February 10th… the Mag 2 class landed at London Airport, ready for their « legal tour » week in the city of business, finance, and huge legal deals !
What was in store for them ? A whole gamut of meetings, visits, lectures, court hearings, and what not… with a cocktail of cultural experience, touristic visits, pub crawls, and shopping sprees…
Day 1 started with a meeting at the London Business School , overlooking the stunning Regent’s Park, where a former MAG student, currently an M.B.A. student there, made a very lively presentation of the various programs on offer in this worldwide-famous business school.
It was followed with a visit of BNP Paribas nearby where we were given a talk by a group of lawyers about the organisation of the legal department, the daily work of an in-house counsel, and also the opportunities of V.I.E. for the French people who are interested in acquiring experience abroad. We got a very warm welcome and had a most enjoyable chat with them around coffee and tea.
Day 2 was scheduled as a long day. We first headed for the Gherkin, this most noticeable glass-framed building, which hosts the offices of Kirkland and Ellis International LL.P.
We were awaited there by another Magistere alumna, currently a senior associate with the firm. Thank you so much to her for, despite her extremely heavy caseload, taking the time and effort to address the group and tell us about the route she followed after leaving the u, the essence of her work now, followed by a very interesting Q&A time, which allowed for total freedom to raise all sorts of questions about career paths and prospects, work-life balance, earnings, competition, promotion, and so on… A most enriching meeting !!
In the afternoon, we were welcomed at Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London, for a presentation of their LL.M. programs and a tour of the school, before we attended a lecture on EU tax law, about state aid and the current Commission investigations… a very interesting class indeed !
On Day 3, the Supreme Court of Justice was on our agenda, with a robust presentation of its membership, its role and recent history, illustrated by high-profile cases the Justices had lately dealt with. Unfortunately, they had no hearing that morning, much to our disappointment. But we were given the green light to sit in their seats, those of the « crème de la crème » of the British Judiciary…. Daunting !
Our next visit was to the London School of Economics, where a couple of professors full of stamina, together with the recruitment manager, addressed us on their LL.M.s and there were sparkles in our eyes…what if we applied in 2 years’ time to complete our French education ? A Magistere alumna currently a student at L.S.E. had asked for such a meeting to be arranged. We are truly thankful to her for this !
Day 4 had a great surprise in store for us… We went to the Middletemple Inn of Court, where we were told during our visit about the ins and outs of the barristers’ profession. , and we ended up having lunch in the great XVI century hall, among the members of the inn, i.e. barristers and judges, a most impressive setting to say the least, and a delicious meal on top of this.
The afternoon was spent in the Court of Appeal across the road, attending hearings, watching and listening to the fully berobed barristers.
Eventually the last day of our trip was dedicated to Morgan Lewis law firm, where here again a former Mag student, now a fully qualified lawyer in England and Wales, had arranged for half a dozen associates to come and speak to us about their special area of practice, labour, employment, M & A, litigation, energy,…One of them, (also a MAG alumna) had come from Paris office on purpose to share in the talk…thumbs up for the Magistere alumni who feel so committed to welcoming the young ones !
A few words to conclude… once the educational part of our study trip was over, we were left with lots to do ! sight-seeing, hiking in the parks, visiting exhibitions, eating fish and chips or… famous cookies, disco-dancing and pub-crawling…. Having fun !!
Thank you to the director of the program for allowing this group experience abroad to come true ! We all hope this will be repeated next year for the younger ones !