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Study in Rome Summer 2018


Join us for our 2018 Rome Study Abroad Program at St. John's Rome Campus in the heart of the city.

Spend four weeks studying international and comparative law: International Litigation in U.S. Courts, Transnational Drafting, International Art & Cultural Heritage law, and Global Professional Responsibility.

Visit legal and cultural institutions, museums, historic sites, ancient ruins, and experience "la bella vita" strolling the winding streets of Rome.

The 2018 Rome Summer Program will run from May 28 - June 26.

More details will be available in January. In the meantime, feel free to contact me at for information. It would be our pleasure to welcome you “a Roma” this summer!
Elyse Pepper
Prof. of Legal Writing (Ret.)
Director, Rome Summer Study Abroad Program

Student Testimonials

"Participating in the Rome Summer Program was one of the best experiences of my Law School career. It gave me the opportunity to observe how a foreign legal system operates and, by seeing the differences between the Italian and American legal systems, I learned a great deal more about why we operate the way we do."
-- Michael McConnell '18

"The Rome Summer Study Abroad Program was my favorite experience in law school so far. Being able to spend a month learning international and comparative law in the beautiful city of Rome, while still being able to return home and complete a summer internship, was an amazing opportunity."
-- Dana Kurtti '18

2017 Program Information

(The information below is for summer 2017 and is provided as general background so students can get a feel for the program. Actual details, including dates, deadlines, and costs for the summer 2018 program will be posted in January 2018.)

The program is open to:

  • U.S. law students in good academic standing who have completed at least one year of studies;
  • Foreign law students who are pursuing a law degree in their home country;
  • Law school graduates (either foreign or U.S.) who are interested in acquiring knowledge and experience in international and comparative law. (The program does not, however, award CLE credit.)

Class Schedule
The Rome Summer Program runs from May 28– June 27, 2017. All classes meet Monday throught Friday. Final exams are tentatively scheduled for Monday, June 26, and Tuesday, June 27.

Rome Campus
All courses will be taught at St. John's Rome campus in the heart of the Prati District. Our newly renovated facilities offer students the wonderful opportunity to experience Rome with many of the comforts of home. Facilities include high-speed wireless internet, a fully wired computer lab with printers for your use, beautiful courtyard and common spaces, a student library and a student lounge available during regular hours to all students, full time bilingual staff, and 24-hr security along with key card entry to the building. Classroom facilities include small seminar rooms for up to 12 students, standard classrooms for up to 30 students, and a larger formal lecture room. Classrooms have available all standard teaching equipment, including white boards, digital projectors, and screens.

Cost and Fees
We estimate the cost of the 2017 program to be $5,300, which includes an administrative fee and double-occupancy housing in a local recently renovated three star hotel. There is a non-refundable $600 deposit due with the application.
Here is an estimate of program expenses:

  • Program, Administrative Fee and Housing: $5,300
  • Travel: $1,200
  • Meals: $2,000
  • Total: $8,500

Payments are due on or before May 15, 2017.

Credits Available through the Rome Summer Program
Program participants will earn a maximum of six credits. For students from law schools other than St. John’s Law, please note that transfer of credits earned during the Rome Summer Program is solely at the discretion of your home institution. Before applying, please consult with your home institution about credit transfer procedure and requirements.

Housing Provided by St. John’s
Rome Summer Program participants will be housed in double-occupancy rooms at the B Place Hotel, a recently renovated three-star hotel just steps from the Rome campus. Single occupancy rooms may be available for an additional $1,100.

Travel Documents
A valid passport is required for travel to Italy. Passport must be valid through at least December 31, 2017.

Access for Students with Disabilities
The Rome St. John’s campus is fully accessible to students with disabilities. Please be aware that many places in Italy and in the city of Rome may not have similar accommodations.

