Lord Phillips, Windsor Castle, and last days in London

By: Ashley Waring (JD, ’15)

Big Ben

Ashley in front of Big Ben

My last week in London was bittersweet.  Although, I enjoyed myself in London and I will miss it, I missed home a little bit more.  During the last week, the class attended the annual Order of the Garter and visited Parliament.  At Parliament I finally got a closer look at Big Ben.  It was very impressive.

Eye Contact with the Queen

Eye Contact with the Queen

The class and I had the opportunity to meet with the former President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Lord Nicholas Phillips of Worth Matravers.  He invited the class to his home and we had finger foods and drinks.  When he invited the class to his home we all wore business casual attire because we didn’t know what to expect.  When we arrived to his home, his wife wore a beautiful sundress and he wore a Hawaiian shirt with khakis and they offered us food, beer and wine. Continue reading »

U.K. Supreme Court and King’s College in London

By: Ashley Waring (JD, ’15) 

Students inside the U.K. Supreme Court

Students inside the U.K. Supreme Court

This is the second to last week in London and I am enjoying myself 100%.  The class visited the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and Professor Palmiter and I visited the law school of King’s College.

During our visit to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, we were given a tour of the Court, listened to oral arguments, and, after the oral arguments, we met with the Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, one of the justices of the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court was established in October 2009 and assumed the functions of the House of Lords.  The Lords from the former House of Lords simply moved across the street into the Court’s new location.  Well, that’s how “the move” was described by Dr. Roderick Munday, a University of Cambridge professor the class met a few weeks ago.  Unlike the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom may not strike down legislation and must rule on cases that are consistent with the European Union (EU) laws and the rights in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

UK Supreme Court Symbol

UK Supreme Court Symbol

Trying to maintain consistency with the EU laws and the ECHR has proven to be difficult because sometimes the two are inconsistent with each other.  The case that was being argued before the Court concerned whether prisoners should be given the right to vote and if the disenfranchisement of prisoners is inconsistent with the laws of the EU and the rights under the ECHR.  Unfortunately, the EU laws and the rights under the ECHR display conflicting answers to these questions.  When we spoke with Lord Kerr, he said that unlike the U.K. Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of the United States is so simple because they only have to remain consistent with one document, the United States Constitution.  This case will be a landmark decision in the U.K. and, because of its difficultly, I must admit that I am not envious of Lord Kerr at all.  A decision is expected to be made within the next few months. Continue reading »

English Law Schools vs. American Law Schools

By: Ashley Waring (JD, ’15) 

Inside View of the Temple Church

Going to law school in England is 100% different than going to law school in the United States.  Unlike the U.S., English law school graduates are required to choose whether they want to become a solicitor – lawyer performs all of the typical American lawyer duties, but litigates in court– or a barrister – a lawyer who is solicited by the solicitor (see what they did there?) to litigate in court.  Those students who wish to be solicitors must take several full time courses that can last several years depending on the course.  Those who want to become barristers must apply to be a member of one of the four temples in England to become trained in litigation.

Rounded part of the Temple Church

Also, unlike the U.S., English students who desire to go to law school are not required to attend an undergraduate college before attending law school.  English students may attend law school once they graduate from high school.  In my opinion, England’s pathway to law school has both its advantages and disadvantages.  One advantage is that students save time because they do not have to spend four years in college. Not only do students save time, but they save money as well.  Instead of spending thousands of dollars to attend an undergraduate university for four or more years and to attend law school for another three years, English students only need to pay for law school.  Average tuition to attend law school in England is very inexpensive. It rounds out to be about ¼ of what the average law student pays annually! Continue reading »

First Impressions of London

By: Ashley Waring (JD, ’15) 

IMAG1079When I first arrived in London I did not know what to expect.  I have never been to London (let alone anywhere in Europe) before, so I was excited to explore and experience this new culture.  Friends and family informed me that London was a huge city and that I would have so much fun, so I was eager to see if they were right.  All in all, as I was heading to the Worrell house, I realized that London is similar to New York City.  It has its city center and the outskirts consisted of suburbs.  Each neighborhood had  grocery stores, restaurants and various sources of entertainment.  In a way, I felt comforted, like I was home and felt as if I would not be completely lost in this foreign city.

