Dean's Travel Study Program

Comparative Legal Systems: London

The Dean’s Travel Study Program – London will be taught by Professor Rachel H. Smith, who will be teaching Comparative Legal Systems - Law and Literature in London. This course will introduce students to the empathetic and interdisciplinary study of law through works of popular fiction. The class will focus on works by Charles Dickens, Graham Greene, and J.K. Rowling to contemplate how lawyers, legal processes, and the city of London capture the popular imagination. Students will have the opportunity to visit London locales that figure in the texts and iconic London literary sites, and thereby stand in the shoes of those texts’ authors and characters. By doing so, students will engage with hard questions about law, justice, fairness, corruption, and professional identity and gain new insights into the connections and distinctions between the legal systems of the United Kingdom and the United States. Travelers will depart New York (JFK) on Friday, January 5, arriving in London on Saturday, January 6. The group will then return to New York on Saturday, January 13. More information about this course can be found here.

When: Winter Intersession 2024 (January 5th - January 13th)

Comparative Legal Systems: Ireland

The Dean’s Travel Study Program’s Comparative Legal Systems: Law in a Time of Crisis will discuss legal responses to and the aftermath of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Taught by Dean Michael Simons and Professor Michael Perino, the course will focus on how a society’s law, norms, and constraints break down in a time of perceived existential crisis. The class will examine these issues through Patrick Radden Keefe’s Say Nothing, a narrative about a notorious murder in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions. The course will ask students to reflect on how governmental responses in Northern Ireland mirrored responses to crises in the United States. Travelers will depart New York (JFK) on Friday, March 1, arriving in Dublin on Saturday, March 2nd. Students will experience four days (March 2 – March 6) in Belfast and the remaining four days in Dublin (March 6-10).  The group will then return to New York on Sunday, March 10. More information about this course can be found here.

When: Spring 2024 (March 1st - March 10th)

The Dean's Travel Study Program 1-credit course provide selected second-, third-, and fourth-year students the opportunity and experience first-hand foreign legal systems throughout the world. With a different legal system (country or region) designated annually by the Dean, this travel / study course presents students the opportunity to gain substantial and comparative law knowledge across the great variety of common law, civil law, and mixed legal systems worldwide. The course includes pre-departure lectures at St. John's, guest lectures by law professors, judges and practicing lawyers in the designated country, as well as historical "walking lectures." The travel portion will include stays in selected cities in the jurisdiction as well as study visits to academic, governmental, and legal institutions. 

Eligible Students

Currently enrolled and matriculated St. John's University School of Law 2L, 3L, and 4L J.D. students who are in good academic standing may apply for the Dean's Travel Study Program. 

Should a student be selected for the program and, prior to commencement of the program, lose their good academic standing, they will not be allowed to participate in the program and an alternate will take their place. Students must have a valid passport.  

Selection Process

A committee will make selections shortly after the application deadline. Offers, including a wait-list, will be communicated in November, and students must promptly inform the program director if they will participate. 

Program Cost

There is no tuition charge to participate in the program, however, there is a program fee of $2,300 to fund the cost of transportation, accommodations, breakfast each day, several other meals throughout the time in Ireland, and admission fees to the sites the class will be visiting. The program fee will also provide the necessary books for the course.  Students can apply financial aid to the program cost.

Application Deadline October 15, 2023

Comparative Legal Systems: London. Please complete the online application.

Comparative Legal Systems: Ireland. Please complete the online application.

Study Abroad Information Session

Comparative Legal Systems: Law & Literature in London

Comparative Legal Systems: Law in a Time of Crisis - Ireland