How Studying Abroad can Enhance your Career as an International Lawyer

By: Mark Thomas (WFU J.D. alumnus)

In international law practice, every attorney must act as a “translator”. This role has at least two levels. There is, of course, the level of “translating” the law of one country into a clear and accurate explanation that persons from other countries can understand and apply effectively to their own circumstances, such as a business transaction, a need for a work visa, or the like. There is also a second and very important level: “translating” the cultural and social perspectives of one country to persons from other countries, so that those persons may understand the expectations and viewpoints that the first country’s people bring to the legal transactions. A simple example is the way in which different peoples negotiate business agreements. Those persons do not negotiate in a vacuum, but are influenced by their cultural and social experiences in the way they perceive themselves and the ways in which others interact with them. To successfully represent parties in all international transactions, these cultural and social influences need to be better understood and intelligently analyzed. Continue reading »

A Tale of Two Cities

By: Matt Gass (JD, ’13)

Wake group in Venice

Wake group in Venice

When I first heard about the study abroad programs at Wake Forest, I jumped at the chance to spend my summer in London and Venice.  Looking back, I cannot imagine a better way I could have spent my 1L summer.  The London and Venice programs offer two amazing and totally unique opportunities.  I got off the plane at Heathrow and hit the ground running.  This was my second trip to London; I studied there for a full semester during undergrad, which only wet my appetite for more.  The Wake program gave me my second helping.

London is so big and has so many things to do that it felt like a totally different city from when I was last there.  We would end class each weekday at around noon and explore the city from there.  Worrell House is located in the upscale Hampstead neighborhood and is a great jumping off point for wherever you want to travel in the city.  We spent a lot of time exploring the neighborhood we lived in, whether it was walking to Primrose Hill to check out the best view of the London skyline around, going for a run in Regent’s Park or checking out the zoo there, walking down to one of the most well-known markets in the hipster-friendly Camden Town, or jumping on the Northern Line to explore some other part of the city. Continue reading »

Studying Abroad with WFU School of Law in Venice, Italy

Melissa standing on the Accademia Bridge near Casa Artom

Melissa standing on the Accademia Bridge near Casa Artom

By: Melissa Evett (JD, ’13)

Studying abroad in Venice, Italy was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I chose to study abroad this past summer after completing my first year of law school here at Wake Forest. I worked for the District Attorney’s Office for the first half of the summer, and went to Venice for all of July. I had never been to Europe before this trip, and I’m so grateful that I got to have this opportunity!

 

Venice and Casa Artom

Casa Artom

Casa Artom

Wake Forest owns a house right on the Grand Canal called Casa Artom. Casa Artom was such a beautiful, fun place to call home for my four weeks in Venice. Though Venice is full of waterways, I found that walking to most places was very do-able. I really enjoyed wandering the streets of Venice…there were so many beautiful places! I would pass little trattorias, shops selling Murano glass and Venetian masks, and delicious smelling restaurants on every corner! My classmates and I used the kitchen at Casa Artom to make our meals as well. The grocery store near Casa Artom has everything you need, but not everything you’re used to! The fresh vegetables and cheeses were a lot of fun to try to new recipes with! Continue reading »

La Vie en Rose: A Birthday to Remember

By: Emma Maddux (JD, ’13)

Wake Students in Lord Phillips’ Garden

Wake Students in Lord Phillips’ Garden

My plane touched down at Heathrow Airport on a cloudy, drizzly summer’s day. This was far from the toasty June weather that any North Carolinian expects from the rest of the world and I suddenly realized that this must have been what Dickens was considering when he wrote Bleak House. Yet, when I arrived at Worrell, the house was not bleak at all; it was, in fact, cozy and inviting. I quickly discovered the lush rose garden in the backyard and the running trails on rolling hills in Regent’s Park. Although I was in London to read books for my Law and Literature class, I was actually a living character in my own story: a different plot with the same setting. Perhaps, when I view my experience this way, the following could be considered a mere chapter in the chronicle of my London trip.

