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.

GED2

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)

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).

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

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 choice of Environmental Law

As you know, third-year students of the Grande Ecole du Droit attend Masters’ 1 courses (4th year) by anticipation during their 3rd year. Every student can choose one course by semester, among a wide range of classes. I chose to attend the Environmental Law course.

I have always been interested in the environment. In my future professional life, I want to work with scientists and environmental law seems to me the perfect balance between law and science. Therefore, I chose to attend this course, having no precise idea of what I would discover. But no more suspense, here is what to expect if you choose this course.

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Chart of UN Sustainable Development Goals (Source : Wikipedia)

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From CPGE to the GED

After three years in High school, most Students do not really know what their career will be. Of course Teachers try to help, but having a vocation at that age is very rare. In most cases, students just choose the subjects in which they are told they will be good at, and then try to integrate a Classe préparatoire aux Grandes Ecoles because it is supposed to be the best way to have a good job.

Once you have been admitted in one of these prestigious schools, it can be difficult to move to a different field. Particularly regarding Law studies, since there is no official equivalence between such “Grandes écoles” and Law. Moreover going to University can be seen as a failure.

However the Grande Ecole de Droit offers quite a unique opportunity. Indeed it allows students to join after two years of CPGE directly as a second year student after passing an exam based on the first year courses in Law.

Alexis Corlay (here at the 2014 GED Integration Day) went from being a CPGE to a GED student

Alexis Corlay (here at the 2014 GED Integration Day) went from being a CPGE to a GED student

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Meeting with young lawyers from Deprez & Guignot law firm

Each year in Feburary is held an open house event at the University of Jean Monnet Paris XI. It is the occasion for students to present and describe their university to highschool students and to their parents. This year, motivated pupils from the Grande Ecole du Droit once again had the chance to represent their diploma during the event.

It appears that many parents come to this open house event for it is the occasion to collect information on the university but also on the specific diplomas offered at the Law school.

The Grande Ecole du Droit students presenting our diploma to potential applicants

The Grande Ecole du Droit students presenting our diploma to potential applicants

Thus, during their presentations, some of the students met by sheer luck a parent who was greatly interested in the innovative concept proposed by the Grande Ecole du Droit. Very curious and enthusiastic about our diploma, he later admitted that he was himself an associate lawyer specialized in intellectual property and media law.

Obviously fond of the project into which we fit, Maître Fauchoux kindly offered us the possibility to meet professionals from his cabinet d’avocat in order to ask any question we had on the lawyer profession, which was still vague and abstract for many of us. The aim was to organize an informal meeting between GED students (from any year) and young lawyers from the cabinet to discuss more naturally with true professionals and freely ask questions.

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Pre-internship anxiety

As the end of the second year of my law studies was approaching, I knew that it was more than time to start looking for an internship to do during the summer or at least very early in the fall.

However, as I am not one of the most organized students, I was very late in my research compared to many of my friends. Hence, I got to benefit from their experiences and some were kind enough to tell me where it was worth applying and where it was not. It was one of those times that I truly acknowledged the benefits of being a « Grande Ecole du Droit » student, seeing how we were able to help and support one another in our research.

Eventually, after sending tons of applications to law firms specialized in business law, I ended up having an interview that led to me being hired: I had an internship for the whole month of September. As I had time during the summer, I was able to find a job and forget a little bit about the internship. But as the end of august was approaching I started to get more and more stressed about the idea of becoming a trainee in a law firm for the first time.

Baya Hariche at the Grande Ecole du Droit's integration day

Baya Hariche at the Grande Ecole du Droit’s integration day

 What was I so scared about?
Let me tell you.

But more importantly, let me tell you why all this anxiety was unnecessary.

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From Pills to Bills: former Med School students in the GED

Flora, Mai and Thanutsika (then abbreviated to “Thanu”) are second year students of the Grande Ecole du Droit. They accepted to answer our questions and to share with us their experience of becoming a GED student after medical studies.

Mai

Mai “Law was an evidence” – © Christophe Rabinovici

Why did you choose to study law after medicine?

Flora chose Law school after medicine because she needed “to join a degree course where there are a lot of different interesting courses yet remaining really general, not one specialty only”. She explains it was because she liked “the diversity of courses and the panel of choices in medicine studies”.

Mai said that she had always hesitated between law school and medical school. However, after a bachelor’s degree in science she thought medical school was the more obvious choice. But when medical school didn’t work out for her, she did not even hesitate to choose what to do next: “Law school was an evidence”.

Thanu explained: “At the end of the year, I thought of what I wanted to do after, and I realized that nothing really interested me in the field of science apart from medical school. I considered doing a degree in biology like many others after failing the competitive exam but I didn’t really see myself doing it and the job market wasn’t great. I asked the help of a guidance counselor when I realized that I needed to completely reconsider my future. I remembered that during med school, I followed a class on bioethics and initiation to law. It was really interesting and new for me, and I thought that it was worth trying. I also remembered a guidance test that I took in High school that guided me towards law studies. I always wanted to do long studies and I knew it was risky but I really wanted to try and I’m glad I did.”

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