A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Law

What kind of student were you? To be honest, I was not very motivated during my first four years studying law. I found learning by heart tedious. I enjoyed my student life outside of the Lille 2…
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20 Apr 2020

What kind of student were you?  

To be honest, I was not very motivated during my first four years studying law. I found learning by heart tedious. I enjoyed my student life outside of the Lille 2 University of Health and Law far more! I was in a rock band. I did enough work to pass. But all this changed during my year doing a research-based Master’s degree in private law, which led to my Ph.D. thesis three years later. As post-graduates, we dug deeper into the mechanisms of law, asking epistemological questions. We gave presentations, worked more on case studies, files and legal research challenges. We could be more creative, more personal. I also discovered the deep thinking of Jean Carbonnier, who was one of the most important French legal thinkers of the 20th century. His book, Flexible droit, was a revelation, connecting law and sociology. In it, he explains how the law is flexible. During my Ph.D. studies, I came to believe that law does not exist by and for itself. Law is an instrument for building social relations, relations between companies, individuals, economic structures. That’s when I really got passionate about law.

What were your favourite subjects?

Corporate law, competition law, and intellectual property law.

Tell us about a teacher who inspired you.

There have been several. Charles Freyria, professor emeritus, and attorney, who supervised my doctoral dissertation. He was one of those old-fashioned (in a positive sense) professors, both impressive and very cultured. Françoise Dekeuwer, the well-known professor of family and business law, who was my unofficial doctoral dissertation supervisor. She is the one who gave me my first opportunities to teach. The ways in which she related to her team were really inspiring. Françoise Auque, professor and attorney, who also guided me during my thesis. She was very dynamic. As a practising lawyer, she could easily switch from theory to practice, and vice-versa.

What's a typical day in the life of Professor Roquilly?  

There is no typical day! Routine is not part of the job description. I manage people and projects, develop strategies and research, and teach.

How do you keep your knowledge up to date?

I continue to publish and read. Knowledge is not frozen in time. Law is in continuous evolution. Its practice will always evolve. This is one of the reasons why, on many projects, I work with law firms and the legal departments of companies.

What inspires you on a daily basis?

My colleagues at EDHEC, people working in law firms, legal departments or legaltechs (legal technology companies). There is always something to learn from others, to expand your expertise, whatever the subject.

What is the achievement you are most proud of?

At EDHEC, my colleagues and I have built a very strong law department, which is quite unusual for a business school. Under EDHEC’s new strategic plan, we will actually expand our reach with new projects, such as the creation of the EDHEC Augmented Law Institute. I’m really proud of that.

What does your team say about you?

I have absolutely no idea! But I hope they’d say I’m someone they can rely on.

What would you have done if you hadn't taught?

I could have been a full-time attorney or an in-house counsel … or a musician! As I mentioned, a long time ago, I sang in a rock-punk band called Ave Tenebrae.

Do you have a surprising hobby?                                                                                 

Not anymore! I used to box and do various sports, but I have calmed down a bit. I tend to work too much during my time off, so I try to read, to cultivate myself (I like counter-culture), to travel. Nothing surprising ... I’m just an average guy, with a not-so-typical foot in rock culture.

What is your favourite book?

I don’t have just one, but I like all of Philip K. Dick’s books. He is a famous American sci-fi writer. His most famous book is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The book was the basis for the iconic movie Blade Runner. His novel The Man in the High Castle has become an Amazon Prime television series. Why do I enjoy reading his books? They are well written, ingenious, creative and visionary. They depict alternate history, dystopia and worlds you wouldn't like to live in ... Ubik, another one of his books, is pure gold.





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