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School of Law Goes Global with New Exchange Program

Friday, February 28, 2014

Reflecting the University’s focus on fostering a global education and world campus for all students, St. John’s School of Law has launched an academic exchange program with the University of Glasgow School of Law that allows aspiring attorneys from each institution to broaden their legal education on both sides of the Atlantic.

Through the program, St. John’s law students spend a semester at the University of Glasgow’s campus, while students enrolled in the Scottish institution’s School of Law travel to the United States for a year of study in Queens, NY.  

“We’re very excited that this unique program is well underway,” said Jeffrey K. Walker, J.D., LL.M., assistant dean of transnational programs at St. John’s School of Law. “Our students get to experience one of the best comparative law jurisdictions in depth, and the participants from Glasgow learn the law in our wonderful school located at the epicenter of international business and law.”

The exchange program includes courses in international and comparative law and is designed to provide St. John’s students with broad exposure to the practice of law in a transnational setting, as well as the opportunity to explore diverse legal systems across the globe.  

For American Kathryn Swimm ’14L, spending the fall 2013 semester in Glasgow was a helpful step toward realizing her dream of being an international corporate lawyer. “Since I’m interested in international law, I wanted to focus on classes in that arena,” she said. “Specifically, I was able to take a class on European Union law, which included a wonderful field trip to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.”

Vito Cannavo ’14L considers studying abroad one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. “The semester exchange program exposed me to new people, new places, and new ideas,” he said, citing the trip to the European Court of Justice as a favorite. “I had the opportunity to see a complex matter tried before the court in Hungarian, German, and French.”

Katy McBride, one of two exchange students from the University of Glasgow, enjoyed the classroom dynamic of studying at an American university. “The Socratic Method favored by law professors has been quite different from what I’m used to,” she said, “but I’ve found it an interesting way of learning.  I’m gaining valuable insight and experience in a foreign legal system. When I enter the profession, I’ll be able to employ my cross-jurisdictional knowledge and be a more valuable colleague.”

Another Scottish exchange student, Johanna Crowther, was equally enthusiastic about the program. “St. John's has been brilliant,” she said. “The faculty is very helpful, and I don't think adjusting would have been so easy without all the help and support from the members of staff. The students have also been great and have been happy to help.”