Why take a class in French law?

"Globalization is a force that lawyers must reckon with regardless of whether they practice on Wall Street or Main Street."

- Mary C. Daly, What Every Lawyer Needs to Know about the Civil Law System, 1998 Symposium issue of the Professional Lawyer 37-52.

In the close knit world of today, the U.S. practicing lawyer finds that to an ever-increasing extent, his or her foreign and local clients, individuals or corporations, governmental, or international bodies, are faced with problems cutting across territories and the legal systems of more than one nation. Foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations, estates and domestic relations of millions of foreign-born individuals, and U.S. citizens residing abroad, international transactions, etc. Globalization impacts small and medium size businesses, and individual clients.

In this day and age of globalization, U.S. students need to be exposed to different legal systems, so that they understand better the procedural and substantive law of a legal system other than the U.S., and the mentality and reasoning of lawyers in different countries.

French law has a particular interest, as a prototype of the civil law tradition, as contrasted with the Anglo-American common law tradition, based on English law, and followed in the U.S.

Professor Claire M. Germain
Edward Cornell Law Librarian and Professor of Law

Fleur-de-lys stained glass window in the Saint-Louis gallery in the Cour de cassation building. (left image)
Simone Rozes, former first president of Cour de cassation. (right image)

Copyright 2004 Cornell Law School | About the "French Law in Action" project
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