Home>Meeting with Annabelle Artus, Graduate of Master in Economic Law, Global Business Law and Governance Program, 2022

16.01.2023

Meeting with Annabelle Artus, Graduate of Master in Economic Law, Global Business Law and Governance Program, 2022

Annabelle Artus

Can you tell us about your undergraduate background?

I joined Sciences Po in 2016 at the Euro-American campus of Reims. At this time, I had several interests such as economics, international relations, and law. Although I chose economics as a major for my second year, I was introduced to international law for the first time and discovered a true passion for it with the core course "Public International law". I realized that I had never felt as involved and interested in a class and I started considering it as a career field.

I did my third year abroad in Santiago de Chile where I mostly studied Public Administration and took advantage of this experience to discover new cultures and travelled around. This year confirmed my will to study Law but also strengthened my desire to work and evolve in an international environment.

Can you describe your experience at sciences po law school?

Because I wanted to become a lawyer and sit the bar, I joined the master’s degree Droit économique. The first year was extremely interesting, and I discovered what it meant to really study the Law. I enjoyed my classes and my professors very much. I learned a lot and although the year was academically challenging, the format of the classes – small groups of no more than 15-20 students was extremely convenient and favoured participation and understanding of the material.

After this first year I took a gap year and did two internships at law firms. I didn’t know much about the different fields of law when I started. I knew that I wanted to plead before tribunals, and that I cared about having some forms of international dimension in my future practice. This naturally led me to dispute resolution and in particular to arbitration and litigation. I did my first internship at K&L Gates in Paris, in their International Arbitration & Litigation department and the second one at Hogan Lovells in Civil and Commercial Litigation.

Both experiences were extremely valuable for several reasons. It was of course the first time I got to see law in practice and truly understand what it meant to be a litigator. In my case for instance, it’s after this gap year that I realized I wanted to mostly focus on International Arbitration. Another significant dimension is the social / professional dynamic at a law firm. In my opinion, this is why internships are so valuable, they prepare us for what we may experience in our future careers and give us a better understanding of what may suit us best. For instance, whether we want to work at a small or a large law firm, in an Anglo-Saxon or French one etc. I will never emphasize this enough but take gap years and do internships because it will have a major impact on your later choices and prepare you for what you will experiment when you become lawyers or else.

What have you learned from the global business law and governance program?

I first learned about GBLG when I was a second-year student in Reims and I decided that this was what I wanted to do in … three years and a half. When it was finally time to apply, I was doing my gap year and I had not changed my mind. GBLG is an amazing program for students who are interested in studying common law in an international environment. First, you get to study at Columbia law in New York City for one semester along with eight other students from la Sorbonne and later, you can take up to two classes at la Sorbonne in addition to your six Sciences Po courses. In my case, the semester in Columbia is when I got to actually study international arbitration for the first time and confirmed my passion for it. It was extremely challenging because my lack of knowledge about it contrasted a lot with the level of the American JDs and international LL.M. But I had amazing and very supportive teachers who helped me get the foundation knowledge upon which to build for my later classes. In addition, it was again an opportunity to meet and study with people from all over the world. I learned so much from everyone especially since I got to work at the University both as a Research Assistant to Pr. George A. Bermann who was my arbitration professor and has been an amazing mentor, and for the Immigrant’s rights clinic.

It is during this first semester that I decided to apply to do an LL.M in the US in order to later sit the bar in New York. I hesitated a lot considering how challenging the process was and the cost that doing an LL.M. entailed. I was lucky to receive a lot of guidance from Sciences Po and Columbia’s faculties who helped me make the decision.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m currently an LL.M. student at Georgetown Law. My degree is in International legal studies, and I am pursuing a certificate in International Arbitration and Dispute resolution in parallel. I am also involved in the board of Georgetown International Arbitration Society (GIAS) and I am working on the organization of a "French Arbitration day" in Washington DC.

In July, I will be sitting the New York bar examination and I’m looking for an associate position in International Arbitration in September. The goal would be to work at an Anglo-Saxon law firm in New York. I fell in love with the city when I was at Columbia and it’s a place I would very much enjoy living in for a few years. Eventually, I think I would like to go back to France and develop my practice in Paris building upon the experience I would have gotten abroad. I want to work as counsel at first, but my dream would be to become an arbitrator at a later stage of my career.

Any advice for those joining sciences po law school?

Sciences Po Law School is one of a kind. The way the program is built is extremely efficient as well as academically fulfilling for its students. The first year is very intense as most students have not been to law school prior to the masters. It focuses on the big fields of the law and gives the student a comprehensive understanding of contracts, torts, civil and criminal procedures as well as property, administrative law, European law and international private law. Students are encouraged to take a gap year and get the chance to practice in their areas of interest. Sciences Po provides a lot of support for the internship search and students benefit from a large network of partner firms. There are also opportunities to do exchange semesters abroad during the gap year and of course to specialize for the second year of masters.

Law school is a lot of work and Sciences Po is no exception. But everything is put together so that students may find their way and succeed in what they want to do. You don’t have to be sure that you want a become a lawyer to apply to the Law school. You will find classes that will interest you as well as professors and faculties to support you whatever your interests are.

The law school and its alumni will help you as much as they can, there is a truly great support system and former Sciences Po students tend to go above and beyond to help current ones. In the end it will be up to you. Dream big and work hard because you can actually achieve a lot with that.

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