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The Wake Forest University Venice Summer Program 2013


July 1 – July 25, 2013

The Wake Forest School of Law and the Faculty of Law of the University of Padua have an agreement for cooperation in teaching activities, research initiatives and academic exchange. The Venice summer program is the main part of this cooperation.

The summer program in Venice runs for four weeks during the month of July. Two courses are offered. You may enroll in only one of the courses, which are both designed for students who have completed their first year of law school. As far as Italian and European students are concerned,  in principle you should have at least passed general institutional exams of private and public law -see below for further indications.

The program introduces students to topics of European and comparative law. Expected enrollment is 15-25 students from U.S. law schools, and classes include a similar number of Italian an European law students. In the past, students have visited courts, law offices, government buildings, and sites around the Venetian lagoon — according to the content of the courses taught.
This year, moreover, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the recently retired President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom,will be a guest lecturer on July 17th and 18th 2013.

Courses Offered

Courses for the 2013 summer program in Venice are:


Comparative Health Care Law, taught by Professor Mark A. Hall:
This course will compare the basic structure of health care delivery and finance in the U.S., including the recent Affordable Care Act, with the major models from European systems.  The course will also explore how European civil law countries differ on basic areas of medical law doctrine, such as malpractice, informed consent, organ donations, and “the right to die.”

Law, Literature, and Culture (Examples from Italy, and some detours), taught by WF School of Law Dean Prof. Richard Schneider:
The study of legal themes in great literature has been a significant complement to more traditional classwork in law schools.  Students learn to approach traditional problems in non-traditional ways, leading often to better outcomes.  So, how about reading a bit of Dante in the city where he became fatally sick, asking why he was so obsessed by punishment, and then visiting his tomb in Ravenna?  How about reading why a famous writer named Gustav came to Venice, stayed, and died when he could have left?  How about examining Italo Calvino’s Baron in the Trees to ask how and why literature can affect law?  Finally, how about reading a Donna Leon mystery (or two) and literally following in the footsteps of Commissario Brunetti as he solves Venetian crimes?  Law, Literature, and Culture transplanted onto Italian soil will focus on interpretation, analysis, and group discussion of seminal works of literature and how those works can be read in a legal context.  The authors we read will include Dante, Cesare Pavese, Leonard Sciascia, Dario Fo, and Donna Leon.  We will also spend some sessions discussing Italian cinema instead of books (e.g., The Bicycle Thief, Divorce Italian Style, and The Tree of Wooden Clogs).  No prerequisite is required.  Grades will be based on participation and a paper to be completed by September 2013.

American Students

On the American Side, the program is open to Wake Forest law students, as well as law students from other U.S. law schools. Interested students should refer to the Wake Forest University School of Law              .


University of Padua Students and European Students

On the Italian side, the Program is also open to Italian and European law students, who can enroll on the same basis as their American colleagues.

Italian and more generally European students are an integral part of the summer program. Those students, selected on the basis of their English proficiency and interest in comparative law, participate in the courses and all program activities. In the past, Italian law students and recent graduates have come to the program primarily from the law faculty of the University of Padua, as well as the Universities of Venice, Ferrara, Florence and Bologna.

Requests coming from students enrolled at the University of Padua School of Law, on a regular basis or as exchange students, will be given preference, regardless of their nationality.


Students enrolled at the University of Padua will have their credits and grades recognized by the Padua Law School, provided they  pass a final exam to be defined with Professors Hall and Schneider.



For University of Padua students, an information session will take place on May 9th, 2013 at the Padua School of Law

Extramural cultural and social activities

External cultural and social activities will be organised, comprising inter alia a visit to the District Court, with the attendance to a hearing, a guided tour of the University, and social events.
Participants will be required to pay a participation fee.


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