June 6, 2011 was my 23rd birthday and I spent it in London. The 23rd was a pretty special Monday; other than being my birthday, we had two adventures planned. Continue reading »

My Trip to Vienna: A Sampling of Tortes

Café Central torte and Café Central coffee inside the elegant Café Central

By: Martha Goss (JD, ’13)

As soon as I heard about Wake’s study abroad destinations, I knew which city I would choose: Vienna.  My well-travelled grandmother always named Vienna as her favorite city in the world so it had been a goal of mine to visit for years.  The city’s rich history and culture, as well as the opportunity to take classes alongside Viennese law students, appealed to me.  Another plus is that nearly everyone in Vienna can speak English.  In preparation for living in Vienna, I read several guidebooks, researched the city online, and watched shows on the Travel Channel.  I noticed a common statement reappearing in the travel guides: Vienna is known for its “coffeehouse culture,” which means great coffee & desserts, especially tortes!

Every Viennese café I visited offered a signature dessert and usually a signature coffee drink.  I sampled the Café Central torte and Café Central coffee inside the elegant Café Central (shown in photos), the Mozart torte and Mozart coffee on the patio at Café Mozart, and Landtmann’s feine torte and The Landtmann coffee in the glass sunroom at Café Landtmann.  Notice a pattern here?  While the names given to specialties at the various cafes reveals a consistent naming model, each coffee shop has cultivated a distinct atmosphere for relaxing and enjoying Vienna.

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Christian playing basketball

Playing Intramural Sports at WFU

Christian playing basketball

Christian playing basketball

This is my first blog entry, so allow me to introduce myself: My name is Christian Fuehner and I graduated from the LL.M program in 2010. After interning at the EU Delegation to the US in Washington D.C., I returned to my native Germany and I am currently working for the law firm of Hengeler Mueller in Berlin. My year at Wake Forest was one of the best experiences of my life, both from a professional and from a social standpoint.

Before you read any further, please watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxc9UDLMesk&feature=related

As you can probably guess from the video, sports are an important element in the Wake community. I can highly recommend going to the basketball (usually a very good team) and football (mostly mediocre) games. If you want to participate in sports yourself, Wake intramural sports are the way to go. There are tournaments in almost every sport you can think of, running during the whole academic year. The tournaments last for 8 weeks each, so you can play in up to 4 leagues a year. If you need a team to play with, the Intramural office can assist you in finding teammates. Here’s a link to their website:

http://www.wfu.edu/intramural/

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Finding Internships in the US After Earning an LL.M.

In these tough times, when competition among graduates is more severe than ever, getting an internship is particularly difficult and particularlyLL.M student in Washington DC street with Capital Building in background important. It concerns international graduates to an even greater degree. Indeed, to be a non-American professional with a non-American background means to be in a much weaker position in comparison with local graduates.

Many 2011 graduates had a hard time securing an internship in the US this year. It was not an easy task for me as well. However, I sent out a number of resumes and eventually succeeded in getting a very interesting summer internship position at an IP law firm in Washington D.C. that I chose from several offers. My substantial legal experience and high GPA were helpful. Also, the firm hired a couple of Muskie fellows as interns before and the partners feel certain of Muskies’ proficiency.  So I was admitted just after an interview.

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Welcome to the Wake Forest University School of Law International Programs blog! (Boy, that’s a mouthful.)

Ayman and Joel with Demon Deacon statueWFU offers several international graduate programs: the Master of Laws (LL.M.) in American Law Program, the S.J.D. Program, the Visiting International Researcher/Student Program, and summer study abroad programs in London, Vienna, and Venice.  Hundreds of students have participated in these programs over the years.  To keep all of our alumni connected to each other and abreast of new developments in our programs, we decided to create an International Programs blog that we hope will mostly be fueled by contributions from alumni on various topics.
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