Chile. Malta. London. Ireland. Prague. California Western students have access to all of these special places through the law school’s study abroad program.
“You will not be disappointed by any of these programs,” says Professor James M. Cooper, director of the Chile Summer Program at an information session for students on January 7.
“You can’t go wrong! You must do this,” says Professor Ruth M. Hargrove, who has taught at all but one of the summer abroad destinations.
Opportunities to study overseas are part of the school’s membership in CILE, the Consortium for Innovative Legal Education. CILE hosts the programs in Malta, Prague, Ireland, and London, as well as the Chile program, led by Cooper.
California Western’s study abroad program is one of many ways in which the law school demonstrates its global sphere of influence, while greatly enhancing students' cultural and educational horizons.
“You don’t just go to Prague to study torts or international business law, says Vice Dean William J. Aceves. You also go to experience law in another context, to integrate the law system of the other country in the culture in which it is taught. A lawyer should be able to speak and understand the language of diversity.”
“Studying abroad is something I regret not doing in undergrad so I feel like this is my chance to do it now,” 1L Ryan Esse says. “The Chile program is what kind of drew me to California Western.”
Most of the students are eager to sign up, it’s just a matter of which program they think they would enjoy the most.
“I think it would be a great experience and I would learn a lot, so I definitely want to find a program that works for me,” says 1L Megan Mangassarian.
Professor Thomas D. Barton says it is “colossal” that U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will teach in the London program this summer. “To me, London is the most exciting city in the world,” says Barton, who has taught in both the London and Prague programs. ”And Prague is just a beautiful city. It’s delightful.”
“Santiago is the London of South America,” says Cooper, extolling the benefits of the Chile program.
Hargrove also gave five stars to Malta, Prague, and Galway, Ireland as incredible destinations and adds that Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is teaching in Galway this summer.
“There are so many opportunities to travel around Europe with the two-day and three-day weekends Hargrove says.
“There are classes by the way,” says Cooper. “Did I mention there are classes?”
“And the programs still leave time for you to have a summer internship program,” says Hargrove.
1L Luis Gonzalez plans to get the most out of the Chile program. “I’ve been looking into Proyecto ACCESO and working with Professor Cooper and I really like the work they are doing in Chile,” he says. “I think it’s a great place to visit and learn more about their culture and legal system.”
Proyecto ACCESO is a program of California Western School of Law that helps Latin American countries transition to the adversarial legal system used in the U.S. and other democracies.
Cooper tells the students that summer study abroad may be their last opportunity to get away for a long time. “Many students ask themselves if they can afford to go,” says Cooper. “But with the per credit cost at half-price, you can’t afford not to go.”