Vive la Différence! Studying Law in France

We would like to introduce a new feature here on Progressive Lawyer which explores the experiences of law students from around the world as they study the law. We hope it will be both informative for pre-law students as well as food for thought for those who may be thinking of pursuing the study of law. For our first edition, Shannon Roddy discusses her experiences studying law in France.

Shannon Roddy
Shannon Roddy

My name is Shannon Roddy and I’m an undergraduate student currently in the third year of my Law degree. I’m studying Law with Criminology in Northern Ireland and this year I availed of the opportunity to undertake a study placement year abroad. The destination I chose to undertake my studies in was the city of Toulouse in the south of France. The structure of this year consisted of a year spent studying a joint programme in Law with Political Sciences in the Law school and Institute of Political Sciences in Toulouse. Upon completion of this year I hope to achieve a qualification equivalent to a diploma in European legal studies / International area studies from my University in Ireland.

When choosing where to apply for a study placement I had the option to choose from France , Sweden , the Netherlands or Italy. I instantly expressed an interest in studying in France because I speak French and understand French. Further to this I have an avid interest in international legal relations and developments and I understand that French is widely spoken in the legal world. On a personal level the fact that the European Parliament is located in France also helped found my interest. In fact as part of this placement I will be visiting the EU parliament in Strasbourg in the next month. The legal and political influences of France are notable in the functioning of the European Union and in the UN and it has been my long-term ambition to pursue a career in International Law. Studying in France is a great eye-opener for anyone interested in International Law as a career area in particular due to the influence of French legislature in international organisations such as the UN , European Union and EU parliament.

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