In a recent U.S. News & World Reports issue, an article titled Law Schools Go International captured an emerging trend amongst U.S. law schools. The Law Center, however, is in the enviable position of being well ahead of the national curve in the internationalization of legal education.
In 1999, officials at the Law Center sought to make the most of Louisiana’s unique juridical juxtaposition at the crossroads of the legal world and develop a network of top international law schools with the purpose of increasing the quality and quantity of international exposure in the students’ education. The result is a handpicked cadre of internationally-renowned universities, and over the last five years the interaction (student exchanges, professorial exchanges, joint seminars and an international summer program) between LSU and the network schools has increased steadily.
During the 2003-04 academic year, the Law Center received students from: Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, India, Italy, Peru, and Romania. In addition, in recent years LSU students could be found studying in Argentina, Costa Rica, France, and Spain.
The Law Center has one of the strongest International Scholar Programs in the country. Since 2000, the Law Center has annually hosted between eight and 10 leading professors, practitioners, and judges from Europe, Central America, and South America, each of whom taught a short course on their area of expertise. During the same period, Law Center professors taught short courses in Argentina, Belgium, France, Italy, and Peru.
Further capitalizing on the strong relationships with law schools in Europe and Latin America, the Law Center in 2004 will launch the new International Executive Education Programs. The principal program will be the International Professional Practice Program (IP?), designed to deliver practical executive legal education to lawyers and business persons in major commercial markets such as Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lima, Peru; Bogotá, Colombia; San Jose, Costa Rica; and Mexico.
The Law Center’s Summer in France program, with 76 participants in 2004, has grown to be the second largest in the United States. Now in its 20th year, and only its third since relocating to Lyon, the program will host students from Belgium, France, Italy, and the Netherlands in 2005.
Chancellor John Costonis and Professors Catherine Rogers and John White recently served as guest faculty for a program titled, International to U.S. Law, conducted in Italy. The program was offered by the Law Center in conjunction with three Italian universities: the University of Bologna, University of Milan, and University of Insubria.
Over 50 students from various law schools in Italy and Germany participated. Chancellor Costonis’ program was titled, The Common Law of Properties: Introduction to U.S. Property Law. Professor White taught a course on Torts, while Rogers taught a course on Contracts.
The program was superbly directed by Professor John White and expertly organized by Christopher Williams. In addition, a guest lecture was offered on Mass Tort Class Action by James Roy (76).