Recently, Blair alum Candice Riviere ’12 was named editor in chief of The University of Chicago Law Review. The acclaimed publication is among the five most-cited law reviews in the world and places Ms. Riviere in esteemed company, notes her former AP microeconomics teacher James Moore. “As editor-in-chief of The University of Chicago Law Review,” Mr. Moore explains, “Candice manages the content of one of the most prestigious legal journals in the world. Articles in the quarterly publication come from high-ranking judges and legal scholars and are often cited in Supreme Court cases. Some University of Chicago Law graduates who preceded Candice in this role have gone on to become attorney general of the state of Ohio, the current president of Princeton University, and many judges and law professors.”
In honor of this notable achievement, we’d like to share a profile about Ms. Riviere by Lulu Soranson Way ’22. Written in 2021 and updated this year as part of the J-term course titled “Where Have You Come From, Where Are You Now?,” the piece showcases one of Blair’s talented student writers and illuminates how Ms. Riviere made her way from the banks of the Rhone in Avignon, France, to the hills of Blair in rural New Jersey—and now finds herself at the pinnacle of the University of Chicago’s law journal.
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “law student”? Perhaps an overworked, late-night paper writing, singularly focused, frantic individual hustling between studying in the library and lecture halls? Meeting Candice Yandam Riviere ’12 on Zoom dispelled any of my past notions about the life of a graduate student. Candice is a third-year law student, (or 3L as she calls it) studying to get her J.D. At 28 years old, she is an example of the modern graduate student. From her Chicago apartment that she shares with her husband, Cesar, Candice is currently enrolled as a Ph.D. candidate at Pantheon-Sorbonne University as well as studying law at The University of Law Chicago Law School. She is set to graduate from UChicago in June of 2022. Besides Candice’s impressive educational accomplishments for someone so young, what strikes me as even more impressive is both her kindness and prevailing curiosity for the world.
Born in France, Candice is a dual French-American citizen and grew up in Avignon, a small city in southeastern France. After graduating high school in Avignon, she opted for a postgraduate (PG) year at Blair. She recounts that going to Blair was a chance to try something new and explore different options. You might wonder how much change a single year as a PG student could bring to someone’s life? Candice shared, “I gained a lot of confidence in my time at Blair. When I first started, I was a little introverted and somewhat shy, but the people at Blair helped me to gain so much more confidence and allowed me to feel secure in my friendships. I’ve spent only one year there, but still some of my closest friends are from my time at Blair.”
Equally, some of her Blair classmates share the same perspective. Former classmate and close friend Emma Moore ’12 says, “It’s funny because I only knew Candice for such a short time and she’s not someone I talk to often, but every time I see her, we pick up right where we left off.” It’s also clear that it wasn’t just Candice who gained from her Blair experience. Current English department head James Moore recounts, “Candice was a really inquisitive student. You could just see she was someone who loved to learn and was a highlight of my senior Economics class that year.” Candice was also Mr. Moore’s squash manager, a student position he had been previously reluctant to assign; however, because of Candice’s work ethic and spirit, Mr. Moore reports he has grown to appreciate and value the role.
Candice’s love of economics has grown from her days in Mr. Moore’s class to now being a PhD candidate in the Economics department at Pantheon-Sorbonne University. She also earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in economics, both of which she received cum laude from Pantheon-Sorbonne. Thereafter, she gained an advanced master’s degree in development economics. When I asked Candice what had ignited her passion interest in economics, she replied, “Honestly, I’ve always been interested in econ, and Mr. Moore’s class made me realize that it was a true passion.” Studying at Pantheon-Sorbonne aided Candice in her drive for academic research, and she recounted that “the Sorbonne was great because I was able to declare my major on the first day of school and get started on exploring economics intensely.”
Interestingly, Candice shared that also while at Sorbonne, she started Sorbonne Gourmet, a food blog where she and a few friends shared fast, easy and healthy recipes to make at home. The blog quickly transformed into a food club where members attended events such as sushi-making classes, wine tastings and even went to famous Parisian restaurants for dessert tastings! I was surprised that someone who seemed so immersed in serious academia had such an unconventional and fun-loving hobby. Candice was quick to share that although she did love learning more about food and cooking, Sorbonne Gourmet also gave her a chance to interact with and meet people from lots of different majors and areas of Pantheon-Sorbonne, something she didn’t have the opportunity to do on a day-to-day basis in her economics classes.
Further, Candice’s passion for economics and research combined with her interest in meeting new people has proved pivotal as she was invited as a visiting scholar at Columbia University. In 2019, she was a visiting scholar at the China Center for Social Policy at Columbia University School of Social Work where she learned about China, social policy, and welfare while sharing her research in economics. Similarly, in early 2021, Candice gave a talk at Yale Law School, on Zoom, focused on labor market monopsony in the agriculture sector. Here, her love for economics, law and social policy all seemed to blend together. Candice shared, “I’m writing a paper right now related to antitrust law and labor markets, and it’s very policy-oriented. I think about what are the next steps? How (do we) create a competition policy that works for companies and workers? How do we go about changing what’s wrong or does not work anymore? Truthfully, a lot of answers to these questions stem from law and economics.”
Ever passionate, Candice went on to explain the enjoyment she received from sharing her research. As a current high schooler, I wondered what it must be like for someone who is also still studying herself to have such confidence in her thinking around such complex issues and further share that thinking with other students Here, I learned that Ph.D. and graduate students are different from high schoolers or even undergraduates in how they share research and contribute to collective academic ideas. Part of the role of Ph.D. candidate is to “get out there and share your research and ideas.” Candice shared, “The more I do research, and the more I get into academia, the more humbled I am. When I present some of my research, I’m always eager to receive feedback from other people and students, and to learn from their ideas…and then you get to meet new mentors, which is always fun and rewarding!”
Candice’s passion for meeting new people, understanding different perspectives, and challenging her way of thinking is present throughout her experience as a PG at Blair and continues throughout her academic journey.
After our meeting, I took a moment and pondered Candice’s story. I was struck by how fortunate I was to meet a young woman, early in her career, who has grasped every opportunity and now already has so much life experience. During our chat, Candice asked me about my own Blair experience and subsequent plans for college, and I couldn’t help but hope for a journey similar to hers. Perhaps someday I will be able to share with others the same kind of diverse experiences and insight. I hope to possess that same forceful curiosity that has driven Candice to seek out new experiences and build relationships across a diverse range of peoples, allowing her to gain and instill varying perspectives in her academic study. I hope that my journey will entail Candice’s willingness to be open, her profound kindness in sharing her experiences with others, as well as her great joy for all that life has to offer. Candice’s inspiring journey so far leaves a mark, something to be proud of as a Blair alum but equally something for me to strive for.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Luella “Lulu” Soranson Way ’22 is a current senior at Blair. A Hong Kong native, Lulu captains the girls’ varsity soccer team, is president of A Cappella and serves on Blair’s Be Well Committee. Her first story, “First Day Curse,” was published as part of the Kids4Writing for a Cause competition in 2014. She has recently published her research on “Selective Mutism in Bilingual and Immigrant Children,” which she completed under Notre Dame University’s undergraduate psychology program. She looks forward to studying psychology and linguistics next year.