Costa Rica 2017 – Francisco Rivera Juaristi

“This has been my favorite course so far in law school (…). I am even more excited about working in the field of human rights law.” This was a student’s evaluation of her experience as a law student in Santa Clara Law’s Costa Rica Program this summer.

Fifteen bright and motivated students spent three weeks in Costa Rica learning international human rights law from some of the leading experts in this field. Six of those students decided to put into practice what they learned by working as externs with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Costa Rica, the ACLU in Puerto Rico, and non-governmental human rights organizations in Mexico. Students also traveled to Costa Rica’s countryside to learn firsthand about pineapple plantation workers who complain of grave labor rights violations and environmental and health risks. As another student put it, “This was an amazing program with amazing instructors.  The content was interesting and it prepared me for my summer internship as well.  Overall it was a great experience and I am so glad I decided to take the opportunity!”


Students ziplining in Costa Rica

Geneva 2017 – Claudia Josi

The 2017 Geneva Summer Program was, once again, an amazing experience! 17 students from SCU Law and other law schools around the country (and Canada!) enjoyed 4 weeks of classes in international law, intellectual property, international humanitarian law, and international human rights law, all of which were taught by professors who are some of the most highly respected experts in their field.

The program also offered students an extraordinary opportunity to exploring the work of international organizations first hand, visiting the headquarters of the United Nations, the International Committee for the Red Cross, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the World Health Organization, and talking to their staff. One of the highlights was a visit to the United High Commissioner for Human Rights and the possibility to observing a session of the U.N. Human Rights Committee.

A barbeque at the river for the 4th of July, weekend trips all throughout Europe, as well as the final boat trip on Lake Geneva were other (social) highlights for our students of this year’s exciting program.

Botanical Gardens - Geneva

Finally, seven students were able to secure one of the very competitive externships right after the Geneva program and worked at highly respected human rights institutions in Ireland and London researching cutting edge human rights issues, as well as in the legal assistance of refugees in Malta.

Their feedback was enthusiastic and some are already planning to come back next summer to their host institutions. One student shared the following feedback in the weekly report:  “It has been a beautiful learning experience for me, and it has challenged me to push myself out of many of my comfort […] I am so thankful and grateful for this opportunity to push myself beyond limitations that I was somewhat blind to, and I know that I will only continue to grow—personally and professionally —while I am working in this office surrounded by so many wonderful people and so much “real-life stuff.”


The Hague 2017 – Anna Han

This summer, we had 23 eager and engaged students in our study abroad program in The Hague. Our summer program in The Hague provided a unique opportunity for students to study and immerse themselves in international criminal law. The Hague is the location of the International Criminal Court, the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (and its successor, Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (“MICT”) to handle appeals), The International Court of Justice, and the special Tribunal for Lebanon. Our students visited each of these institutions this summer and observed live trials that prosecute crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. They then got briefings from judges, prosecutors and defense teams on these cases. Many students commented that this was a “life changing experience.” One stayed to do an externship at the ICTY, another got an externship in London and that lead to an offer this coming summer. In addition to the rigorous academic schedule, students used the convenient location of The Hague to explore the rest of The Netherlands and many other parts of Europe. In short, the summer was a success.


Classroom in The Hague, 2017

Munich 2017 – Tyler Ochoa

Santa Clara had a group of seven students in our Munich summer program this year, four from Santa Clara and others from George Mason, Arkansas-Little Rock, and Golden Gate University. The students learned about European Intellectual Property Law from guest lecturers and were able to travel around the continent on weekends. We took the students on field trips to the European Patent Office, where they observed an oral proceeding in a post-grant opposition to a patent; and to BMW, where they got a lecture on BMW’s protection of intellectual property and a factory tour. We also had a social outing to Schloss Nymphenburg, the summer residence of the former royal family of Bavaria. Five of the students were placed in externships with local law firms and patent firms. We look forward to having another great group of students join us in Munich next year!


Munich Summer Abroad 2017

Oxford 2017 – Gary Neustadter & Patty Rauch

The 2017 Oxford program had another successful summer.  Students from Santa Clara and other universities gathered together in late June to begin the program.  Each student had the unique opportunity to participate in an intense tutorial experience with Oxford professors.  Our students chose from a wide range of legal topics, including “Comparative Torts law,” “Comparative Property law,” “Refugee Law,” and “Human Rights Law.”  They prepared a weekly paper on issues in the area of law they chose, defending their papers with their professor.  It’s intellectually very stimulating.  We thank all the professors who worked with our students.

Our students also had the opportunity to attend seminars where Oxford professors covered a variety of important legal doctrines. These included lectures on “The Gig Economy and its Legal Implications,” “Environmental Law as Hot Law,” and “Victim Participation in the Khmer Rouge Trials.”  The breath of the topics and the information that the professors bring to these seminars also make it a pedagogical success.

Oxford Summer Abroad 2017

We also visited London and observed oral arguments on a case before the United Kingdom Supreme Court.  Then we observed a criminal trial in Oxford. The program is very nice balance of legal theory and reality.

Of course there was time for fun too!  Oxford is an amazing city with its historical background, lovely parks and the Thames River to explore, and friendly pubs. We took time to visit one pub that Bill Clinton frequented when he was at Oxford.

Thank you to the Center for Global Policy for supporting the Oxford program – and of course to the students who join us each summer.  The program has been running for over 40 years and we hope it continues for that many more years.


Shanghai 2017 – Deep Gulasekaram

This past summer, we had a fun and energetic group of 14 students join the study abroad program in Shanghai, with a few more students taking advantage of externship programs. Some of the students had hometown connections in Shanghai and surrounding areas, which made the experience even more meaningful and fun for the whole group. Most of those students also possessed native language skills in Mandarin, which helped all of us discover and explore the city! But, even those without language skills had an amazing time navigating the legal and business center of one of the most vibrant cities in the world.

