Summer Abroad 2018 Wrap-Up

Costa Rica 2018 – Francisco Rivera Juaristi

“Great program! [The professors] taught it in a way that made it easy to learn. Great site visits and being able to go to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and see a proceeding was a once-in-a-lifetime experience!” This was a student’s evaluation of his experience in Santa Clara Law’s Costa Rica Program this summer.

Students from Santa Clara Law and other law schools across the U.S. spent three weeks in Costa Rica learning international human rights law from some of the leading experts in this field. They also traveled to Costa Rica’s countryside to learn first-hand from pineapple and banana plantation workers who complain of grave labor rights violations and environmental and health risks. As another student put it, “This program was amazing! I will be recommending it to everyone!”

Costa Rica Summer Abroad 2018

Geneva 2018 – Claudia Josi

“The program was very exciting and a once in a lifetime experience!”, “This program was wonderful.” – those are only some of the voices from our students.

The 2018 Geneva Summer Program was, once again, a great experience! Over 25 students from Santa Clara Law and other law schools around the country 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, and some of them the amazing externship opportunities our partners offer.

The Geneva program also gave 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 Health Organization, and the United Nations Children’s Fund, talking to their staff, as well as some of our alumni working there. 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.

Geneva Summer Abroad 2018

Students enjoyed weekend trips all throughout Europe, paragliding in the Alps, a hot summer and lots of swimming in the lake of Geneva. And again, the final boat trip with swiss cheese and wine on Lake Geneva was the (social) highlight for our students of this year’s exciting program.

Additionally, this year, 15 students were able to secure one of the very competitive internships right after the Geneva program and worked at highly respected human rights institutions in Geneva, Ireland, London, Malta, and even Ghana, researching cutting edge human rights issues, such as police reform and detention issues, as well as in the legal assistance of refugees in Europe.

One student shared the following feedback in the weekly report: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time with CHRI. I was excited about the variety of projects available as this helped the experience not be overtly monotonous and gave me many different ways to experience international law from an advocacy position, rather than a litigation position.”

Their feedback was enthusiastic and many wished they could have stayed longer: “The externship was amazing, but I was not able to do everything I wanted to accomplish because there wasn’t enough time.” As a result, some students even decided to continue their work with their host organizations remotely after coming back home, or to go back next summer to continue working with their organizations.

Overall, we are excited that our students again enjoyed their experience in our Geneva program that much, and were able to grow such much, personally as well as professionally!

The Hague 2018 – David Sloss

We had another successful program in the Hague in 2018. Twenty-three students attended, including six from Santa Clara, six from Lewis and Clark, and seven students from Western State University College of Law.

Over the course of twelve days in the Hague, we visited the International Criminal Court, the UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and the Organization for Prevention of Chemical Weapons. The students got an opportunity to observe trials in progress in two different criminal tribunals. We met with a wide variety of judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys, as well as other staff members from the various organizations. Elizabeth Little, a Santa Clara Law alum who works at the International Criminal Court, played a key role in organizing visits to the various institutions. The students generally reported that it was a fantastic learning experience.

The Hague Summer Abroad 2018

Oxford 2018 – Cathy Sandoval

The 2018 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,” “Comparative Environmental Law,” and “Human Rights Law.” They prepared a weekly paper on issues in the area of law they chose, discussing and defending their papers with their professor. The Oxford tutorial is intellectually very stimulating and fulfilling for both the student and professor. 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,” “European Climate Change Solutions in Light of Brexit,” “Rights of UK Citizens in the European Community and EU Citizens in the UK after Brexit,” “Victim Participation in the Khmer Rouge Trials,” “Parliamentary Sovereignty in the UK,” and “Internet Regulation to Protect Democracy and Critical Infrastructure.” The depth of each presentation and breath of the topics and the information that the professors bring to these seminars also make it a pedagogical success.

Oxford Summer Abroad 2018

We also visited London and observed oral arguments on a case before the United Kingdom Supreme Court regarding the rights of Scotland with regard to Brexit, the United Kingdom’s proposed exit from the European Community. We observed a criminal trial in Oxford including questioning of a witness in one case, and sentencing of a defendant in another case. The lawyers and judges all wore the wigs and robes required of barristers and jurists in the United Kingdom. We also visited with the Law Firm of Reed Smith in London and learned about their global law practice including their counseling of clients involved in transactions where international sanctions laws may become an issue, such as shipping transactions. It was great opportunity to learn about legal practice from the classroom, to the law firm, to the district court and the UK Supreme Court. The program is very nice balance of legal theory and reality.

As an Oxford graduate who earned a Master’s in Politics at St. Anthony’s College Oxford before graduating from law school, Professor Sandoval appreciated the opportunity to guide the Oxford summer law program participants. Students took an oath to get their library cards from this ancient university, some reciting the oath in Latin. Professor Sandoval encouraged students to embrace Oxford’s tutorial method which focuses on asking good questions, rather than on summary or conclusions.

Of course there was time for fun too! Oxford is an amazing city with many buildings including parts of Magdalen College dating to the 1200s, as does the University of Oxford. We enjoyed Oxford’s lovely parks including the deer park at Magdalen College where we stayed and the seminars we taught. Several students went punting on the Thames River, and we enjoyed cheering the participants in the World Cup as we shared the hopes of the English people for their team.

