Jean-Gabriel Peuchaud

June 7, 2007Duke Law News

Interview With

Name: Jean-Gabriel Peuchaud
LLM 2007
Home: France
Law School: Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne.

  1. Where is home? What is it famous for?
    Home is Bordeaux, France. It is a medium size city in Southwestern France. It is known all around the world for its wine. Every restaurant, every supermarket and anywhere you are on this planet offers a selection of Bordeaux wine. Every Bordelais is extremely proud of this.
  2. You got your first law degree from France and an LLM in Chile. You worked as a lawyer in France and then a legal consultant in Japan. What made you decide to pursue a second LLM degree in the U.S.?
    While I was working in the M&A department with an American attorney in Japan, I realized that in our globalized world, mastering some aspects of U.S. law is absolutely necessary. The United States is one of the most competitive economies in the world and therefore all the major corporations have interest in this country. As a result, learning about the U.S. legal system will allow me to be a better lawyer and a better counsel.
  3. Why did you choose Duke for your LLM?
    I chose Duke for several reasons:
    - One of the best law schools in the world with a world class faculty
    - An extensive alumni network
    - Duke is located in an inexpensive part of the US
    - Durham is a family friendly place which is important because I have a 15 month-old.
  4. What do you like most about Duke so far?
    The quality of the education is exceptional. The professors are the best in their fields and very accessible. The facilities at Duke Law are also incredible. The library has an impressive collection. The premises are modern, new and very user friendly, which makes studying here a very pleasant experience.
  5. What is your plan after graduation?
    Since my wife is enrolled in a PhD program at UNC- Chapel Hill for at least two other years, I am planning to stay and look for opportunities in the Durham area in the next couple of years.
  6. You have studied at law schools in three countries, what do you think of the three legal education systems? What do you think are the most essential qualities for an international student to succeed at a foreign law school?
    Adaptability and respect of the other cultures are clearly the two most essential qualities you will need to succeed at a foreign law school. Every place has different expectations, in order to meet those you need to adapt yourself, be responsive and willing to learn. LLM students come from all around the world. JD students come from all around the U.S. You must be willing to meet people that are different from you to succeed in a place like Duke.
  7. What advice will you give to international students studying in American law schools?
    I would suggest that you must be willing to study in a different manner than the one you were used to. For example, you are supposed to be prepared before coming to class. Professors usually give reading assignments before class. During class, professor and students will discuss and comment about the readings. As a result, participation is very important.
    It is different than in France where classes are taught in huge lecture halls where there is a minimal interaction between the students and the faculty. Here, the number of student per class is much smaller, which allows great interaction between students and professors.