Life after UniNE

“My favourite? Business law”

David Freymond, Lawyer in Neuchâtel

From 2004 to 2008, David Freymond studied for a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Law at the University of Neuchâtel. Today he works as a lawyer at the bar, and legal counsel in a practice in Neuchâtel.


What does your work involve?

It’s very varied, which is precisely why I like it so much! I have as many clients just seeking legal advice as seeking representation. As general counsel, I work in many areas within the law: contract law, labour law, public liability, private and social insurance, construction law, inheritance law, and private law in general, et cetera.

My favourite? Business law. It’s really satisfying to help someone get back money which shouldn’t have been taken from them, even more so because it can often raise relatively technical questions, which I particularly enjoy.

Who are your clients?

A lawyer has to be able to defend either side. Sometimes I end up defending the worker against the boss; sometimes, it’s the other way around. The ability to switch from one to the other sometimes makes me wonder whether we lawyers are a little schizophrenic at heart.

That said, I think being a lawyer is like being a doctor. We see everything, from the easiest cases to the most difficult.

Did you choose to study Law at University so that you could become a lawyer?

After three days in the Faculty of Law, I knew I wanted to join that profession. I’ve never thought of doing anything else; it was the natural choice.

After my Bachelor’s degree, I chose to specialize in Business Law and the legal professions as part of my Master’s — the first out of interest, the second because it seemed vital if you’re heading for that career.

What are the strengths of the University of Neuchâtel?

I was a very engaged student. When a professor asked a question, more often than not I would raise my hand. That kind of interaction is possible because at Neuchâtel you don’t sit in a room with four hundred other students. The professors are approachable and friendly, during and after classes.

As well as that, I think that one of the unquestionable strengths of the UniNE is its size and its calibre, which seem to me to be inversely proportional to one another.

And the strong points of your programme?

At the University, I learnt the theoretical foundations of my trade, which is crucial for going on to practice. During my Master’s, I loved following the themed seminars; I particularly remember the negotiation seminars. I use it every day; it’s taught me some fundamental rules.

Having said that, a Master’s degree in Law does not a lawyer make. There’s a big gap between study and practice. That really struck me when I did my internship.

What’s your advice for future students?

At the risk of moralizing: you’re paying the tuition fees, so go to the classes! You can do all the reading you like; but a professor who’s passionate about a subject — and makes you passionate about it, too — will always be worth more than a book.

Interview UniNE 2012