By Tyler Winn
My name is Tyler Winn and I am a rising 3L currently pursuing my J.D., with concentrations in Business Transactional Law and International and Comparative Law. I am originally from St. Louis (Parkway West High School) and attended Central Methodist University for undergrad. I knew I wanted to return to St. Louis, and, with the move to downtown, SLU LAW was the perfect choice.
This summer my time has been split between Madrid, Spain, and Paris, France. After the completion of spring finals, I boarded a flight to Madrid to begin the SLU LAW summer law program on the SLU Madrid campus. It was a fantastic experience, as I was able to expand upon my international and business law studies, while also having time to experience and engage with a new culture and community. I also worked during the summer as a Faculty Fellow for Professor William Johnson, researching international sales law issues.
At the completion of the Madrid Program, I hopped on a train and headed to Paris. After working and discussing various opportunities with Professor Johnson, I secured an internship with Bernard-Hertz-Béjot for the remainder of the summer. A Parisian firm, BHB focuses on the international practice of business, with most clients being French and international companies, conducting activities abroad.
While at BHB, I have been able to work on a variety of commercial transactions, including Stock Purchase Agreements, Joint Venture Agreements, and financing agreements. One of my tasks, outside of drafting and revising the documents, is to identify for French clients doing business in America, some of the differences in U.S. contract law and explain why certain reps and warranties are being requested. I also had the chance to work with a French client to ensure proper compliance with discovery requests made pursuant to The Hague Convention. (One of the biggest differences between U.S. and French law is the lack of discovery available under The French Civil law system.) While I had little previous experience with many of the specific French statutes or treaties that I have worked with, the skills of drafting, research, attention to detail and legal analysis taught at SLU LAW are still beneficial and vital to success even when working in a different country.
I would highly recommend to all future law students that are interested in business activities abroad (or just want to experience a new culture) to seek out an opportunity like this outside of the United States. From a legal standpoint, I have been able to increase my experience with drafting and preparing commercial transactional documents while observing the different negotiation strategies and tactics that take place in different jurisdictions and cultures. As I was not fluent in French prior to my arrival, this time has also greatly improved my French language skills by being immersed in the French language. Additionally, I have been able to make many new contacts and friends in the French legal community, including the opportunity to meet with Mr. Brendan Berne, a SLU LAW alumnus (’02) and practicing attorney in Paris. With fall classes nearing, my time in Paris is almost complete but I am excited to be back in St. Louis just in time to watch the Cardinals make another postseason run.
Cheers from across the pond!