Written on 27 November 2012.
The increasing complexity of the economy, of corporate projects, of the environment, and of legal mechanisms poses a challenge for the legal profession and its corporate clients. “Corporate law firms, like companies, are looking more and more for recent graduates who have studied both law and management,” says Anee Zuccarelli, associate dean for academic programmes and corporate relations at EDHEC Business School. “And yet, students doing such studies now find themselves obliged to complete these programmes at the same time or one after the other, with no real consistency of the kind that would make it possible to acquire specific skills,” points out Alexis Massart, dean of the Faculté Libre de Droit.
As a consequence, the Faculté Libre de Droit (FLD) and EDHEC have sought to combine their vision and their expertise in a unique and integrated degree-granting programme in business law and management. This four-year programme (three years of coursework and one year in a law firm or company), will be delivered jointly by the first private law school in France and by EDHEC Business School as of the fall of 2013.
A dual-degree programme tailored to meet market expectations
To respond to student objectives and market expectations, the two institutions have designed a programme that makes it possible for students to combine third-year law studies and the second-year of the LLM in business law and a management programme with three years of study at EDHEC.
The graduates will thus have gone through a solid programme devoted to the fundamentals of business law and management, in addition to a professional apprenticeship. The graduates, holders of a dual diploma (a Master 2 in business law from the Faculté Libre de Droit and an LLM in law and tax management from EDHEC), will be prepared to work above all in corporate or tax law, as in-house counsels, in France and abroad. The students who were admitted on completing entrance examinations will also be able to get a third degree, from the EDHEC grande école programme.
“Both EDHEC and the FLD have great reputations in the fields of management and law. For several years there had already been a partnership in the form of shared programmes. We are delighted, then, to announce the creation of this new programme, the only one of its kind in France, and which will make it possible for its graduates to meet market expectations in terms of both skills and background, and in that way to reach their initial career goals,” say Nathalie Laugier, associate professor and head of the business law programme at the FLD, and Christophe Roquilly, professor and head of the law and tax management track at EDHEC.
An academically demanding programme
The students admitted to this track by EDHEC and those admitted by the FLD will spend three years doing coursework integrating in balanced fashion topics in law, economics, and management. After a two-month transition module, which will make it possible to acquire certain fundamentals and the methods necessary for a solid understanding of these different fields, the students will be brought together to begin a curriculum including the courses specific to each discipline.
The first year will be devoted to the fundamentals of business law, to economics, and to management. The second year will make it possible to approach more specialised topics, such as competition law, criminal corporate law, banking law, strategy, marketing, corporate governance, ethics, and so on, with half of the courses being taught in English. The third year, for its part, will be devoted to strengthening knowledge of business law (international contracts, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual-property law, and so on), of ethics, and of leadership, as well the role of the law in corporate strategy. Eighty percent of the courses will be taught in English.
A programme promoting professional experience and backed by practitioners
Students will be required to complete a professional experience of at least twelve months, six of which abroad.
In addition to the support of the large corporations and the law firms with which EDHEC and the FLD have been working for several years, this programme enjoys the backing of the Association Française des Juristes d’Entreprise (French association of in-house counsels) and the bar.
A programme informed by research
The programme, above all in the third year, will be informed by the research done at the LegalEdhec Research Centre (on legal performance) and at the FLD’s C3RD (Centre de Recherche sur les Relations entre le Risque et le Droit).
Admission to the programme
This programme is meant for two types of students. Those who are admitted to the grande école programme at EDHEC after having been through classes préparatoires and those who have successfully finished two years of law school. The former will be admitted by EDHEC on application and after an interview; the latter will be admitted by the FLD, likewise on application and after an entrance exam and interview.