This LL.M. program suits my professional and personal aims perfectly. I have a Master’s degree in English that proves my proficiency in this language. Besides, the time in Lyon helped me to gather a profound knowledge of French in which I have reached nearly the level of a native speaker. These two languages are definitely an advantage when applying for international organizations or a big law firm.
The LL.M. fits perfectly in my academic curriculum. I was always interested in international law. Whereas my home university focuses more on international public law, Lyon 3 focuses more on European business law. This was perfect to draw connections between international public law, European law and my national domestic law.
The LL.M. was perfect for studying international law because the participants of the program are also international. People from all around the world help to get an impression of the real importance of international law. However, it is a pity that the contact with French students was not really established. Of course, I admit that there are big practical barriers to this.
I will never forget the diversity of our lecturers. Some of them are professors; others are practitioners from all possible positions. Besides, they were from all over the world. One week there is a Hungarian professor, then an Israeli working for Interpol and after that an Italian professor working in France.
This program has changed how I read newspapers. Before, news from around the world was just news. Now, I think about my friends being affected by these news. A hurricane in America, war in Israel, smog in China; all this will no longer be just interesting. Now, I know people who are concerned with all this because they live there.
What did you learn here that you wouldn’t have learned in your country (academically or personally)?
I learnt that I can survive in another country in spite of lacking the language – body language and hand signals can go a long way!
I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to travel around Europe and France, everything is so central – I can be in another country in a few hours – being from New Zealand where everything is so far away, this was a real treat.
Academically – within the LLM program there is – understandably – an emphasis on the EU and related institutions. I would not have learnt this much about the EU and in so much depth, in New Zealand
Has this experience changed you and/or your views about life and the world?
This experience has changed my views about life and the world. It has really extended my knowledge of the legal profession. It is an intense course where, typically, you learn a subject during the week then on the weekend you have an exam, to begin another subject the next week. This style has teaches you to be adaptable and to work under pressure. At first, like every ‘new kid’, I had doubts about my ability to work at this level and to pass successfully. But it is a fostering environment where everyone is from varied ability, language, and experience all with one goal in common – to pass the LLM papers. It was easy to make friends as everyone is from a common background in legal study.
What is your favourite story or memory from your term?
My favourite memory from my term is meeting lawyers and law students from around the world. I have made some life long friends that I can call on during our careers. It is a great excuse to visit America and South America to visit colleagues I met on the LLM program. Although the course is intense, there is still time to socialize and benefit from the great social scene of Lyon city.
How will this experience assist with your future career goals?
I had never wanted to study this subject at this level, as I had other intentions to remain and work in NZ. However, it was a great opportunity when I found myself in Lyon unable to work. The LLM has enriched my LLB degree and extended my repertoire of legal knowledge. I think the knowledge of the EU, gained from the LLM program will be a real stand out once I am back in my own country seeking employment.
There are a plenitude of things I learned while studying at L’Université Lyon III that I wouldn’t have otherwised learned had I stayed in the US. The juxtaposition of cultures in a dense area such as Europe, ensures a dynamic interation between languages, cultures, and ideas that is difficult to replicate. This is of course reflected in the going integration of the European Union, which can only be understood by living within the EU. However, this is a result not just of the cultures found within the continent, but also by the global perspective the residents thereof assume. I will never forget what I learned in my Comparative Legal Traditions course in which we compared CivilLaw, Common Law, and the traditions from Asia–an analysis that is useful to me now as I practice law in California.
My experience at Lyon III reinforced my belief that there is an absolute need to maintain ties with people around the world who are different from you. By understanding how other systems work, and how other people think, you are in a better position to understand your own system and your own thinking.
It is too difficult to choose one particular memory as my favorite. La fete de lumiere, the first night of the beaujoulais festival, everyday conversations in cafes near the Rhone, or climbing to the top of Fourviere… there are many memories to make and cherish.
Holding a LL.M. demonstrates beyond doubt that one is interested in a particular field of law It’s my hope that I will be able to translate my LL.M. into a job dealing with trans-national issues.
One of the best things about being a part of this program is interaction with students from other countries all around the world. You can compare your legal systems, notice differences, analyze things, improve your English. And without any doubt, it is an amazing experience for anyone! There is no age limit for students, so some of them are much older than you, the others are younger but the fact you spend every day together, help you not only to learn new things about law but to learn how to interact with different people, to make new friends probably.
I hope that this experience will make a good start for my future career as a lawyer. I want to work in a law firm and now I know a lot more than I even expected from this program.
I am very grateful for our environment we were given in University, for the excellent professors who guided us through different law issues and for the organization which was on the highest level.
Thank you very much!!