Meeting with Dylan Afresne, Graduate of the Sciences Po Law School (2020)

Meeting with Dylan Afresne, Graduate of the Sciences Po Law School (2020)

  • Dylan Afresne, Graduate of the Sciences Po Law School (2020)Dylan Afresne, Graduate of the Sciences Po Law School (2020)


After graduating from high school with a French-German baccalaureate, I moved to England to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and International Relations at King’s College London. Where my initial career plan was to work in diplomacy and follow a corresponding Master’s degree, a work experience at the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC introduced me to international arbitration and made me reconsider my plans.

Thereafter, I decided to read law and quickly identified Sciences Po Law School as the most relevant place for me to become a lawyer specialised in international arbitration: it remains the only French law faculty where students with non-legal backgrounds are admitted at the Master’s level and it is particularly renowned for its teaching in international law. During my first year at Sciences Po Law School in 2018/2019, I followed the French track of the Master in Economic Law, while representing the Law School in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. After an intense and demanding first year, I interned with Jérôme Ortscheidt, an avocat au Conseil d’État et à la Cour de cassation, throughout the summer, before returning to the Law School to follow the classes of the Global Governance Studies (GGS) program. Even though I had first decided to exclusively focus on classes for my second year at Sciences Po, I ended up interning with the international arbitration team of Gide Loyrette Nouel during the first semester. My studies at the Law School then ended with the successful completion of the second semester, following what I passed the French bar exam (CRFPA) and registered for a Master 2 degree in litigation and arbitration at the Université Paris Panthéon-Assas. Upon completion of this degree, an internship at HFW and the training at the lawyers’ school of Paris (EFB), I joined the international arbitration team of Bredin Prat in January 2022, first as an intern, later as an associate.


My experience at Sciences Po Law School was outstanding in every way. First, I became a lawyer, fully trained in French law, in only two years, thereby accomplishing the Law School’s original ambition. Beyond having been introduced to a new academic field and profession, I recall having been more intellectually challenged at the Law School than anywhere else. Not only was the range of classes offered diverse and rich, but their small size meant that all were engaging and prone to debates. The critical approach to law nurtured by Sciences Po also meant that we, students, always had to challenge the very content we had just learned. Besides, I was careful to, and actually succeeded in, having an equal blend of classes in English and in French at any given time. Second, I met an outstanding faculty and student body, amongst which many became close friends. At Sciences Po, I experienced a true sense of community and always felt like being at the right place, at the right time, with the right people. This sense of community endured despite the pandemic in early 2020 and the abrupt switch to online teaching, thus highlighting its strength. Third, I was constantly given the opportunity to work beyond the classrooms, either through internships, moot courts or research projects. Therefore, the teaching I received at Sciences Po Law School was truly both theoretical and practical.

All in all, I often think of what Professor Jean d’Aspremont used to tell us, namely to make the most of our days as students since they represent the last during which we can research and write about any topic we hold dear, and organise our time in consequence. More than two years after having left Sciences Po Law School, I continue to cherish the academic freedom I enjoyed there.


As an associate within the international arbitration team of Bredin Prat, I act for private and public entities involved in both commercial and investment arbitrations. Most of these entities are legal persons, either of French or foreign nationality, and many are foreign States. I further represent such entities before French courts in cases related to the enforcement or annulment of arbitral awards, as well as any arbitration related litigation. Finally, I assist the other teams of Bredin Prat whenever an international litigation question arises, for instance when a complex choice-of-law or choice-of-forum clause has been stipulated in a given contract. My daily work therefore consists of factual and legal researches – many of which resemble those a law student would have had to tackle -, drafting exercises, client meetings, case strategy reflections and various administrative dealings. I am fortunate to have joined a diverse and engaging work environment and could not have wished for a better place to start my career than Bredin Prat.

As for my next projects, I have just been sworn in as an avocat à la Cour and look forward to joining this new professional community.


Do not be intimated by nor averse to studying law. Being someone who never had a clear-cut ambition or intention to embark upon legal studies, I was most pleasantly surprised by the field’s openness to the extent that all of my preconceived ideas about it proved wrong. I could not have imagined that there could indeed exist a link between my original Geography and International Relations studies in England and my daily work as an international arbitration associate in Paris, at a law firm such as Bredin Prat. Yet, if such link does exist, then it is because law is a dynamic academic subject and one can make of it whatever one wishes. This is particularly true when it comes to professional opportunities: there is no position nor a sector for which a legal training is not a valuable asset. More importantly, I believe that the extent of career paths offered by Sciences Po Law School is second to none.

For those who have been admitted to Sciences Po Law School, my advice would be very simple: make the most of it. For those who consider applying, please do.

Dylan AfresneGraduate of the Sciences Po Law School, Master in Economic Law, Programme Global Governance Studies (GGS), 2020.

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