The following information is available on the U.S. Department of State's website:

ACCESSIBILITY: While in Italy, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States. Many find Italy’s narrow cobbled streets and storied monuments charming; they can, however, be a challenge for physically impaired travelers. Many Italian sidewalks lack ramps, and some Italian streets lack sidewalks altogether or, as in Venice, feature stairs and narrow pedestrian bridges. While some major sights and hotels have put time and planning into ensuring accessibility, there are others that lack ramps, elevators, or handicap-accessible bathrooms. Advance planning can go a long way in making a difference in accommodation for disabled travelers. Inform airlines and hotels of your disability when making reservations as some time may be needed to prepare accommodation. Call ahead to restaurants, museums, and other facilities to find out if they are wheelchair accessible. Most, but not all, train stations in Italy have accommodations for those traveling in wheelchairs. With advance notice, personal assistance can be provided to a disabled person traveling through a particular station. More information is available at Trenitalia's website addressing disabled travelers. For those who wish to rent cars, hand-controlled vehicles are available in Italy from major car rental companies. You should contact the car rental company well in advance of your trip in order to reserve the vehicle. Remember that Italy functions on 220-volt current. To recharge an electric wheelchair motor, you may need a transformer to change the 220 current to 110 volts as well as an adapter to adjust the plug to fit Italian electrical sockets.

Guide dog owners must present the documentation required by European Union Member States in order to enter Italy with a dog.

Cancellation and Refund Policy
If, prior to the commencement of the program (prior to May 28, 2017), a U.S. State Department Travel Warning or Alert is issued for Italy, registered students will be notified promptly via email and will be given an opportunity to withdraw from the program. St. John’s reserves the right to modify, amend, or cancel the Rome Summer Program for this reason. Students withdrawing due to the travel advisory will be provided a refund of all program fees.

If changes in the course offerings or other significant aspects of the program occur prior to the commencement of the program, those changes will be communicated promptly by email and registrants who have paid a deposit or registered for the program will be given an opportunity to withdraw, with a refund provided for any program costs paid less the deposit.

If, during the course of the program, a student withdraw because of changes in the course offerings or other significant aspects of the program, or because a U.S. State Department Travel Warning or Alert was issued for Italy, or should the program be terminated for any reason, the fees paid by the student will be refunded except for room and board payments utilized prior to the date of termination or withdrawal.

Students who wish to cancel their participation in the Rome Summer Program for any other reasons after registering must notify the program director before April 25, 2017. In such cases, the student will receive a full refund, less the non-refundable $600 deposit.

Students who submit notice of cancellation for other reasons after April 25, 2017, may receive a partial refund.  The program director will make a decision on any partial refunds depending on the timing of, and reason for, the cancellation on a case by case basis.

In addition, St. John’s School of Law reserves the right to modify, amend, or cancel the Rome Summer Program due to insufficient enrollment. St. John’s will make every effort to make any amendment/cancellation decisions by April 25, 2017. In the unlikely event the program has to be cancelled, prior to its commencement or during the course of the program, students will receive communication immediately by email and notice of cancellation will be posted on this website. If the program has to be cancelled for any reason, we will make every effort to assist students in finding a similar alternative program if the student sends the director a written request within seven business days of the notice of cancellation.

In 2012, the Rome Summer Program was cancelled and students were given the option of a full refund or participation in the Law School's Paris Summer Program.

Accelerated Graduation with Credits Earned at the Rome Summer Program
St. John’s students may not accelerate their graduation with credits earned at the Summer Program. Applicants from law schools other than St. John’s should be aware that St. John’s is not responsible for awarding credit at the applicant’s home institution. Determinations as to credit granted must be made by the applicant’s home institution. Likewise, determinations as to accelerated graduation with credits earned at the Rome Summer Program must be made by the applicant’s home institution. Applicants should consult with their home institution regarding requirements for credits or accelerated graduation.

Residency Requirement Policy
For the purposes of St. John’s residency requirements, credits earned in the Rome Summer Program are not considered optional summer credits and may not be used to step up to the full-time program from the part-time program, or to reduce the tuition charge for any semester below 12 credits for full-time students or below eight credits for part-time students. Full-tuition scholarships do not cover the cost of tuition for the Rome Summer Program.

How to Apply
To apply to the program, please complete and the application form. We accept applications and admit students to the program on a rolling basis. The application deadline is Friday, March 31, 2017.

