Join us for our 2020 Rome Summer Study Abroad Program at the St. John’s University Rome Campus in historic Prati, Rome.
Spend 4 weeks and earn 6 credits studying international and comparative law.
In summer 2019, Rome Program participants visited the Corte Sumprema di Cassazione (the Supreme Court of Italy), the Corte Costituzionale della Repubblica Italiana (the Constitutional Court of Italy), the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and the Carabinieri Art Fraud Headquarters. The Italian law firm Studio Legale Delfino e Associati Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP hosted the Program in its Rome office. The Program presented a guest speaker on international art law topics, providing a forum for lively discussion. Participants experienced a "Voyage through Ancient Rome," an onsite virtual reconstruction of Caesar's forum. They spent their free time exploring the landmarks of Rome and Italy.
The Program schedule is designed to accommodate participants’ opportunity for a summer work experience during July and August 2020. Career Development Counselors work with St. John’s Law students to obtain legal internships and research assistantships, among other rewarding positions, in the Tri-State area after the Rome Program concludes.
“You will love International Litigation in U.S. Courts, whether you excelled in civil procedure or are looking to build your understanding of it. In this extremely compelling course, you’ll build on basic civil procedure concepts and explore the role federal courts play in international disputes. Professor Ruescher is engaging, exceptionally smart, and has an amazing reputation in the St. John’s Law community. By taking his course, I entered my 2L year well prepared to understand the procedure of any case I read and found great value in the relationship I formed with Professor Ruescher.” --Caoimhe P. Stafford '21
“The courses I took in Rome allowed me to apply my foundational knowledge of the law to international legal issues. For instance, in studying International Art & Cultural Heritage Law, we addressed property, contract, and constitutional law issues. The experience of learning, living, and traveling abroad has inspired me to maintain an open mind to varied cultures and potential opportunities, and I will carry that inspiration with me as I continue my legal studies at St. John’s and forge my career path.” --Kayla Dimatos ‘20
“The classes, particularly Professional Responsibility: Global Context, highlighted some fascinating cultural intricacies that distinguish Italian and EU law from their American counterparts. Plus, the six credits I took in Rome allowed me to space out my schedule for my 2L year. Particularly, I got ahead of the curve by satisfying my Professional Responsibility requirement and taking the MPRE when I got back to New York.” --John T. (JT) Burger '20
“I strengthened the law school friendships I had already made throughout my 1L year and created new ones with St. John's students and students from other law schools. The Rome Program also gave me more access to my professors than I have at school because I was able to interact with them outside of the classroom through organized trips and dinners. I had a very rewarding experience from an academic, professional, and personal perspective, and I definitely recommend the Rome Study Abroad Program!” -- Sharlene N. Disla ‘19
*St. John’s Law students please note that “good standing” means having a minimum GPA of 2.1.
Students take three courses for a maximum of six credits and can satisfy the St. John's Advanced Practice Writing Requirement and the St. John's Professional Responsibility Requirement with Rome Program courses.
Classes meet Monday through Friday. Final exams are tentatively scheduled for Monday, June 22 and Tuesday, June 23. All courses will be given at St. John's Rome campus in the heart of the Prati District, the home of Rome’s legal community—a stone’s throw from the Vatican. Our newly renovated facilities include high-speed wireless internet, a fully wired computer lab with printers, 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.
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, given class size limits, we cannot guarantee that all students will receive their top choices. Please see Course Descriptions for prerequisites. With the exception of Drafting: Transnational Civil Litigation and International Art & Cultural Heritage Law, student performance is evaluated based on class participation and/or in-class exercises and a final exam. Grading guidelines and attendance policies are the same as those that apply at St. John’s University School of Law’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 Program.
Participants may earn a maximum of six credits. Visiting students should note that transfer of credits earned at the St. John’s Rome Program is solely at the discretion of your home institution. Before applying, please consult with your home institution about credit transfer procedure and requirements.
The total Program Cost is $5,300 (tuition: $3,200, housing: $1,600; administrative/activity fee: $500). Financial Aid is available to pay for the Rome Program through federal and private student loans. Students should contact their financial aid office to obtain information about financing opportunities for summer study. St. John’s Law students who intend to apply for financial aid should contact the Office of Student Financial Services: 1-888-9STJOHNS or [email protected]. St. John’s students must take six credits to qualify for federal financial aid.
Participants will be housed in double-occupancy suites (with kitchenette and living room) at Residence Prati, a 10-minute walk from the Rome campus. Single occupancy rooms may be available at an additional cost.
Application period opens January 2020
Please complete and submit the online application. We accept applications and admit students on a rolling basis. Note: St. John’s students must be in “good standing,” which means a minimum GPA of 2.1 (not on academic probation), to be accepted. A nonrefundable deposit of $500, which is applied to the full Program cost, is due with your application. Final payment is due by April 23, 2020.
Additional Application Requirements for Visiting Students
Students from other law schools must submit (in addition to the online application):
St. John’s students may not accelerate their graduation with credits earned in the Rome 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 in the Rome Program must be made by the applicant’s home institution. Applicants should consult with their home institution regarding requirements for credits or accelerated graduation.
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.
A valid passport is required for American citizens to travel to Italy. Passport must be valid through at least December 31, 2020.
U.S. Embassy Rome
Via Vittorio Veneto, 121
00187 Rome, Italy
Telephone: +(39) 06-46741
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(39) 06-46741
Fax: +(39) 06-4674-221State Department Travel Information for Italy
Professor Elyse Pepper
Director, Rome Study Abroad Program[email protected]
St. John's University School of Law
8000 Utopia Parkway
Queens, N.Y. 11439 USA
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 short written assignments, small group presentations, and class participation. 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
Professor Robert Ruescher
2 Credits; 2 Weeks
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 EdelmanDiane 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 MontanaProfessor Montana has been teaching legal writing and other skills courses at St. John’s law school for 15 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, Director of the Rome Summer Study Abroad Program
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. 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. RuescherProfessor 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).
May 25 – June 5 (Monday through Friday)
8:30 am – 9:40 am Drafting: Transnational Civil Litigation
9:55 am – 12:00 pm Professional Responsibility: Global Context
12:15 pm – 1:25 pm International Art & Cultural Heritage Law
June 8 – June 19 (Monday through Friday)
8:30 am – 9:40 am Drafting: Transnational Civil Litigation
9:55 am – 11:20 am Professional Responsibility: Global Context
11:35 am – 1:55 pm International Litigation in U.S. Courts
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 24, 2020), a U.S. State Department Travel Warning 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 because of the travel warning will be provided a refund of all Program costs.
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 non-refundable $500 deposit.
If, during the course of the Program, a student withdraws because of changes in the course offerings or other significant aspects of the Program, or because a U.S. State Department Travel Warning was issued for Italy, or should the Program be terminated for any reason, the costs paid by the student will be refunded except for the non-refundable $500 deposit and accommodation or other payments expended prior to the date of termination or withdrawal.
Students who wish to cancel their participation in the Rome Program for any other reason after registering must notify the Program Director before April 9, 2020. In such cases, the student will receive a full refund, less the non-refundable $500 deposit.
Students who submit notice of cancellation after April 9, 2020, 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 Program because of insufficient enrollment. St. John’s will make every effort to make any amendment/cancellation decisions by April 9, 2020. 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 Program Director a written request within seven business days of the notice of cancellation.