Outside of classes, students had fun exploring the cultural and architectural sights of Shanghai, and – on the weekends – Beijing and other surrounding areas. One of our favorite group activities was sampling the local food and beverage scene. We had fun eating all across the food spectrum, from high end places to local favorites, including world-famous soup dumpling restaurants, and very popular hot pot and noodle joints.

During the first two weeks, in addition to classes at Jiao Tong University’s modern law school (KoGuan Law School), we took a field trip to visit to Intel Corp. headquarters in Shanghai. We were able to meet with Intel’s general counsel in China and the legal team. They provided a first-hand lesson about the opportunities and challenges that large, multinational technology companies face when doing business in China.

Our third week was spent learning directly from attorneys who practice business law in China. We visited the offices of Finnegan LLP, AllBright Law firm, and MWE China, where students heard from lawyers engaged in IP protection, employment law, and business transactions. Indeed, several students later externed under attorneys at both AllBright and MWE China.

After classes ended, some students headed to Beijing, Taiwan, and Hong Kong for their externships while a few stayed in Shanghai. It was another successful year that helped expose participants to the growing legal and business environment of China.


Bungee jumping in Macau

Sydney 2017 – Evangeline Abriel

In the Sydney 2017 program, we had a wonderful opportunity to explore two areas of law – refugee law and international environmental law – from international, United States, and Australian viewpoints.  In doing so, we had the benefit of two outstanding Australian jurists – Barrister Nicholas Poynder, on Australian refugee law, and Professor Angela Dwyer, of the University of Technology Sydney School of Law, on environmental law.

We were also welcomed warmly by Australian courts and legal agencies. Judge Nicholas Manousaridis, of the Federal Court of Australia, invited us to observe oral argument on a refugee case in his court and then provided us with lunch and a unparalleled opportunity to discuss Australian refugee law.  New South Wales Legal Services Commissioner John McKenzie also welcomed us to his office, where he discussed with us the practice of law in Australia. Mr. McKenzie also inspired us with his recounting of his experiences as a solicitor with the Aboriginal Legal Services Office and description of the legal issues facing the First Australians.  Our visit to the Environmental Defenders Organization of New South Wales was another enlightening visit, giving us a window into Australia’s actions to protect both her own environment and those of neighboring nations. Finally, Solicitor Justin Hutchinson, a longtime mentor of our program, shepherded us through the Law Courts of New South Wales, where we had an opportunity to observe criminal proceedings.

We also made time to enjoy Australia’s nature and culture!  This included a sunset orientation harbor voyage from Darling Harbour under the Sydney Harbor Bridge and past the Sydney Opera House to Circular Quay and the Rocks. It also included trips to the Featherdale Wildlife Park (since no visit to Australia is complete without petting a koala) and the beautiful Blue Mountains. Our whale-watching trip was also a highlight, with several sightings of these amazing creatures.

Visit to Environmental Defenders Organization

We are particularly proud of the work our students did in their volunteer placements following the classes. Five students were placed with refugee law offices, where they provided much-needed assistance for asylum applications. Their contributions were critical, given a newly imposed government filing deadline.  A sixth student was placed with the Department of Public Prosecutions and assigned there to assist in several important trials.  Our last (but not least) extern went to Fiji, where she worked on a variety of matters for a large law firm.

We look forward to another rewarding Sydney program in 2018!


Tokyo 2017 – Donald Polden

The law school’s Tokyo program had sixteen students enrolled in the program courses and thirteen of those students continued their studies in Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai on externships with law firms. The program included educational visits to the Japan Ministry of Justice, the Japan Patent Office, the national legislature and the Japan Supreme Court.

The Tokyo program is blessed with outstanding Japanese law professors who teach in the program and have taught for many years and they engaged the students enrolled in the Summer 2017 program in course work on Japanese law and legal systems, comparative intellectual property law (U.S. and Japan) and comparative business law. In addition, Professor Philip Jimenez continued to teach a course in international business transactions in the 2017 program.


Tokyo Summer Abroad 2017

Vienna 2017  – Philip Jimenez

Our students met with their Professors of the Faculty of Law at the University of Vienna, as well as with Austrian students planning to secure their LLM degree at Santa Clara. It was a wonderful, energetic beginning to the summer, with a dinner featuring traditional Viennese favorites, and much discussion of exciting professional lives ahead.

Students were treated to a most comprehensive introduction to the Evolution of the European Union, and its International Framework.  Lectures explored further the Doctrines and Fundamental Principles, including the free movement of goods, workers, and capital.  The Competition Law of the EU was fully explored.

Interesting discussions were held during our visit to the Austrian Supreme Court, with the Chief Justice lecturing on the Austrian Legal System, and the difference between Civil and Common Law systems.

In addition to the Supreme Court visit, students were welcomed at the National Parliament where they received an excellent survey of the legislative process, and a fascinating presentation on the history of Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Students were invited to spend the day at the National Military Academy where they participated in discussions on the role of the military and the Law of War.

Of course, students freely partook of the pleasures of Vienna, the art, the architecture, the food and drink, and the music, including one memorable evening at the Vienna Opera

At the end of the three weeks of classes, students went on to serve productive externships in a number of private firms in Vienna, and in Budapest. They were given a hands-on opportunity to experience the practice of law on an international scale, supervised by seasoned lawyers who provided excellent guidance and inspiration.

Vienna Summer Abroad 2017

Some photos were winners of this year’s #SCULawAbroad photo contest. Check out our Facebook page to see the videos as well. (

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