Additional Application Requirements for Students Who do not Attend St. John’s School of Law
In addition to the main application, students from other law schools must submit:

  • An original transcript in a sealed envelope sent directly to the St. John’s Law  Registrar’s office;
  • A written statement from the Dean’s Office of the applicant’s law school certifying that the applicant:
    • Will have completed at least one year of law study by May 28, 2017;
    • Is a student in good standing;
    • Has permission to take the course(s) for credit (if the student is seeking credit).

Using Financial Aid to Pay for the Rome Summer Program
Federal student loans as well as private loans are available, provided that certain requirements are met. In this regard, St. John’s students and students from other law schools intending to apply for financial aid are encouraged to contact their financial aid office to inquire about financing opportunities for summer study.

Courses Offered

The program is four weeks. Students take three courses: two that run for the entire four week program and one that meets for only two weeks. And, for the first time, students can now satisfy their professional responsibility requirement at the Rome Summer Program!

Program Schedule

Required Courses

Professional Responsibility: Global Context (3 Credits; 4 Weeks) and International Art & Cultural Heritage Law (1 Credit; 2 Weeks)


Choose either Drafting: Transnational Civil Litigation (2 Credits; 4 Weeks) or International Litigation in U.S. courts (2 Credits; 4 Weeks)

After being accepted into the Rome Program, students will be asked to prioritize their course choices. We will make every effort to accommodate requests; however, due to class size limits, we cannot guarantee that all students will receive their top choices. There are no prerequisites for enrollment. With the exception of Drafting: Transnational Civil Litigation, student performance is evaluated based on class participation and a final. Grading guidelines and attendance policies are the same as those that apply at the Law School’s New York campus.

St. John's reserves the right to cancel courses and to modify the class schedule according to the number of students attending the Rome Summer Program.

Tentative Class Schedule

Monday – Friday, May 29 – June 9, 2017*

9 am - 10:10 am

     Drafting: Transnational Civil Litigation (Prof. Montana)

     International Litigation in U.S. Courts (Prof. Ruescher)

10:25 am - 12:45 pm

     Professional Responsibility: Global Context (Prof. Pepper)

* Classes will be rescchedule two afternoons to accomodate two field trips.

Monday – Friday, June 12 – June 23, 2017

9 am - 10:10 am

     Drafting: Transnational Civil Litigation (Prof. Montana)

     International Litigation in U.S. Courts (Prof. Ruescher)

10:25 am - 12:45 pm

     Professional Responsibility: Global Context (Prof. Pepper)

11:50 am - 1 pm

     International Art & Heritage Law (Prof. Edelman)

Course Descriptions

Drafting: Transnational Civil Litigation
Professor Patricia Montana
2 Credits; 4 Weeks
This course teaches students the lawyering skills they need to effectively practice law in today's globalized market. The course covers a number of practical lawyering skills, including predictive and persuasive writing, interviewing, counseling, and negotiation in the context of transnational civil litigation in U.S. courts. Thus, all of the in-class exercises and graded assignments will focus on transnational civil litigation and will require the students to consider cross-cultural issues and other multi-faceted concerns. The problems will involve discrete issues in civil litigation, particularly in the areas of procedure and evidence. Grades will be based on a number of research and writing assignments, class simulations, and class participation. This course satisfies the Advanced Practice Writing Requirement.

International Art & Cultural Heritage Law
Professor Diane Edelman
1 Credit; 2 Weeks
International Art and Cultural Heritage Law provides students with knowledge about the field of international art and cultural heritage law. While focusing on the practical and legal aspects of the international art world, the student will also be introduced to public international law and private international law, including fundamentals of international business transactions, and intellectual property law. This version of the course pays special attention to issues in European and Italian art and cultural heritage law. Grades will be based on class participation and a final examination. Students who take this course may not take the 2-credit International Art & Cultural Heritage Law course. The class will be supplemented with at least two trips to artistically significant sites in Rome.

International Litigation in U.S. Courts
2 credits
The course will explore selected procedural issues arising out of transnational transactions and events that are litigated in U.S. courts. The topics that will be examined include jurisdictional issues involving foreign nationals; service of process abroad; discovery abroad; recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in the United States, and of United States judgments abroad; forum non conveniens dismissals; and parallel proceedings. Because of the overlap between this course and “International Litigation & Dispute Resolution,” students who take one of these courses may not also take the other. Grades will be based on a final examination.