IMAG1096Immediately, I noticed that London has a “do it yourself” attitude, but not to the extent of New York City.  I hired a taxi driver and instead of the driver carrying my bags to the car and loading them, I did.  When my classmates and I went to the local pubs, unlike in America, we sat ourselves and we had to order and pay for our food and drinks at the bar.  We received our drinks from the bar, but the waiter brought the food out to our table.  I am not saying that there is no customer service or hospitality in London, but those were the two things that really stuck out to me.  Lastly, to my surprise, you do not tip the waiters, waitresses or bartenders here.  I learned this the hard way because when I left a tip on the table at the pub, the waitress thought I had accidentally dropped my money on the table. I informed her that that was her tip and she had the most confused look on her face.  I told her that we tip waitresses in America and she says that she, nor her coworkers, receives tips from customers because their hourly rate is not as low as American waitresses so they do not work for tips. I told her that I was sorry and she informed me that it was fine and that it was a good thing because we both learned something new that day. Continue reading »

Summer Abroad Bloggers: 2013

By: International Programs Office 

The London program has begun! The Venice and Vienna programs will begin in just a few short weeks. Last summer, we introduced a new part of our blog: Summer Abroad Bloggers. We hope you enjoyed their entries and photos from abroad as much as we did.

We are excited to announce three new Summer Abroad Bloggers who will be writing about their experiences from Europe.

    Writing from London…                Writing from Venice…                    Writing from Vienna…        

Ashley Waring, JD, '14

Ashley Waring, JD, ’14

Elizabeth Binion, JD, '15

Elizabeth Binion, JD, ’15

Al Suarez, JD, '15

Al Suarez, JD, ’15

Each student will be writing blog entries about once a week during their program (London will take place May-June, and both Venice and Vienna will take place in July). We hope you enjoy reading about their study abroad journeys and viewing pictures from across the pond!

Be sure to follow our Study Abroad Facebook page to get updates on when each new blog entry is posted! Like us here.

 

Meet Amy from the U.K., a recent graduate of our LL.M. program

By: Amy Glover (U.K., LL.M., ’13) 

WFU Law School 8/17/12Ms. Glover recently graduated with a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from Wake Forest Law.  She is now an intern in the U.K. office of a Texan law firm called Vinson and Elkins. Before coming to Wake Forest Law, Ms. Glover earned a First Class Honours Degree in LL.B. Law with American Law from the University of East Anglia (UEA).  At UEA, she received the Law School Prize for Exceptional Achievement in Academic Studies in 2012 and was the recipient of the Charles Herbert-Smith Prize for Highest Exam Results in 2009. She also served as the UEA Negotiations President to run the Law Society’s debate competitions and recruit students to the Society. As required by her LL.B. program, Ms. Glover spent one year as a non-degree visiting student at South Texas College of Law.  During her exchange year, she interned in the Child Support Division of the Office of the Attorney General in Houston and completed short internships at Dechert LLP, White & Case LLP, and Mayer Brown International LLP. Ms. Glover also interned at Bousquet Law Firm in Houston, where she focused on oil and gas law.  She attended Deusto University in Spain to pursue a diploma in International Trade Law, which peaked her interest in international commercial law.  

Where is home? What is it famous for?

I grew up in Northumberland, England – a northern county that sits below Scotland and is renowned for its Roman history. It’s also close to Newcastle– a city famous for its football and beer.

Have you been to the U.S. before?

Fortunately, as part of my undergraduate degree, I was able to spend a year at law school in Houston, Texas, studying alongside fellow JD students. During this time, I was also able to gain internships with the Office of Attorney General and a local Texan law firm – both of which were entirely different, but still fascinating.

What are the most notable differences between home and Winston-Salem, NC?

