Join us for our 2022 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.
“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.
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.
Participants will be housed in double-occupancy suites (with kitchenette and living room) at The B Place a 10-minute walk from the Rome campus. Single occupancy rooms may be available at an additional cost.
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.
Sarah Jean Kelly
Vice Dean for Administration
Comparative Social Justice: Civil Rights in Italy and the United States
Professor Renee Allen
2 Credits; 2 Weeks
This seminar explores social justice movements of the 1960’s and 1970’s through a comparative examination of the law and legal systems of Italy and the United States. After a brief examination of the historical origins and conceptual differences between legal systems, we’ll study movements for equality under the law with a focus on four questions: What economic, political, social rights, and opportunities were the focus of each movement? How have social justice movements produced legal change? What legal solutions have been the most and least effective? What can legal institutions do to produce social change?
Professor Robin Boyle
2 Credits; 2 Weeks
This course provides intensive instruction in the drafting of contemporary commercial contracts. Students learn how to translate a business deal into contract concepts, how to structure the agreement, and how to draft contract provisions clearly, precisely, and efficiently. Written exercises are assigned for each class; in addition, students draft a full-length agreement and redraft the agreement following a critique. Some negotiation is included. Grades will be based on several short drafting assignments (totaling 30%), an initial and a revised draft of a contract (totaling 55%); and class participation (15%). N.B. Students taking this course are not permitted to take Drafting: Litigation Documents & Contracts. 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; 4 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 Eric Shannon
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 Renee AllenRenee Nicole Allen is an Assistant Professor of Legal Writing. She teaches Legal Writing I & II, Public Interest Drafting, and The Music & The Movement: Race, Rhythm, and Social Justice. Prior to joining the Law School, she held law school faculty and administrator positions in academic support and bar preparation. Her research interests include social justice and legal education. Prior to her academic career, she practiced family law in Metro Atlanta. Professor Allen is a proud first-generation attorney. She received her J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and her B.A. in English Literature from Mercer University. She recently earned a master's degree in educational psychology from the University of Tennessee.
Professor Robin Boyle LaisureRobin Boyle Laisure is Professor of Legal Writing and a full-time member of the faculty at the law school. She teaches first-year sections of Legal Writing I and II. She additionally teaches in the upper division - Drafting: Contracts; Drafting: Litigation Documents and Contracts; and Scholarly Research and Writing. Since the program’s inception in 2004, she has taught college students in the Ron Brown Prep Program, to help raise the number of diverse and disadvantaged students in law schools. She also taught abroad at Beijing Jiaotong University, in Beijing, China, at their law and undergraduate schools. Prof. Boyle is the author of Becoming a Legal Writer: A Workbook with Explanations to Develop Objective Legal Analysis and Writing Skills, with Christine Coughlin & Sandy Patrick (Carolina Academic Press 2019). Formative assessment exercises complement the workbook on CAP’s Core Knowledge platform (forthcoming 2021). Her articles, essays, and book chapters appear in legal and academic publications. Prof. Boyle presents on topics concerning legal writing, human trafficking, and undue influence in high-demand groups.
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 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).
Professor Eric W. Shannon
As Associate Dean of Students, Eric is primarily responsible for the academic, intellectual, psychological, and personal aspects of student life at the Law School. Eric has also taught courses in both the J.D. and LL.M. programs at St. John’s as an adjunct professor. Before initially joining St. John’s as a career development counselor in 2018, Eric worked for several years as a litigator at an international corporate law firm. He is a graduate of Cornell University, Fordham’s Graduate School of Education, and NYU School of Law. Before obtaining his J.D., he spent two years in the Teach for America corps as a high school biology teacher.
May 30 – June 10 (Monday through Friday)
8:55 am – 11:20 am Comparative Social Justice Movements
9:00 am – 11:15 am Professional Responsibility: Global Context
11:30 am – 12:40 pm International Litigation in U.S. Courts
June 13 – June 24 (Monday through Friday)
8:55 am – 11:20 am Drafting: Contracts
9:00 am – 10:15 am Professional Responsibility: Global Context
10:25 am – 11:35 am International Art & Cultural Heritage Law
11:45 am – 12:55 pm International Litigation in U.S. Courts
The St. John's Office of Disability Services will work with any student who qualifies for a disability accommodation. 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 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.
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, 2022. 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, 2022, 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, 2022. 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.
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