Professional Responsibility: Global Context
Professor Elyse Pepper
3 Credits; 4 Weeks
This course addresses the history, goals, structure, values and responsibilities of the legal profession and its members in the United States and the European Union. While it focuses on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the course takes a comparative approach to issues such as the lawyer’s responsibilities in civil and criminal matters, conflicts of interest, confidentiality and privilege, representation of entities, and the lawyer’s duties to improve the administration and availability of justice. Special attention will be paid to issues that arise in multijurisdictional practices and the distinctions between common law and civil legal systems. Grades will be based on written and oral in-class exercises, and a final examination. This course satisfies the Professional Responsibility Requirement.


Professor Diane Edelman
Diane Penneys Edelman is a Professor of Law and Director of International Programs at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, where she has directed summer programs in Rome and Montréal, the JD/LLM International Studies Program, and supervised externships and ad hoc study abroad.  She currently teaches Legal Research, Analysis, Writing, and Oral Communication I and II (International Advocacy), and International Art & Cultural Heritage Law. She has written and spoken regionally, nationally, and internationally about various aspects of international legal education.  In addition, Professor Edelman has had leadership roles in a variety of professional organizations, and currently serves as Co-Chair of the American Bar Association International Section’s International Legal Education and Specialist Certification Committee and as Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s International Law Committee. Professor Edelman is a graduate of Princeton University and Brooklyn Law School, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Brooklyn Journal of International Law. She clerked for the Honorable I. Leo Glasser (E.D.N.Y.) and practiced law in New York and Philadelphia.

Professor Patricia Grande Montana
Professor Montana has been teaching legal writing and other skills courses at St. John’s law school for 14 years and has written extensively on legal writing theory and pedagogy and professional skills instruction. She is the author of the book Navigating Law School’s Waters: A Guide to Success. In addition to teaching Legal Writing I and Legal Writing II, Professor Montana teaches Drafting: Federal Civil Practice and Lawyering. She is also the founder and Director of the current Street Law Program, in which law students teach a practical law course to high school students in Queens, New York. Before joining the faculty, Professor Montana was a litigation attorney at the New York office of Latham & Watkins. There, she practiced complex civil litigation, concentrating on intellectual property matters. She also committed considerable time to pro bono work, including representing low-income battered women in custody, child support, and divorce proceedings.

Professor Elyse Pepper
In her 13 years at the law school as a Professor of Legal Writing, Professor Pepper taught courses in legal writing and advocacy skills. Professor Pepper served as co-faculty advisor to the Moot Court Honor Society and created two courses, Fact-Writing and Persuasion in Legal Documents, and Law Through Film, which she continues to teach. She is the founder of Law School Prime LLC, a pre-law school success program. Before joining the law faculty in 2002, Professor Pepper was a senior associate at the law firm of Winston & Strawn LLP, concentrating in complex civil litigation. Her scholarly publications include The Case for “Thinking Like a Filmmaker”: Using Lars von Trier's Dogville as a Model for Writing a Statement of Facts, Journal of the Legal Writing Institute (Vol. 14 2008).

Professor Robert A. Ruescher
Professor Ruescher is a Professor of Legal Writing and currently teaches Applied Legal Analysis, and Civil Procedure. Before joining the law faculty in 2001, Professor Ruescher taught first-year writing, introductory research, and various upper-class writing courses at New York Law School. He also helped develop and administer that school's Writing Program courses and served as Assistant Director of the Program in 1999-2000. In addition, he has practiced banking, corporate, and securities law at several law firms, principally Moses & Singer in Manhattan. He has received numerous awards for excellence in teaching, most recently for First-Year Professor of the Year (2012-2013 and 2014-2015) and Professor of the Year (2013-2014).


Professor Elyse Pepper
Director, Rome Study Abroad Program
St. John's University School of Law
8000 Utopia Parkway
Queens, N.Y. 11439 USA

Consular Information

U.S. Embassy Rome
Via Vittorio Veneto, 121
00187 Rome, Italy
Telephone: +(39) 06-46741
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(39) 06-46741
Fax: +(39) 06-4674-221

State Department Travel Information for Italy