French Law Student Lands Internship at McNeer, Highland, McMunn, - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

French Law Student Lands Internship at McNeer, Highland, McMunn, & Varner

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CLARKSBURG -

Thomas Flamen is spending his summer like many college students do, at an internship.

But Flamen is a long way from home.

He's a law student in France, but this summer he's a student of American law as an intern at McNeer, Highland, McMunn, & Varner in Clarksburg.

This is trip number two for Flamen, who came to West Virginia a few years ago as a high school student.

Flamen admits, he wasn't sure where West Virginia was when he learned he would be going to high school there.

"Yes, it's true. I was like, 'I thought I chose the U.S.? And when they told me it was the U.S. I was like I guess it's a state,'" said Thomas Flamen, a law student at the Universite' Catholique De Lille in France.

But he learned to love it and his dreams of practicing international law traveled with him to the Mountain State for a second time.

"For example, if an American company enters into a contract with a French company and have an issue regarding what kind of law they want to use, international law becomes useful to settle the issue," Flamen said.

For the most part, he said American law and French law are similar, but there are differences and this internship is teaching him that.

"Lawyers in the U.S. rely on precedents to defend the clients, in France we have a clarified system so we mostly rely on statues and stuff," Flamen said.

Flamen said juries are also less common in French court proceedings.

Flamen might not realize it, but he is teaching just as much as he is learning.

"It helps see and get perspective that everything is not the United States," said Dennis Shreve, Treasurer of McNeer, Highland, McMunn, & Varner.

"To have someone who understands that system is very good,' said Jim Riley, President of McNeer, Highland, McMunn, & Varner.

Shreve and Riley said Flamen is on the right track, as the profession develops between continents.

"The need for people to go into international law has increased greatly. Thirty years ago when I graduated from law school, that was not something that lawyers looked at," Riley said.

"The world is getting smaller. Everybody is starting to practice, we are starting to have business among the nations. It helps to have an insight on how things are done in Europe, how things are done in France," Shreve said

But if you ask Shreve, the best thing Flamen introduced to him wasn't law. It was--

"The french beer," Shreve said.

McNeer, Highland, McMunn, & Varner in Clarksburg was recently recognized as the West Virginia International Firm of the Year.