This is the story of how I transitioned from being a legal counsel in France to coaching Japanese business leaders in English.
A lot of people may find the legal field very mystical. I agree. From the outside it may look like some sort of sectarian movement full of people that enjoy cursing in Latin while having a big head. Well, let me tell you one thing, I always struggle finding a hat that is a perfect fit so… should I be worried? … Well, let’s not talk about that today.
Editor’s note: For the sake of clarity, all Latin expressions will be explained in English.
A priori (=beforehand), as a very pragmatic and rigorous person, it was a bona fide (=good faith) idea to study law and as person who is passionate about languages I decided to get a double bachelor’s diploma in both Law and English.
A posteriori (=later on), I realized that it was much more than studying case law or legal texts. It’s about being aware of the world surrounding us, understanding the society that has been built, how it works and being able to have a critical point of view on everything. Being critical, doesn’t mean grumbling for no apparent reason (France’s national sport). It means being able to structure your thoughts and support them with undeniable facts.
Overall, this has made me less passive about the world in general and more conscious about the subjective approach given by the media and all potential fake news. It empowered me to have a more active approach, and to ask myself “Why is this like this? How can it be fixed? Is it possible that I am also contributing to the problem? Therefore, how can I help?”
And a fortiori (=more than ever) questioning the law by itself “Because this is legal, is it necessarily ethical?”
What I missed while I was working as a business and contract legal counsel in France was the contact with people. One principle very deep to my heart is making legal knowledge accessible to all, and by experiencing in-house legal counselling I discovered how useful I can be by contributing to people’s goals. It was a good opportunity to learn from my colleagues, but rapidly I realized that helping people, giving them tools to grow their own projects, was what drove me.
I have always been inspired by leaders’ speeches. Especially how they increase the impact of their tailored message by putting the right words at the right moment with the right intonation. This is similar to acting, which I enjoyed very much in high school, and made me conscious about delivering the script with the right meaning. This is the reason why I realized that becoming a coach in English for Japanese Business leaders at Veritas is a good fit.
Languages are a tool to connect with people all over the world. Nowadays, English is not only a requirement to be more impactful globally and the most useful tool to develop our network but also a great way to reconsider your own culture. By learning Japanese, English and Spanish, I could connect with people from different cultures and reconsider my mother tongue and French comfort zone.
I am very grateful that I can bring new perspectives to students while linking my strong interest for personal development to my passion for languages. With my legal background, I can give them food for thought about our surrounding environment and sharpening their critical mindset.
Working for Veritas gives me a lot of opportunities to meet people, learn from the culture and share ideas. I am not only part of others’ development, but also my own as I work towards my goal to continuously improve and challenge myself.
Olivia was born and raised in the Loire Valley in France, she majored in International and European business law. Passionate about languages and multiculturalism, she decided to take the opportunity to live in Tokyo for a semester as an exchange student in Chuo University where she drafted her master’s thesis. Once back to France, she worked as an in-house legal counsel in contract and business law. Slowly missing living abroad within an international environment, she then decided to build her own opportunity and go back to Japan in a move to become fluent in Japanese. This is when she joined Veritas, feeling highly motivated about the value it creates to its clients and willingness to contribute to the goals of Japanese’s ambitious leaders of tomorrow.