. It consists in organising afterworks which aim at gathering professionals from a specific area of law in a conference, followed by a networking session around a buffet.

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Dorian Revillon d’Apreval at an EY event © Audrey Ailloud

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The 2016 LLM Roadshow

We could sum up the «Grand Ecole du Droit» philosophy by the expression ‘the world is your oyster’, even though I personally prefer ‘the world is yours’. At least, that’s what comes to my mind when I think about all the universities in which the elders have studied.

As every «Grande Ecole du Droit» student, I have a dreamed destination for my LL.M. year. Throughout these past two years, we have all worked on our LL.M. projects, and things are now getting trickier when it comes to applications …

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Santiago Ramirez at the LLM Roadshow © Christophe Rabinovici

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My summer internship… in the US

 

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Tom, President of the AEGED, at an EY event © Christophe Rabinovici

As you probably know, the Grande Ecole du Droit program has two objectives: preparing students for an LL.M in their fourth year and also for their future arrival on the job market. Thus, our courses are very diverse: US Contract Law, Tort Law, American Constitutional Law, seminars on project management and public speaking… However, I quickly started asking myself: is our French and Anglo-American background really enough for us to study and work abroad? So I decided to apply for an internship in the United States.

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My internship at Eversheds

On August 3rd I was entering the Eversheds LLP’s Parisian office to begin my internship. The opportunity of doing an internship in such a big firm was given to me thanks to one of the Principal Associates, one of my parents’ friend. As I am currently a third year law student, I was scared not to meet the expectations of Eversheds. Fortunately, as the days went on I was given the chance to discover a real insight of the every day routine of business lawyers.

Anne-Isabelle (second row, in the middle) enjoying her vacation with the GED in Lisbon (Portugal) before the internship - May 2015

Anne-Isabelle (second row, in the middle) enjoying her vacation with the GED in Lisbon (Portugal) before her internship – May 2015

I did my internship in the Corporate department of the firm. The first thought I had when I entered the offices was: “Well, Corporate department… Fine, but I have never really studied Corporate Law!” In fact, French law students only discover Corporate Law during their LLB. However no one but me seemed to worry about it.

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The Bridge Experience

At the end of summer 2012, an accomplished first year of law degree at “La Faculté Jean Monnet” had helped me forget the disappointment caused a few months earlier by my failure at the Science Po interview. Then, I remembered what my friend told me over a cup of coffee. The University offers highly regarded programs to its most promising students and grants freshmen the opportunity to jump on the bandwagon.

One must admit that communication has never been the asset of the faculty, even more so at Sceaux than at the other Paris rockers. So, unless you are extremely anxious, an enthusiastic reader, or a constantly eager-to-learn individual, it is difficult to be interested in all of the information sections provided by the faculty’s lousy former website (hopefully, things have changed! – a little bit).

Very quickly convinced that I wanted to follow the business law path and to join a prestigious college program as the ones in business schools or private preparatory schools, I jumped at this opportunity and I took my chance. I compiled files of my high school and first-year bachelor’s degree in law results (which must certify a good level of English), and my motivation letter in a flash drive. I also slyly added my admission letter to post baccalaureate merit scholarship from AEFE (Agence de l’Enseignement français à l’étranger). You have to go with anything that can help you. Finally, I laid it all on tiptoe, to the B13 office’s student advisor.

A few hours later (yes, the GED was still in its early hours and could not repel the advances of a potential brave GED soldier, you unfortunate 2015 new 1st years!), A phone call informed me that Professor Magnier, Head of the GED Program and former Vice-Dean of the Faculty, wanted to meet me for an interview. To hear about my project. To get a quick glance at the person I was. In short, she had to decide whether or not I had the profile to join this elite and still secret squad.

The interview went well (take this, Sciences Po!) and I was officially joining team red and white at the reunification. They just didn’t know it yet.

Maher, Grande Ecole du Droit student, during the Lysias competition - Faculté Jean Monnet

Maher, Grande Ecole du Droit student, during the Lysias competition – Faculté Jean Monnet

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Becoming an expert in : Business English

During the second year in the “Grande Ecole du Droit”, there are a lot of courses that are either English courses or courses in English. Among these, we are attending the English class of Mr. Casset. This English course prepares us to the Franco-British chamber of commerce and industry exam.

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Once in the “Grande Ecole du Droit”, you understand how important it is to improve your English, because of the truly international aspects of such an academic training. This course with Mr. Casset offers huge opportunities to the people who want to perfect their English training.

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