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Zoé Gonzalez de Lara

Zoé Gonzalez de Lara, student and valedictorian of the Franco-English double degree with Bangor Zoé Gonzalez de Lara holds a Franco-English double degree in Law from ESL Toulouse and Bangor University in Wales, as well as a degree in Philosophy from the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès. She is currently studying for a Master 2 in International Administration at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne and was admitted to the U.S. Legal Studies LL.M. programme at St John's University in New York in 2021.


Joining the European School of Law Toulouse was a real choice, and one that I don't regret.

I wanted to work in an international institution with a focus on Africa, so I decided to do a Franco-English double degree in Law with Bangor University in Wales. This allowed me to discover the civil and common law systems while specialising in European and international law.

ESL had a profound impact on my first four years at university for two main reasons.

The first is the entrepreneurial freedom that is at the heart of this curriculum. During my years at the University of Toulouse Capitole, I had the opportunity to be vice-president of TESLA. Our committee benefited from extraordinary trust in organising conferences and trips to Paris and Brussels to get to know the European institutions and to create social links between English, Spanish, German, Italian and Russian students.

Convinced of the importance of the European Union, and with the help of my fellow students from Toulouse, Marion Tanguy and Charles Elie-Martin, I set up and ran the European Horizons think-tank at Bangor University. Our committee launched a newsletter to continue promoting European values during the period of Brexit in Wales.

The second added value of the ESL is its emphasis on merit. The graduation ceremony is a highlight of the academic year, and I had the unique opportunity to be awarded the Robertson-Horsington Prize by the Franco-British Lawyers Association, which rewarded the best student in the double degree class between 2016 and 2021.

At the same time, I completed a bachelor’s degree in philosophy by correspondence at the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès. The English academic method, based on autonomy, allowed me to follow such a course in order to develop in a field that is so important for a solid understanding of the usefulness of law.

The years I spent as part of this Franco-English double degree were unique and I am convinced that the opportunities I have today are due to this experience.

That is why I joined the Master 2 in International Administration at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, which allowed me to acquire professional skills by working for the Global Fund for Victims of Sexual Violence in Conflict, created by Dr Mukwege and Nadia Murad, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018, by taking part in simulated international negotiations (UN, OECD, UNESCO) and by acquiring practical knowledge of diplomacy, NGO activities, etc.

As I wanted to complete my LLB from Bangor and discover the American university system, the University of Paris 1 did me the honour of selecting me for the LL.M. programme at St. John's University in New York. This $64,000 scholarship enables me to enrol in the LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies free of tuition fees, to prepare for the New York bar exam and to apply for the United Nations Development Programme internship programme.

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