Study Abroad

Royal Garter Ceremony

By: Elizabeth Vance (JD, ’14)

Elizabeth Vance and Cat Booher at the Royal Garter Ceremony at Windsor Castle

I’m Elizabeth and I’m guest blogging about the AMAZING experience that five of us here in London got to have this week!

Any idea what a fascinator is? I didn’t before this trip- it’s one of those little headband hats that you see British women wearing in magazines at classy events. And this week I got to wear one. In public. Without looking goofy. Because this week five of us were lucky enough to get to go to the Royal Garter Ceremony at Windsor Castle! Basically the Knights of the Garter are members of the highest chivalric ranks in the UK. There are only a handful of them and in order to initiate a new member, an old one has to die. So basically it’s a super exclusive group populated by most members of the Royal Family and other important people in Britain. Continue reading »

Field trips, the English Supreme Court, and punting

Christ College at Oxford

By: Meredith Hearn (JD, ’14)

After not having been on a field trip since high school, I am happy to report that field trips are back and better than ever.   Every Monday and Thursday, Wake law students have had the opportunity to travel outside the classroom and obtain first hand insight into both comparative constitutional law and international human rights legislation.  During our brief time in London, we have been fortunate to visit Parliament, meet with the Chief Justice of England’s Supreme Court and his judicial assistants, hear oral arguments in the Supreme Court, visit the Inns of Court, and travel to both Oxford and Cambridge for lectures.

While the field trips were interesting in their own right, I think the best part of studying in a foreign country is hearing a different perspective on topics common to both cultures. It was not until this trip that I realized how unique and different (for better or worse) our American system of government is from other countries around the world.  This was especially apparent after our field trip to England’s Supreme Court. For example, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, like that of the United States, is the highest appellate court.  However, the similarities end there.

Wake law group at the British Supreme Court

Perhaps the biggest difference between the U.S. Supreme Court and England’s Supreme Court is history.  Put simply, the Supreme Court of England has a very brief history.  Before England’s Supreme Court was created in 2009, the ultimate judicial authority was vested in the House of Lords in Parliament.  Another fundamental difference between the two Supreme Courts is that the Supreme Court of England cannot strike down legislation approved by Parliament, a feature of the American legal system considered to be a necessary check against legislative and executive in our American system. Continue reading »

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

By: Meredith Hearn (JD, ’14)

Queens Diamond Jubilee Emblem

I could not have picked a better time to be a Wake student in London.  With last year’s Royal Wedding, the Diamond Jubilee, and the upcoming Olympics, this wonderful city is in the spotlight and not disappointing one bit.  This past weekend, we were lucky enough to experience the excitement of the Diamond Jubilee – a celebration of Elizabeth II’s sixty-year reign as the Queen of England.  Crowned in 1953 when she was only 25, the Queen is now one of the longest reigning monarchs in England’s history, second only to Queen Victoria.

The Queen’s Barge at the Diamond Jubilee floatilla

To culminate the Diamond Jubilee, there was much pageantry this weekend.  Being slightly obsessed with the Royal Family (or maybe just Prince Harry, Prince William, and Kate…), I did not want to miss this once in a lifetime celebration.  On Sunday, several Wake students braved London’s cold and misty weather to stake out spots along the banks of the Thames to watch the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the river.  Although we shivered collectively in the cold for several hours waiting for the pageant to begin, it was well worth the wait, because the flotilla was amazing.  Consisting of 1,000 boats from around the world, the centerpiece being the Royal Barge featuring the Queen and her family, all I can say is that England knows how to throw one impressive parade.

Continue reading »

The Inns of Court and British Lawyers

By: Meredith Hearn (JD, ’14)

A group of WFU Law students in the Temple Church at the Inns of Court

Lovely, brilliant, clever.  Perhaps it is just the charming accents, but these words sound so much more elegant and civilized than their American counterparts like “cool” or “smart.” Although I have been enamored with English accents and language ever since I first watched Mary Poppins as a child, and I have continued to fall in love with its peculiarities many times since, after only three days of living at the Wake Forest’s Worrell House in London, it is clear that my initial impression was correct – the English have a way with words. Continue reading »

Introducing: Summer Abroad Bloggers

We are excited to announce that three WFU Law students who are participating in one of our summer abroad programs will be documenting their experience on our very own blog. We have one student blogger for each of our programs in London, Venice and Vienna. All three students have finished their first year of law school at WFU School of Law, and will be incoming second year students this fall.

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

Meredith Hearn, JD '14

Alex Braverman, JD '14

Brett Becker, JD '14


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!

-International Graduate Programs Office

Want to meet US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg???

As in years past, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be guest lecturing for one week each in Wake Forest University SchoolUS Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of Law’s Summer Study Abroad Programs in Vienna and Venice.  This provides students with the exceptional opportunity to meet and learn from Justice Ginsburg!

Ginsburg  was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office in 1993, becoming the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court.  For more information about Justice Ginsburg’s fascinating life and career, check out the websites below:

We are still accepting applications to Wake Forest University School of Law’s Summer Study Abroad programs in London, Vienna, and Venice.  Check out the below article about the programs for more information:

My European Summer in London and Venice

By: Emily Nahan-Krokti

Emily and other WFU Law students in Venice

I know everyone says this, but I really could not wait for my 1L year to be over. Yes, that year is stressful for everyone but the end of my IL year marked the beginning of my European summer in London and Venice.

The beauty of England was immediately evident to me. Upon my arrival, as I was taxying from the Luton airport to the Worrell House, I was surrounded by such stereotypically beautiful English hillsides, I half expected to see Mr. Darcy on horseback cantering alongside my taxi. This feeling of surreal beauty continued all month. The Worrell house is in a swanky neighborhood; proof of this is that its neighbors are Jude Law, Helena Bonham Carter, and Tim Burton, for those celebrity stalkers. The house itself is spacious but cozy with a gorgeous English garden. I had high hopes of travelling every weekend while abroad but I quickly realized that was not necessary when in London. You could spend years in London and still find new things to do. There is great theatre, world famous museums, parks, clubs, and, contrary to old standards, fantastic food. Although all of the wake students were on a bit of a budget, we were still able to enjoy the city. I managed to see Wicked at a discounted last minute rate, catch a play at the Globe for next to nothing, and eat fantastic Indian and Thai food, the new “local” London cuisine. Continue reading »

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 »