After wrapping up a virtual presentation to a group of LLM students at LSU Law about internship and career opportunities with Air France, Lionel Bros—who earned his LLM at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 1997 and serves as general counsel for the global airline—was asked by a student to talk a little bit about how his Master of Laws degree from LSU Law has benefitted his career.
“It has really provided me with a lot of leverage in my career for a number of reasons,” Bros responded. “Firstly, I was not a native English speaker, so it was very valuable for me to get first-hand experience with the language. Having the opportunity to study a mix of civil and common law was also very important, because most international transactions fall under common law jurisdiction and if you don’t have experience studying it as a law student it can be very difficult to do international law.”
As valuable as the legal education he received at LSU Law was for launching and advancing his career, Bros said the time he spent at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center was equally important in his personal development.
“Studying internationally gives you invaluable opportunities to experience life in another country and interact with people from many different cultures,” he said. “And it also requires you to be far away from your family, likely for the first time in your life, which really opens up the world to you in a way that is important for your personal and professional development.”
Bros earned his law degree at Aix-Marseille University in Lyon, France, which has been the host university of the LSU Law Summer in France program for decades. After earning his LLM from LSU Law in 1997, Bros launched his career in the Paris offices of Linklaters, one of the oldest international business law firms in France. He would go on to work for LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, Alstom Holdings, and Thales Defense Mission Systems before joining Air France in late 2019.
“I spent many years working in Amsterdam, Switzerland, and the U.S., with people from more than 50 countries who had different values, culture, and lifestyles,” Bros said. “My LLM and experience studying at LSU Law was good preparation for that kind of environment.”
Bros was also asked about the importance of soft skills in career advancement and professional development.
“With your LLM from LSU Law, you will be among the top of your peers in terms of your legal studies and preparedness,” he said. “So, that expertise will be key to your success, but after you get years and years into your career you will find that if you don’t have good soft skills, it will be very difficult for you to interact and work alongside people in a way that instills confidence or loyalty.”
Last year, Bros visited LSU Law in person to speak about internship opportunities with LLM students, as it was the first year that a new Air France internship was offered to an LLM student at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center through a tripartite agreement between LSU Law, Aix-Marseille University, and the airline.
“It’s wonderful to have you share your experience, and our students in the LLM program are so lucky to have this exposure,” Professor Olivier Moréteau, who serves as Assistant Dean for International Programs, told Bros at the conclusion of the students’ visit with him. “I just wish that I would have had opportunities like this when I was in law school.”
Lila Tahidousti, who earned her LLM from LSU Law in December 2021, was the first to land an internship through the tripartite agreement and she is currently working for Air France USA in New York. Sigrid Soetaert, a Norway native who is currently completing her LLM at LSU Law, has been selected for the next Air France internship through the agreement.