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Canton Sébastien

Course Master's degree
School year ISIT 2001
Specialization Lawyer-Linguist and Law and Intercultural Studies
Country France

Canton Sébastien graduated from ISIT with a Lawyer-Linguist Master’s degree, while studying law at university, in order to acquire the same level of excellence in both English and German. As a specialist in business law, he stands out thanks to his knowledge of the vocabulary and legal systems of the countries with which he is required to work.

Before ISIT?

I graduated from a Parisian high school with an Economics and Social sciences baccalaureat. I wanted to continue studying my two active languages, German (I often say I am a “child” of the fall of the Berlin Wall !) and English. But I couldn’t see myself becoming a translator or interpreter. At the time, these two careers seemed not to offer sufficient job prospects (which wasn’t true at all).

Why ISIT ?

ISIT’s Lawyer-Linguist course combined a high-level education in languages with law studies at Université Paris-XI. At the time, I think it was the only course in which students could study languages applied to law in two different foreign languages at a high level, with classes for about twenty hours a week.

The assets of an ISIT education?

  • This course is very demanding and you must be organized in your work. Constantly having to juggle between law and language studies at two different universities required great discipline. We hardly had time for leisure activities and the days were very long!
  • This being said, all the students were in the same boat, which created a fantastic team spirit. The hard times and moments of tension were significantly easier to deal with because we often shared our feelings, our hopes and disappointments with each other. These are memories my classmates and I will remember forever.

What are the benefits of this course for a qualified lawyer?

  • All Business Law firms working internationally, in other words helping foreign clients with their activities in France, or French clients abroad, have been expecting for a while now for young lawyers to be able to speak at least one foreign language. They especially expect them to master the legal vocabulary of the foreign country or countries of which they speak the language or languages.
  • ISIT offers law students expertise in the two languages they chose as well as true open-mindedness, a different way of thinking. This provides real intellectual enrichment, and provides a breath of fresh air whenever law classes become too much.
  • Mastering languages also means discovering comparative law, being able to comprehend the differences between legal systems from one country to another, and, in the end, to grasp the cultural differences between our contacts. These are mandatory skills during negotiations, mediations or disputes.

After ISIT?

  • Following my jurist-linguist training, I continued my law studies and was an intern in law firms, both in France and abroad, before passing my CRFPA exam (Professional Lawyers’ certification). I then became a lawyer after a one-year training course at the “L’Ecole de Formation du Barreau” in Paris. 
  • In 2005, I joined the law practice BMH AVOCATS for my final year of internship. I still work there. In January 2019, I became a BMH AVOCATS partner in the energy department.
  • Every day, I notice how beneficial ISIT’s Lawyer-Linguist training is in my professional approach, whether it be pure language skills or my ability to manage foreign clients’ files daily, specifically German and English clients.

Any advice for the students?

  • Make the most of it! That doesn’t mean that we have fun in this course. The curriculum can be quite ambitious, the days can be very busy, the trips between universities are tiring, and the experience can be stressful. However, you must remember that this course seeks excellence, and is thus highly demanding.
  • Don’t lose sight of your goals, don’t give up. Don’t hesitate to ask your classmates for help, especially since you’ll be overcoming potential “tough moments” together. You’ll make friends for life, or even more.