St. Peter's Basilica

Study in Rome Summer 2023

Andiamo a Roma!

Join us for our 2023 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. 

Visit Italian courts, cultural institutions, museums, historic sites, ancient ruins.

Meet and discuss the law with Italian law professors, students, and attorneys.

Experience la bella vita, strolling the winding streets of Rome.

In summer 2022, Rome Program participants visited the Corte Sumprema di Cassazione (the Supreme Court of Italy), participated in a breathtaking tour of Navona Sq., the  Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps, and taking in all that Rome has to offer while creating memories for a lifetime. In addition, participants had the opportunity to attend a Summer Meet & Mingle Luncheon hosted on St. John's Rome Campus. Participants networked with University of Temple Beasley School of Law students and faculty; sharing stories on their summer exchange experience. They spent their free time exploring the landmarks of Rome and Italy.

Student Testimonials

“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

Program Eligibility

  • Must be rising 2L U.S. law students who are in "good standing" (not on academic probation)* and have completed at least one year of study by the end of the semester before the Program begins;
  • 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. (No CLE credit available)
  • Non-SJU Law students are eligible to apply

*St. John’s Law students please note that “good standing” means having a minimum GPA of 2.1.

Sample Course Selection

  • Professional Responsibility: Global Context (3 credits, 4 weeks)
  • Comparative Social Justice: Civil Rights in Italy and the United States (2 credits, 2 weeks)
  • International Litigation in U.S. Courts (2 credits, 4 weeks)
  • Legal Research (1 credit, 2 weeks)
  • Law & Literature (1 credit, 2 weeks)

Students take three courses for a maximum of (6) six credits and can satisfy the St. John's Professional Responsibility, Scholarly Writing, and Legal Research requirements.

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.

Important Dates

  • Students should arrive for check-in on Saturday, May 27, 2023
  • Classes Begin: Monday, May 29, 2023
  • Classes End: Friday, June 23, 2023

Credits Available through the Rome Summer 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.

Program Cost and Fees

Estimate of Expenses
Program Cost
- Tuition
- Administrative/Activity Fee
- Housing-Hotel (Double Occupancy Room)
Roundtrip International Airfare$800-$1,600
Food & Personal$2,000

*NOTE: Scholarships do not cover the Program Cost and Fees. Please note that generally students must enroll in six (6) credits of summer study to be eligible for federally-subsidized student loans for the summer semester.

Housing Provided by the Program

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. Housing will be provided through the morning of Sunday, June 25, 2023. Students may depart from Rome as early as 5pm CET on Friday, June 23.

How to Apply

Online application available HERE. Deadline to apply is March 10, 2023

    Information Sessions Dates & Times

    Tuesday, January 31st
    4:00pm -5:00pm
    Location: Moot Court Room, 2nd Floor

    Monday, February 6th
    11:00am - 12:00pm
    Location: Private Dining Room (PDR), Ground Floor

    Monday, February 13th
    12:00pm - 1:00pm
    Location: Private Dining Room (PDR), Ground Floor

    Access Info Session Recording HERE

    Accelerated Graduation with Credits Earned at the Rome Summer Program

    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.

    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.


    Eric Shannon
    Associate Dean of Students
    (718) 990-6044
    [email protected]

    Rachel Smith
    Vice Dean for Student Success
    (718) 990-3297
    [email protected]


    Legal Research
    Professor Courtney Selby
    1 Credit; 2 Weeks
    In first year Legal Research and writing, students are introduced to foundational legal research sources and methods.  In this class, students will build on that knowledge to learn how effectively and efficiently conduct state and federal legal research in a variety of free, fee-based, print and online sources.  Students will gain an understanding of legislative, judicial, and administrative sources of legal information.  Students will learn how to develop and execute research strategies to answer practical and scholarly legal questions. Grades will be based on short exercises completed outside of class during the semester and a final research project.

    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, 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.

    Law & Literature
    Professor Rachel H. Smith
    1 credit; 2 weeks
    Students in this course will read works of literature by such authors as Aeschylus, William Shakespeare, Toni Morrison, William Faulkner, Charlotte Bronte and Virginia Woolf to study various topics including the moral and ethical dimensions of law, law's connection to the fate of individuals, and the connections among law, authority and humanity, using principles of traditional, modern and post-modern literary criticism. Short weekly nongraded responses are required. Grades are based upon attendance, participation in class discussions, and either three short papers or one long research paper.  Students may use course to complete Scholarly Writing Requirement (SWR).

    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 Rachel H. Smith
    In addition to serving as the Vice Dean for Student Success, Rachel H. Smith teaches Legal Writing, Legal Research, and Law & Literature. 

    Rachel is the author of two legal writing books: The Handbook for the New Legal Writer (with Jill Barton) and The Legal Writing Survival Guide. Both books aim to demystify the process of legal writing and serve as a source of encouragement for beginning and more experienced legal writers. Rachel has presented at national and regional legal writing conferences on topics including teaching with positivity, using popular non-fiction in the legal writing classroom, and the pedagogy of using examples. In 2009, Rachel received a grant from the Association of Legal Writing Directors to prepare a series of legal writing podcasts called “Perk Up Your Pens.”

