|• Six full weeks|
|• Six credit hours|
|• Six thousand nine hundred thirty dollars|
Take a stroll down Chancery Lane and visit the Inns of Court. Savor the thousand-year-old roots of America’s legal heritage. Take in a civil trial at the Royal Courts of Justice, or a criminal trial at the Central Criminal Court (the Old Bailey).
Sit in the visitors’ gallery in the House of Lords. Watch Prime Minister David Cameron at work on the floor of the House of Commons. Meet your classmates for tea at the Law Society. Rub shoulders with barristers and solicitors at the Cittie of Yorke, a London pub since 1430 that began primarily serving the legal profession in 1695.The famous Wimbledon tennis championships are held each year during our summer abroad. Tickets to early, quarter-final matches are readily available and not very expensive. It's easy to get from your residence hall to Wimbledon.
According to Professor M. R. Franks, who is directing the program, you can do most of these things at Southern University Law Center’s ninth summer abroad, being held at University College London. The university’s central location is at the very heart of London, with easy access to all of London's many attractions.
Classes meet each morning for four days a week, which leaves every afternoon free for studying and exploring London. There are three 3½-day weekends and two 4½-day weekends. Students can take advantage of Europe's much cheaper airfares (and rail fares) to visit Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany or Greece.
It is anticipated there will be an optional trip to Amsterdam and The Hague to visit the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. All students, regardless of their course selections, are eligible to make the optional trip.
Total cost of the six-week program is $6,930, not including meals, transport and incidentals. Tuition is $3,895 for in-state students and out-of-state students alike. The private room at Schafer House will run $2,786. There is an activity fee of $250. Air transportation is not provided by the university, but should cost $1,200 or less.
A $25 non-refundable application fee is due with the application, which must be filed on or before 20 April 2012. A non-refundable deposit of $350 is due six weeks after acceptance or 3 May 2013, whichever is earlier. The deposit will be applied towards tuition. Applications are available on line. The first fifty qualified applicants will be accepted, and students from all 191 law schools in the United States may apply, so be sure to apply early to guarantee yourself a place. Enrollment will be capped at fifty students.
Tuition does not include meals, books, air fare, residence hall rent, bus or tube fare (including fare to and from destinations in Legal London). An estimate for air fare is $1,200.
Students are offered dormitory rooms with private basin, clustered in groups of four surrounding baths and kitchen facilities. The total housing cost is $2,786 (about $66 per day). All rooms are single-occupancy. The residence hall has coin-operated laundry facilities. Students wishing to live off campus must obtain prior approval of the program director.
Food has not been included in the $6,930 estimated cost, as students would have to eat even if they stayed in the United States. A conservative estimate for food is anticipated to be about $1,500. (Food in London, like food in New York, costs more than it does in Baton Rouge!) No allowance has been made for entertainment, souvenir shopping, transport or weekend trips to Paris, Dublin or Amsterdam. Exchange rates fluctuate and prices of air transportation and food are estimates only. Exchange rates are not guaranteed.
Professor Franks points out that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend six full weeks abroad: “After graduation, you will be busy studying for the bar, not seeing the world. After that, you’ll have a regular job with two weeks of vacation each summer. Getting to know Europe well on one of those two-week vacations is next to impossible. (The tour bus driver tells you, ‘Over your left shoulder are the Royal Courts of Justice.’ And that’s about as close as you’ll get.) Of course, you can always wait to see Europe when you retire at age 65.”
Students will take two three-hour courses. In the 8:30 a.m. session, students will choose between "European Law" and "International Criminal Law." In the 10:30 session, students will choose between "Private International Law" (the international version of Conflict of Laws), and "Comparative Constitutional Law" (an internationalized version of American Constitutional Law on individual liberties, including some comparisons with other countries).
Our residence in London, Schafer House is situated about five minutes’ walk from UCL, just north of the Euston Road. The accommodation is arranged as self-contained flats, all with their own kitchen/dining area. Students have their own single rooms, each with its own computer data point. Rooms are centrally heated, carpeted, and each has a washbasin. There is a launderette, computer cluster room, TV lounge and a bicycle rack.
With kitchens accessible to all, students may choose to cook their own meals or dine out. Sainsbury’s and Tesco have just about everything one can find at Kroger or Winn Dixie or HEB. Students can open tin cans, microwave frozen entrées, or do gourmet cooking, all at their pleasure. Economical breakfast and lunch are served at the university cafeteria. Many nearby pubs serve a hearty pub lunch. Sandwich shops are everywhere, and excellent sandwiches can be had at fair prices. Ethnic restaurants abound, and everything from Jamaican to Greek to Italian food is available. London has about 350 McDonalds to choose from, as well as a large number of Burger Kings, Wendy’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, and Domino’s.
Financial aid is available. Now is a good time for students to start planning financially. Passports are needed, and Professor Franks reminds us that now is a wise time to apply for one. Those who wait until the last minute to apply for a passport will be disappointed, as passports may take three months once the summer rush begins. It is absolutely impossible to travel to England without a passport. All you need to obtain a passport are your birth certificate, driver's license, and two passport-sized photos meeting Passport Office specifications. These can be obtained from AAA, FedEx Office (Kinko’s) or most any professional photographer. Application for a first passport must be made in person. In Baton Rouge, applications are made at the main post office downtown on Florida Street. The New Orleans passport office keeps very limited hours by appointment only. If you already have a passport, check the renewal date now to make sure that your passport does not expire before February 2014. Some countries require six months’ remaining validity for entry.
Professor Franks, as director of the summer-abroad program, says, “We’ll see you in London this summer.” Do contact him for further information to make that a reality for you.
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