This year-long study abroad program undertaken in a student’s 3L year awards Penn Law students a Masters in Economic Law with a specialization in Global Governance, from the elite Institut d’Études Politique de Paris (Sciences Po) in Paris.
The Masters in Economic Law program is designed to provide a comprehensive theoretical and practical approach to legal issues in a global context. It suits students who aspire to work in law firms in the field of international litigation, in arbitration practice, in international institutions such as the WTO, as in-house legal advisers to multinational groups (particularly in compliance departments), or as human rights advocates. This one-year program welcomes students from Sciences Po, several élite North American law schools, and other European institutions. The program is enriched by interaction between students from different countries with differing aspirations and cultural backgrounds. French language fluency is required. Two students from Penn Law are nominated annually for this program.
Alternately, Penn Law students can pursue the LLM in Transnational Arbitration and Dispute Settlement. Further details can be found here. Paris is one of the most attractive and important international arbitration venues worldwide thanks to the presence of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Court of International Arbitration. However, please note that because this LLM program extends through the summer, participants would not be eligible for a July bar exam and would need to defer until February.
The compulsory common core of classes for the Masters in Economic Law relates to advanced private and economic international law, international commercial and investment arbitration, and human rights, development and corporate social responsibility. Students are then free to choose electives which focus either on global business and economic law, litigation and arbitration, or accountability, development and human rights. Classes are conducted in both French and English. While this program provides an academic credential sufficient to qualify graduates to take the bar examination in France, they would realistically need substantial additional preparation before doing so.
Prior to their departure, students must ensure they have completed the necessary upper-level semester hours to meet their JD degree requirements. Joint Degree students receive 27 credits for the Sciences-Po program during their 3L year.
Below is a sample of courses taken at Sciences Po by former Penn Law participants:
- Droit International Privé Européen de l’économie
- Droit International Public (* Required)
- Principes Fondamentaux du Système Juridique Français
- Arbitrage Commercial International (*Required)
- Globalisation et Pluralisme Juridique
- La Responsabilité Sociale des Entreprises
- Legal Aspects of International Finance
- EU Competition Law
- Secured Transactions
- International Economic Negotiation
- M&A in Emerging Countries
Grading and Evaluation
Academic performance is assessed by various methods, including written exams, oral presentations, and papers. The French grading system employs a scale of 1 to 20, with 20 being the maximum, and 10 being the minimal passing grade. All classes at Sciences Po must be taken for a grade (i.e., not pass/fail) but will not be factored into your Penn Law GPA.
Although the program dates vary from year to year, the Sciences Po academic term generally begins in early September with a Fall exam timetable and winter break similar to Penn Law. Spring break typically falls in late February, with Spring exams in May.
Students who complete the Masters in Economic Law are eligible to participate in Penn Law graduation ceremonies. The LLM in Transnational Arbitration and Dispute Resolution includes a third summer term with grades available in early September.
Cost of Living
Estimates for living expenses in Paris are provided on the Sciences Po website.
Sciences Po does not directly arrange housing, but offers a special service that assists and advises students with finding accommodation, and provides a list of contacts to make housing-seeking easier. Housing information for the area can be found online.
Students who are admitted to the program will need to apply for a visa. Before doing so, they must register with Campus France. The registration process can take some time and must be completed before a visa application can be completed. See Campus France’s website for more information.
Health and Safety
Students must register for compulsory, government-mandated health coverage. This coverage guarantees students basic, comprehensive health care coverage for the entirety of their stay in France.
Please review the Health and Safety information available on the Penn Global Support Services website. Details on Travel Warnings, if relevant, are posted under International Travel Guidance.
Disability Access and Special Needs
Sciences Po endeavors to provide an accessible program to students with special needs. Information on their Disability Center can be found online.
Contact Info for Foreign Institution
Agueda Perez Munoz
Head, Center for the Americas
27, rue de l’Université 75007 Paris
Tel: 0 33 11 1 45 49 83 63
Remember to read the Study Abroad Guidelines for answers to the most frequently asked questions about studying abroad.