End of class, exploring Vienna, and a post-class Europe trip

By: Al Suarez (JD, ’15)

Day 22:

No class. Exploring Vienna. After our adventure to Budapest it was great to have a long weekend to hang out and to finally begin to really explore Vienna. Because we have been traveling every weekend and because our time in Vienna has been preoccupied with class and exploring touristy type of things, we have had very little time to really get the full Vienna experience. Today we decided to sleep in and relax and then continue our Viennese coffee house tour at Café Hawelka. My favorite so far. Very small and quaint. Delicious espresso. Best strudel I have had yet. After coffee we wandered a bit and did a bit of shopping and ended up hanging and reading down by the canal. I checked out some of the street art that covers almost everything in the “younger more artsy” area that we live in. It is fascinating– almost every square inch along the canal is covered in elaborate graffiti, yet in all my time in the first district, I have not seen any graffiti at all. Really cool idea in my opinion. By legalizing (or at least refusing to punish) street art in certain areas it allows for expression and a sense of rebellion that not only benefits the other parts of the city, but also creates a very interesting culture and identity. Then off to yoga and to bed early to continue recouping and preparing for our post class trip.

Below is a gallery of photos from our last week in Vienna: scroll through to view captions! Additionally, view more photo highlights from Vienna. 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 »

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 »