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 Oxford summer law program by Santa Clara University has been running for over 40 years and we hope it continues in the City of Dreaming Spires, Oxford, for many more years.

Shanghai 2018 – Deep Gulasekaram

This past summer, we had a fun and energetic group of 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.

Shanghai Summer Abroad 2018

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.

Singapore 2018 – Tseming Yang & Anna Han

Even though we just missed the Trump-Kim North Korea Nuclear Summit and unfortunately did not get the benefit of the Singapore-themed “Crazy Rich Asians” movie, our group of students nevertheless received an excellent introduction to Business and the Environment and enjoyed the tastes and sights of this remarkable City-state. The group was small but made up for it with enthusiasm and engagement in this new course topic. Course coverage featured introductions to the basics of business law and environmental law, as well as hot issues such as the law governing global climate change, corporate social responsibility and sustainability policies of large multinational corporations such as GE and Citi, and transnational law practice in project finance for environmental and energy infrastructure. Our lecturers included world-renowned professors, practitioners, and experts, as well as a lecture by Director Anna Wong, a senior official with the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore, on interdiction of illegal wildlife trade. A follow-on externship at a well-respected Singapore law firm provided valuable experience in international business law practice.

Singapore Summer Abroad 2018

Outside-of-classroom trip highlights were visits to the Singapore Supreme Court, the Singapore International Arbitration Center, and the NEWater Visitor Center, Singapore’s showcase for its successful water recycling program. At NEWater, we were given not only a comprehensive lecture on Singapores water policies, which have created a system that turns sewage into water pure enough for silicon wafer manufacture, but also a guided VIP tour of the water treatment facility.

In their spare time, students explored the city’s sights and landmarks, such as the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and the Gardens by the Bay, and made weekend excursions to nearby Bali and resort cities in Thailand. Among the local Singapore culture and tastes we enjoyed were British-style Afternoon Tea and traditional Peranakkan cuisine, the special fusion food of the Malayan-Chinese of Southeast Asia. The climax of the fabulous street food experience was dining at the world’s cheapest 1 Michelin-star rated restaurant, the Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice restaurant – less than US$3 for its signature chicken rice meal.

We look forward to being back in Singapore next year.

Sydney 2018 – Evangeline Abriel

In the Sydney program 2018, we had a wonderful opportunity to explore two areas of law – refugee law and international environmental law – from the 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. 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.

Sydney Summer Abroad 2018

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 holding a wombat!) and the beautiful Blue Mountains. Students also loved their whale-watching trip, with several sightings of these amazing creatures. We rounded out our visit with a jaunt on the Boomerang, built in 1903 and beautifully restored by the Sydney Heritage Fleet, to take in VIVID, Sydney’s annual light and sound festival.

We are particularly proud of the work our students did in their volunteer placements following the classes. Four students were placed with refugee law offices, where they provided much-needed assistance for asylum applications. A fifth extern went to a large law firm in Fiji, where she worked on a broad spectrum of fascinating matters, including admiralty and human rights cases.

We look forward to another rewarding Sydney program in 2019!

Tokyo 2018 – Donald Polden

The Law School’s Summer 2018 Program in Tokyo was again a successful educational experience for law students. Law students from 5 law schools in the United States, including 6 students from Santa Clara, attended the program. Most of the students stayed on in Tokyo for externships with law firms in Japan for the rest of the summer. The program director for the program was Professor Donald Polden and he was very capably assisted by Tokyo lawyer (and graduate of a previous Santa Clara summer program in Tokyo, Marcus Kosins. The 2018 summer program marks the 41st year that Santa Clara has hosted an educational program for American law students in Tokyo.

The program was held at the Asia Center in Tokyo and the faculty and courses taught in the program were:

Tokyo Summer Abroad 2018
  • Prof. Keisuke Abe: Japan Legal System, Part 1
  • Prof. Yasuhei Taniguchi and Professor Kyoko Ishida: Japan Legal System, Part 2
  • Prof. Philip Jimenez: International Business Transactions
  • Prof. Mitsuo Matsushita: International Trade
  • Mr. Yoshiyuki Inaba (partner at TMI Associates): Japan Patent & Trademark Law

In addition to the classes taken by students, they also visited several key law related agencies or groups in Tokyo, including the Japan Diet (legislature), the Ministry of Justice, the Japan Patent Office and the Japan Supreme Court. These visits included meetings with key officials and instructors from those governmental agencies.

Student reviews of the faculty, courses and the program were again very strong and the law school is planning the 42nd annual program in Summer of 2019.

Vienna 2018 – Philip Jimenez

On the first evening, our students met with their Professors, Faculty of Law, University of Vienna, as well as with Austrian students planning to secure 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 addressed. 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 a full day at the National Military Academy in Wiener Neustadt, where they participated in discussions on the role of the military and the Law of War. We were treated to a lunch at the Officers’ Club.

VIENNA Summer Abroad 2018

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. During the visit to the Military Academy in Wiener Neustadt, students were able to visit the apartment, in the town of Baden, where Ludwig von Beethoven composed major portions of his 9th Symphony.

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 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.

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

top of page