Loyola hosts law students from German partner law school
Loyola University Chicago’s Office of International LLM Programs recently hosted students and faculty from the University of Hamburg Law School for a one-week visit in September. Prof. Dr. Dr. Milan Kuhli, a professor of law at the University, accompanied ten students to Chicago to study and experience U.S. law. The visit is part of a unique intercultural exchange program facilitated by Loyola and supported by the University of Hamburg. Organized with assistance from Christoph Lichtenfeld of Chicago Sister Cities International, students had the opportunity to stay in private residences in Chicago neighborhoods and immerse themselves in the city’s many rich cultural offerings.
The Hamburg students were selected from over 30 applicants to enroll in a seminar about U.S. and comparative law at their law school. The seminar’s highlight is a visit to Loyola University Chicago, designed to introduce US-style legal education and the professional legal world in a major U.S. city. The visitors enjoyed a full program that included lectures and meetings with practitioners from various legal fields.
After an introduction to legal research by Julie Grant, Loyola’s international librarian, the students conducted research on their seminar papers in Loyola’s law library. They learned how to “Write Like a Lawyer” in a lively and engaging presentation by Karen Shaw, Loyola’s Director of Graduate Legal Studies. In a presentation hosted by the Loyola’s Foreign Lawyers Association, Professor James Hagy provided insight into skills necessary to advise international clients in global transactions. Joining Loyola’s international LLM students in their course “Introduction to U.S. Law,” taught by Insa Blanke, Executive Director of International LLM Programs, they experienced the U.S. participatory and discussion-based teaching style. In addition to observing jury trials in the Circuit Court, the German students visited two presentations at the law firms Barnes & Thornburg and Sidley Austin. Judge Sheila Murphy fascinated them with an account of her lifelong focus on restorative justice in her work as a public defender, private attorney, trial judge, and court administrator. Rebekah Azar-Rashidfarokhi, Director of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, introduced the visitors to the extensive network of volunteer attorneys who donate free legal services to thousands of low-income residents of Chicago.
“The visit opened the German law students’ eyes to various aspects of the common law system that differ from the German civil law system,” said Blanke, who organized the program. “And the personal exchange with legal professionals added to their understanding of the particular U.S. legal culture. Overall, the students were taken by the beauty of the city and its diversity, as well as by the friendliness and hospitality of Chicagoans—not to mention all that they learned in the process.”