University of Cergy-Pontoise, France
Vermont Law School offers three dual degree options with the University of Cergy-Pontoise, a prestigious law school ranked 3rd in France by the French Ministry of Education and 1st in Paris and suburbs by l'Etudiant, the leading student magazine in France.
JD/Master II/DJCE in Business Law (taught in French)
Both the JD/ Master I and JD/ Master II DJCE programs are designed for students with a mastery of the French language who are interested in pursuing a career in international law and policy, whether involving work in the United States or abroad. Employers in the international field increasingly are seeking students with knowledge of multiple legal systems, and with a mastery of at least one language in addition to English. Graduates of these programs will earn two degrees from distinguished schools of law, providing the dynamic legal foundation needed to represent or to regulate international businesses. Ordinarily, VLS students apply for the program during the second semester of their first year of law school. For more information, contact Professor Stephanie Farrior, Director of International and Comparative Law Programs.
Course Work Specific to the JD/Masters I and II Program with Cergy-Pontoise
Students participating in this program must satisfy VLS graduation requirements during the first two years of law school. Some VLS graduation requirements may be satisfied by work completed in France, such as the perspectives course requirement.
Students must also complete the following courses at VLS before beginning course work in France:
- Corporations (fall semester of second year)
- At least one course in each of the following categories:
- Corporate Finance or Securities Regulation;
- Employment Law, Bankruptcy, Sales, Secured Transactions, Business Planning, International Trade, International Business Transactions
- Income Taxation or Business Taxation
Additionally, students must complete the following courses before beginning Master level course work in France. These courses may be offered at VLS or in France, possibly in intensive sessions during the summer.
- Introduction to the French Legal Method, French Legal System, and the French Civil Code
- French Corporate Law
At the conclusion of two or, at the applicant’s option, three years of study at Vermont Law School, students will begin their studies in France. The first year of studies will be at the University of Cergy-Pontoise at the Masters I level, with a specialization in business law. The second year of studies will be at the Masters II level, with advanced specialized course work in business law. French course work may include contract law, tax law, labor law, company law, corporate finance, commercial law, and trade regulation. During the period of study in France, VLS students will be subject to the same academic requirements as French students.
Application Process and Eligibility
Students will generally apply for admission to the dual degree programs in the spring semester of their first year at VLS. Ordinarily, applicants must be in the top half of their class at the time of application and must maintain that academic standing. The applicants must have demonstrated a sufficient mastery of any foreign language required in order to take classes and examinations in that language.
A limited number of students may participate in these programs. Selections will be made on the basis of multiple factors, including: educational goals, academic standing, level of language proficiency, timeliness of application, and one's demonstrated interest in the country and the subjects in which the dual degree program specializes. Details regarding deadlines for application and the actual application process will be provided for interested students at the International Programs informational sessions held fall and spring semesters, or by contacting International@vermontlaw.edu.
At the conclusion of four or five years of study, students will earn a Juris Doctor degree from Vermont Law School and a Cergy-Pontoise Master I degree (specializing in either Business Law or Law and Business Ethics), or both a Master I and a Master II DJCE degree. Students awarded a JD/ Master II degree will be qualified to take the U.S.bar examinations and the Paris Bar.
JD/LLM in French and European Union Law (taught in English)
Through a special exchange agreement between Vermont Law School and the University of Cergy-Pontoise, students earn both a JD and an LLM by spending two years of study at Vermont Law School and one year at Cergy-Pontoise.
Classes for the LLM in French and European Union Law are taught in English by academics and by practicing lawyers, thereby offering students both exposure to French legal academics and contacts among legal practitioners in Paris. Some seminars are taught by and within international firms based in Paris. Students may choose one of the following areas in which to specialize: Business and Taxation Law, or Law and Business Ethics.
Introduction to French and Civil Law
Introduction to European Union Law
Criminal Law and Procedure
Intellectual property - or - Corporate governance (student's choice)
Comparative Study of Legal Traditions
European Union Law
Civil rights and civil liberties in Europe
Dissertation or Internship Report
Capital Marketing and Banking
Antitrust and Competition Law
Compliance - or - Taxation Law (student's choice)
The French language classes are organized by level of proficiency, from beginner to advanced. A language assessment test is given before classes begin, so students are assured an appropriate level of language instruction.
The first semester starts in September, with final exams in December. The second semester starts in February, with final exams in May.
This program is open only to Vermont Law students. Students generally apply in the spring semester of the first year, but applications may be accepted in the fall of the second year, depending on availability of spaces.
Financial and Other Considerations
During their study at the University of Cergy-Pontoise, VLS students will pay all tuition and fees to their home institution, Vermont Law School. Because the dual-degree programs are limited to a few students each year, accepted students will make a $250 non-refundable deposit to hold their place in the program. The deposit will be applied to the total cost of the program. VLS students will be eligible to receive financial aid from VLS for their study at Cergy based on the application of the usual financial aid rules. Students will be responsible for all expenses related to housing, transportation, books, medical insurance, and other expenses. Students will also be required to obtain health and medical insurance coverage for their study abroad.