Orrick Hosts Student Workshops to Promote Diversity in French Legal Sector


Our Paris office, in partnership with Les Entretiens de l’Excellence, hosted an afternoon of workshops on November 17, 2017 to introduce current law students to the wide range of careers available to them within the legal sector. The goal of this event was to encourage students in their second year of law school to remain motivated and determined to pursue a successful legal career. 

Les Entretiens de l’Excellence is an organization that promotes access to higher education and equal opportunity among young students of diverse socio-economic, geographic and ethnic backgrounds. By exposing these young students to high-achieving professionals with similar backgrounds, Les Entretiens de l’Excellence encourages them to explore career paths they otherwise might not have considered. The organization also helps students figure out the steps they need to take to pursue a professional career.

Thirty-four lawyers, judges, in-house counsel, notaries, law professors and other legal industry professionals met with 109 students from 16 different law schools in small groups to offer first-hand insight on their career paths as well as the steps and skills required to secure a professional legal career. The workshop format encouraged real discussions and allowed students to connect with the team of professionals, formulate a plan to achieve their personal goals and ultimately pursue their dreams. Through this event, the students also had the opportunity to explore the possibility of undertaking internships in different legal fields.

Les Entretiens de l’Excellence reflects our own mindset at Orrick when it comes to diversity, which openly improves the quality of the service provided and the firm’s global coverage,” said Benjamin Cichostepski, partner in charge of diversity for our Paris office.

“We are proud to support Les Entretiens de l’Excellence in building the pipeline for future legal talent, and we are thrilled about the success of this event and the opportunities it provided to the students,” said Anne-Sophie Kerfant, Paris office leader.

Yann Schneller added: “We hope that thanks to this event, talented students will gain access to the legal profession at the highest level and enjoy successful legal careers.”

In addition to Benjamin, this event was possible thanks to the efforts of Yann, who is an active member of Les Entretiens de l’Excellence, and Lorna Maupilé.

Below is a video of the event, where you can hear directly from the participants.