French Lawyer Advances Environmental Projects with Loyola Double Degree
French lawyer Tiffany Michou LLM ’14/JSD ’19 of consulting giant ICF International is perfectly poised to tackle climate change projects for high-profile clients, including the Canadian and California governments, because of the supportive and specialized nature of her Loyola education.
When Michou’s Aix-Marseille University law professor suggested she pursue a doctorate, she approached Professor Aaron Ghirardelli, faculty director of Loyola’s Master of Laws (LLM) and Doctor of Juridical Science (JSD) programs, with an idea for a double degree.
“What helped me was the flexibility of my professors,” says Michou. “Not only did I focus on theoretical work, but I also obtained practical experience, which is very unusual in a doctoral program.”
After completing her LLM, Michou passed both the California and New York bar exams. She credits the preparation she received in Professor Gary Craig’s ethics course, tailored specifically to the needs of international LLM students. “I took the New York Bar Exam after his class and passed it on my first try,” she said. “I still consult with Professor Craig when I have ethics questions.”
Despite the fact many students pursuing the JSD degree intend to become law school professors, Michou intends to use the degree to advance her career in environmental law and consulting. “I want to be an expert in this specific area. That’s why I need both degrees and why I need practical training.”
In addition to giving useful career advice, advisor Professor Katherine A. Trisolini encouraged Michou to publish her research in American Bar Association publications. Since then, Michou has published papers with the ABA group every few months.
Loyola provided flexibility in another way: It is also allowing her to earn a Ph.D. from her former law school in France in conjunction with her JSD. When she completes her studies, she will graduate with both degrees.
“If you need help, if you need structure, if you need someone to review your work, Loyola professors are here for you,” said Michou. “But if you are more independent, they give you the opportunity to forge your own path.”