Yale Law School

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A J.S.D. Experience

Viviane Meunier (J.S.D. candidate, LL.M. 2006)

Why did you come to Yale Law School?
To get the best exposure to the common law system in order to carry out comparative studies.

What is one experience you have had
here that you did not expect?

Enjoying a high sense of community, how mutually supportive everyone is.

How much have you changed since you arrived at Yale Law School?
A lot, not only thanks to the high academic level and the different way of teaching, but also thanks to the impressive array of nationalities represented at the Law School. I learnt so much not only from the professors, but also from all the students.

Do you have any general comments about your experiences here?
During the LL.M. year, I had the opportunity to apply to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, where I clerked for two judges for a year, which proved to be such an insightful experience. My experience here – first as an LL.M. now as a J.S.D. candidate – has simply changed my life, by giving to me the possibility to work internationally.

As an international student, how would you describe your experiences here?
I'm from France, where I was a practicing attorney in charge of cases brought before the Cour de cassation, the Supreme Court in civil law matters, and was also teaching. To come here has been extremely enriching because everything is so different. My European civil law background combined with my experience in the U.S., more particularly at Yale Law School, is most valuable.

What are you currently focusing your work on?
Public international law. My J.S.D. is a study of Environmental Impact Assessments, and, more broadly, how public international law is now shaped by environmental issues.