Winston- Salem is a lot quieter- which makes a nice change from bustling cities like Houston and Newcastle. However, there’s many hidden gems waiting to be found. Recently, I have discovered a fantastic bakery, a small winery, Bikram yoga, woodland jogging trails and some amazing art galleries – all within walking distance from downtown.

Continue reading »

Graduation Weekend: Highlights of the LL.M. and S.J.D. graduates!

hooding (6)

A few of the Wake Forest Law LL.M. graduates

By: International Graduate Programs Office

Wake Forest Law School conferred hoods and diplomas on 183 graduates last weekend. Out of 183 law school students, 20 are Master of Laws (LL.M.) graduates and two are Scientiae Juridicae Doctor (S.J.D.) graduates. Many of these international scholars will return to their home countries, while some will stay at Wake Forest to continue their studies in the J.D. or S.J.D. program. Several graduates will begin internships here in the United States. We have a diverse group of international graduates from all of the world. The list of countries include Afghanistan, China, Colombia, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Panama, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. To read a news story about the law school’s graduation, go here.

Here at Wake Forest Law, students enjoy a weekend of celebratory events in honor of their hard work. On Friday May 18th, the law school community gathered for a casual picnic at the courtyard in front of the school. On Friday evening, the LL.M. and S.J.D. graduates, along with their guests, enjoyed a celebration dinner. At the dinner, two LL.M. graduates, Bernard Armoo (U.K., LL.M., ’13) and Yucheng Wang (China, LL.M., ’13) were able to share encouraging thoughts about their time at Wake Forest Law.  Dick Schneider, Associate Dean of International Affairs, welcomed the graduates, their guests, and law school professors in attendance. Dean Schneider also presented gifts to the law school’s first ever S.J.D. graduates–Mohamad Basam (Saudi Arabia, S.J.D., ’13 and LL.M., ’07) and Joel De Leon (Panama, S.J.D., ’13).  On Sunday May 19th,  the law school held a hooding ceremony in Wait Chapel on Wake Forest campus. Finally, on Monday, May 20th, all Wake Forest University graduates, including the law school students, were given their diplomas at commencement.

We have included some photos taken during the graduation weekend to highlight in this post. To view more photos, check out the links below:

International Programs Graduation Weekend Highlights: 

graduation

A bird’s eye view of Hearn Plaza on Commencement Day

 

LL.M. Graduates at Friday's Dinner

LL.M. Graduates at Friday’s Dinner

Continue reading »

Catalina Garzon, a Colombian LL.M. student, shares about her Wake Forest Law experience

Catalina Garzon (second to the left) is pictured with Mauricio Zuluaga (Colombia, LL.M., '13), Maria Travers (Nicaragua, LL.M., '13) and Joel De Leon (Panama, S.J.D., '13)

Catalina Garzon (second to the left) is pictured with Mauricio Zuluaga (Colombia, LL.M., ’13), Maria Travers (Nicaragua, LL.M., ’13) and Joel De Leon (Panama, S.J.D., ’13)

Ms. Catalina Garzon Serna is a scholar from LASPAU, which administers the portion of the Fulbright Program that provides grants to individuals from Latin America and the Caribbean for graduate study in the United States.  Ms. Garzon is a member of the Colombian Bar and the Legal Director of Personal Banking and Banking for Small and Mid-Sized Businesses at Bancolombia S.A.  Previously, she was a Senior Lawyer at Leasing Bancolombia and a Lawyer at Banco de Occidente S.A. She has also taught Leasing Contracts (Banking Law) at Universidad CES. Ms. Garzon earned a degree in Law and Political Science and a post-graduate degree in Financial and Business Law from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana. She has focused her LL.M. studies on banking, corporate finance, and securities law. Because only six out of ten Colombian citizens have access to financial products, Ms. Garzon’s goal is to return to Bancolombia and make financial products, such as savings accounts and loans, more accessible to everyone. Ms. Garzon will graduate from the Master of Laws LL.M. program in May of 2013.

Where is home? What is it famous for?

