Meet the Class: Florence Jaeger, LLM ’24

Commercial Law Practitioner from Zurich, Switzerland

Florence Jaeger

Florence Jaeger, LLM ’24, is a Swiss-trained lawyer who has worked in for leading international commercial law firms in Zurich, Switzerland and London. She holds a Bachelor of Law and a Master of Law degree from the University of Basel, Switzerland. She is looking forward to meeting the rest of her LLM cohort, delving deep into US law, and enjoying Chicago’s music culture.

Please describe your background and professional path.

I am a Swiss trained lawyer and have worked for several years for leading international commercial law firms in Zurich, Switzerland, as well as in London, in the field of national and international dispute resolution. Before I started to practice law, I was a researcher at the University of Basel, Switzerland and Columbia Law School in the United States, gathering valuable experiences in the academic field.

Could you describe your practice in a little more detail?

I specialize in complex cross-border disputes before Swiss courts and international commercial arbitral tribunals. My focus lies on contractual disputes, including post-M&A disputes, construction cases, and corporate liability for climate-related damages. I further advise clients on matters of contract drafting, settlement discussions, and questions of insolvency law in debt collection or insolvency proceedings.

Florence Jaeger posed on a chair.

What is your motivation for getting an LLM?

When dealing with international clients and cases, it is a helpful skill to be able to analyze issues through the eyes of a common law lawyer. I want to gain the US perspective in addition to my Swiss legal background and am therefore eager to deepen my understanding of legal principles and concepts of US law as well as the thinking patterns / approaches / needs of lawyers or clients from common law countries, particularly the United States. Personally, I am also very much looking forward to meeting my fellow LLM students from the University of Chicago Law School. It will be a great opportunity to be part of this “LLM cultural melting pot” and to exchange views with so many exciting new people. The LLM program is also a chance to leave my comfort zone and thus be challenged in my own way of thinking. With this degree, I will be able to broaden my horizon and deepen my understanding of legal and cultural nuances.

Why did you choose the University of Chicago Law School as the institution at which to get your LLM?

Needless to say, it is an excellent law school in a great city. The small size of the LLM student cohort, the fact that generally classes will be attended by LLM as well as JD students, and the possibility to supplement my LLM degree with courses from Booth School of Business were decisive in my decision to attend this LLM program. Finally, [Senior Director of Graduate Programs Admissions & Financial Aid] Justin Swinsick excelled at welcoming the admitted students and the introduction webinars by the professors were also very appealing and insightful.

What do you plan to do with your LLM?

I plan to return to Zurich, Switzerland, where I will use my newly gained insights when working with international legal counsels or clients.

What are you most looking forward to in coming to the Law School, the US, and or the city of Chicago?

I cannot wait to meet all my fellow LLM students and to experience the life as a student at the University of Chicago Law School. Naturally, being a huge music fan, I am very much looking forward experiencing the Jazz and Blues live music culture in Chicago.

Any hobbies or interests you’d like to share?

Music has always played an important role in my life. Through playing the guitar and singing I can express myself emotionally and creatively. I am also part of a big carnival group for the famous three-day long carnival in Basel, Switzerland. This tradition dates back to the 14th Century and was recently added to the list of UNCESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

As a Swiss person, I—and I know it squarely fits the stereotype—enjoy hiking and taking in picturesque lakes, landscapes and mountains which are right at my doorstep. I go hiking in summer and skiing or ski-mountaineering in winter. When I am not in Switzerland, I travel around Europe with a refurbished Land Rover Defender on the hunt for hidden idyllic spots and swap my office attire with outdoor clothes.

What is a “fun fact” about you?

I am always the last one standing at a party.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I am excited to fly to Chicago to spend an unforgettable year as an LLM student at the University of Chicago Law School and I hope that I will return home with lots of tools at hand for my professional career, many new interesting connections, but also friendships that last a lifetime.