It was the Law College’s distinctive course offerings that attracted corporate attorney Eric French to the school.
An accounting major as an undergraduate student, French chose the Law College— then known as Detroit College of Law (DCL)—because it offered an 18-course certificate in tax law. “Very few law schools offered that many tax courses,” French says. “The school was very competitive, which was good. It made me work very hard. I studied all the time, which made me a better, more knowledgeable attorney.”
Although the East Lansing native ultimately decided to stick with tax law, French says his Decedents’ Estates and Trusts professor was so good that he considered working in that field after graduation. After completing his degree in 1992, French headed to Atlanta to earn his master of laws (LL.M.) degree in tax law.
French’s first job after finishing school was with PricewaterhouseCoopers, which hired him to join a special group of attorneys with accounting degrees who worked on state and local tax issues covering all 50 states. His next move was to Ernst & Young to pursue similar work.
After stints with two large national law firms, French worked at Schiff Hardin from 2005 to 2012; he now is with the Atlanta firm FisherBroyles. His work has included representing large corporations, managing their governance issues, tax planning, and tax adversary litigation. French enjoys the intricate challenges his clients’ work provides.
“I can be pretty creative with their issues and help try to grow their opportunities and operations into new jurisdictions— new countries even,” French says. The diverse range of courses he took at DCL has served him well. “I focus on corporate and tax law, but clients also come to me with questions about intellectual property, criminal law, and labor and employment issues.”
French has written letters to prospective law students from the southeast who are considering enrolling at MSU Law. “The courses that are available at MSU Law can’t be found at all law schools,” he says. “And the faculty is excellent. They are very approachable and willing to do whatever they can for you.”