When Lillian Icard ’14 graduated from Columbia College in 2008, she planned to spend a year brushing up on her French before pursuing a career in the art world. She moved to Paris to earn a master’s in the language through Middlebury College and fell in love with the City of Light.
While working on her degree, she developed a passion for the law. Her thesis focused on public art, but the art itself took a backseat. “I found myself more drawn to the analysis of moral rights [an aspect of French copyright law] in France and how they compared to U.S. copyright law,” she says. Staying in Paris, she translated a textbook on European health care law. “As tedious as I found the translation to be, I was interested in the legal aspects of what I was reading about. That’s when I decided to apply to law school.”
Columbia Law School was a perfect fit for the Francophile since it offers a double-degree program with L’Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) in Paris, allowing Icard to earn a J.D. and a master’s in Economic Law with a Global Studies specialization.
Icard spent her first and second years in New York, and was named a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar for recognition of superior academic achievement. She also served as fundraising chair of the Columbia International Arbitration Association, symposium chair of the Columbia Business Law Association, a board representative to the Columbia Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, an editor of the Columbia Journal of Law and the Arts.
In her final year at Sciences Po, Icard took courses on European capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, and, as befit her environs, opera and wine.
Now, another world city calls. In September, she will begin working at the London office of Sullivan & Cromwell, where she interned last summer. “I spent half the summer in London for an internship doing capital markets and mergers and acquisitions, and I fell in love with it.”