My home country is Colombia, located in South America. It is famous for producing the finest coffee in the world, huge variety of flowers and for its beautiful landscapes.  The country is also well known for its friendly people and their entrepreneurial spirit. I am from Medellín, the second largest city in the country. In 2012 Medellín was awarded by the Wall Street Journal as the innovative city of the year, before other cities like New York and Tel Aviv.

Have you been to the U.S. before?

I visited the U.S. two years ago with the aim of improving my English skills.  I took an English course in Delaware. At that time I had decided that I was going to pursue a master degree in the U.S., having in mind the quality of education and the variety of opportunities that this country offers.

 What are the most notable differences between home and Winston-Salem, N.C.?

One of the most notable differences between Winston-Salem and my hometown is the peaceful environment that offers a small city like Winston, in comparison with a vast city like Medellín with more than two million people. Furthermore, the landscapes are totally different, my hometown is surrounded by mountains and the weather is warmer than here.  In Winston-Salem you can feel that you are breathing clean air due to its huge trees and all the nature you can see all over the city.   Continue reading »

Meet Kreshnik, an LL.M. student from Kosovo

Wake Forest University School of Law LLMKreshnik Radoniqi, a current LL.M. student, has come to Wake Forest as one of the first Justice Abroad Scholars sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Pristina and the U.S. Department of Justice.   His most recent position was a Legal Advisor for the European Union Law (EULEX) Mission to Kosovo and was based in the District Court of Peja. He worked exclusively on serious criminal cases, specifically murder, organized crime, and war crimes. He recently completed the training program for judges and prosecutors at the Kosovo Judicial Institute and was appointed as a judge. Kreshnik will graduate in May of 2013.

Where is home? What is it famous for?

I am from a small city called Peja in Western Kosovo. Its location is on the edge of the scenic – panoramic view of the beautiful “Rugova” Mountains also known as “The Damned Mountains”. Historically the name of the city changed; during the roman time it was called Pescium and Siparantum, and in Greek Episkion. During the Ottoman Empire the name changed to Ipek, because of the silk production at that time.In Slavonic the name is Pec. It was named because of many caves in the surrounding mountains.

Because of the mountains surrounding, the city of Peja is mostly known for hiking, skiing and resting areas in the Rugova Mountains. It is also know for one of the best and biggest brewery in the region called “Birra Peja”, which means Peja Beer.

Have you been to the US before?

I have never been to US before. This is my first time to live in the US.

What are the most notable differences between home and Winston-Salem, NC?

 First of all in my hometown everything is of a walking distance, no need to use cars for everything. Then the weather is quite different. I am used to cold and snowy winter, and hot arid summer. Otherwise, the common thing between my town and Winston Salem is the beautiful green nature. Continue reading »

Nicaragua 2013: A Student’s Perspective

By: Joseph Motto (Nicaragua Participant, ’13 & JD, ’14)

Joseph Motto “volcano surfing” at an active volcano known as Cerro Negro

Joseph Motto “volcano surfing” at an active volcano known as Cerro Negro

Cross Disciplinary Professional Development, Wake Forest Law School’s short-term study abroad program, provides adventurous students an opportunity to spend their winter break traveling in Nicaragua.  The course takes place in three of Nicaragua’s largest cities: Managua, Leon, and Granada.

The focus of the class is to provide legal assistance to Nicaraguan producers and small business owners who wish to export their products to the United States.  Our group provided such assistance at Managua’s “Center for Exports and Investments.”  At the Center, Professor Steven Virgil gave a presentation on the laws that govern food and beverage exports to the U.S., such as FDA and USDA regulations.  The producers and business owners in attendance also had the opportunity to meet with members of our group individually to voice their specific questions about exporting to the U.S.  For example, I had the chance to speak with the owner of Vinos San Jacinto, a passion fruit wine producer, who asked to be advised on U.S. labeling requirements and FDA regulations that would govern her product.  Having returned to the U.S., Professor Virgil is helping our group research the relevant law and prepare memos answering the owners’ specific concerns.  These memos will be returned to the owners so that they can place their products in the U.S. market. Continue reading »