    Before coming to St. John’s, Rachel was a founding member of the Legal Communication and Research Skills faculty at the University of Miami School of Law. In addition to teaching the first-year legal writing course, she developed a popular course on Advanced Techniques in Written Persuasion. Before that, she was part of the Legal Analysis Research and Writing Faulty at Santa Clara University School of Law, where she was twice awarded the Legal Writing Teacher of the Year Award.

    Rachel received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. After graduation, she worked as a litigator in the San Francisco office of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP where she worked on a variety of intellectual property disputes for toy, tech, and casino gaming companies. 

    Professor Robert A. Ruescher
    Professor Ruescher is a Professor of Legal Writing and Director of the law school's LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies Program. He currently teaches Applied Legal Analysis, Civil Prodedure, Introduction to Law, and U.S. Legal Analysis and Writing for foreign trained lawyers. 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.

    Professor Ruescher presently serves as faculty advisor to the St. John's Law Review and Director of the law school's U.S. Legal Studies Program.  He has received numerous awards for excellence in teaching, most recently for First-Year Professor of the Year (2012-2013) and Professor of the Year (2013-2014).  He is a co-author of The Lawyer's Craft (Anderson Publishing Co. 2001), a first-year legal writing text.

    Professor Renee Allen
    Professor Renee Nicole Allen  is an Associate Professor of Legal Writing and Founding Faculty Director, for the Center for Race and Law which launched in the fall of 2022. She teaches Legal Writing I & II, The Music & The Movement: Race, Rhythm, and Social Justice, Public Interest Drafting, Comparative Social Justice, and Race and the Law. 

    Professor Allen’s scholarship focuses on race, social justice, and legal education. Her recent scholarship examined structural racism in legal academia and defined the academic terror marginalized students experience in the law school white space. Her work has also explored the ways Black women are silenced by systemic gendered racism in the law school white space and encouraged law schools to reevaluate academic norms to create positive experiences for Black women. Her articles and essays have been published in several journals, including the UCLA Law Review, Rutgers Law Review, and William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice. She has presented her scholarship at national conferences, including AALS, SEALS, SALT, LWI, the Institute for Law Teaching & Learning, and the National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference. 

    Professor Allen is a proud first-generation attorney and an accidental law professor. Prior to joining the St. John’s faculty, she held academic support and bar preparation positions at several law schools. Before academia, she practiced family law in metro Atlanta. She received her J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and her B.A. in English Literature from Mercer University. In 2019, she earned a master's degree in educational psychology from the University of Tennessee.

    Professor Eric Shannon
    As Associate Dean of Students, Professor Eric Shannon 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.

    Professor Courtney Selby
    Courtney Selby is the Associate Dean for Library Services and Associate Professor of Legal Research at St. John’s University School of Law.  She received her B.A. in sociology from the University of Tulsa, a Master's of Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma, and a J.D. from the University of Tulsa. Following law school, she served as the Collection Development and Instructional Services librarian and Legal Research Instructor at the University of Tulsa. Thereafter, she served for 8 years as the Associate Dean for Information Services, Director of the Law Library, and Professor of Law at Hofstra Law School, earning recognition for her teaching, scholarship, and work in the field of law librarianship.

    She is actively involved in the American Association of Law Libraries, serving in a number of leadership roles in several of the association's special interest sections, and continues to publish in the areas of legal research and law librarianship.  Additionally, she is involved with the Association of American Law Schools Section on Technology, Law & Legal Education and has developed student-centered programming to support curricular initiatives at the intersection of law and technology.

    In addition to her work in the law library and in information technology, Professor Selby teaches advanced legal research courses for the law school with an emphasis in developing both strategy-based and practice-ready research skills for a new generation of legal professionals.

    Tentative Schedule

    May 29 – June 9 (Monday through Friday)

    9:00 am – 10:50am/11:40 am Professional Responsibility: Global Context
    11:00 am - 1:00 pm Legal Research
    11:00 am - 1:00 pm Law & Literature
    11:50 am – 1:00 pm International Litigation in U.S. Courts

    June 12 – June 23 (Monday through Friday)

    9:00 am – 10:25 am Professional Responsibility: Global Context
    10:35 am – 12:20 pm International Litigation in U.S. Courts
    10:35 am – 1:00 pm Comparative Social Justice: Civil Rights in Italy and the United States

    Estimate of Expenses
    Program Cost
    - Tuition
    - Administrative/Activity Fee
    - Housing (double occupancy, 3-star hotel)
    Roundtrip International Airfare$800-$1,600
    Food & Personal$2,000


    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 Dean Eric W. Shannon ([email protected]) before April 7, 2023. In such cases, the student will receive a full refund, less the non-refundable $500 deposit.

    Students who submit notice of cancellation after April 7, 2023, 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 7, 2023. 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

    Online Application

    Follow link and click "Apply Now" button.