The Paris Program will be on hiatus for the 2014-15 academic year. We expect to offer an updated program Summer, 2016. Please email Professor Leslie Burton with any questions at

The following information refers to the Summer 2013 program and remains below for informational purposes.

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The Summer Comparative Law Program operates in Paris each June. The program is jointly administered by Golden Gate University School of Law, Albany Law School, and the University of Paris Ouest (also called Nanterre). All classes are held on the Nanterre campus. The program encourages students from other law schools to apply.

Nanterre Map - Universit Paris Ouest Nanterre - Service Communication

All of our courses will be held on the Nanterre campus. Nanterre was built in the 1960's as an extension of the Sorbonne. It has a modern, American-style campus (the second largest in France). Nanterre welcomes 35,000 to 40,000 students every year in all fields of studies, but it is especially renowned in the fields of Law and Economics. The former president of France, Nicholas Sarkozy, is a graduate of Nanterre.

Nanterre University Map( Universit Paris Ouest Nanterre - Service Communication)

GGU classroom

photo credit:Steve Cadman

Nanterre is located on the western edge of Paris, near the business district (La Defense). Paris's great public transportation system and easy walkability make all of its sights within easy reach of Nanterre. The program will provide each student with a transit pass.

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Nanterre Campus Social Sciences Building - Universit Paris Ouest Nanterre - Service Communication

Photo Universit Paris Ouest Nanterre - Service Communication

The structure of the summer program's classes is unique. Unlike many other law schools' programs, this program does more than transport Americans to a city in Europe, where they might be taught in isolation by the same professors they would have at home. Instead, each class is team-taught in English by both a French professor and an American professor. Further, the program seeks to integrate its American students into the French classroom experience by welcoming French students into the program. In fact, we often have 20-40 French students attend, along with some students from other EU countries. Most classes meet in the afternoon, usually between 1:30 and 5 pm, leaving ample time for inter-cultural activities and sightseeing.

The program is divided into two session lasting two weeks each. During the first session (weeks 1 and 2), all students take a single two-unit course, Introduction to French & EU Law. The course is co-taught by our French co-director, Professor Anne Deysine of Nanterre, and an American Professor. Classes typically meet four days a week, usually three 60-75 minute sessions each afternoon between 1:30 and 5 pm. The classes include lectures by faculty, lawyers, public officials and judges from law firms, courts, and agencies.

During the first session we will take off-campus excursions, visiting major international law firms and at least two of the three French Supreme Courts (Civil/Criminal Court; Administrative Court; and the Constitutional Court) to attend lectures by members of the Court). We also will take an overnight trip to Brussels to visit the European Commission and speak with commissioners.

During the second session (weeks 3 and 4), students will choose one of several two-unit comparative law courses. In the second session, classes will include French and other EU law students, and will be team-taught in English by a French law professor from the Nanterre faculty and an American law professor. Students will attend class four days a week for two or three 60-75 minute sessions each day, usually between 1:30 and 5 pm, sometimes followed by a 60-90 minute panel or mini-conference on a topic of comparative law. Panels consist of presentations by judges, well-respected academics, and lawyers, each of whom have insight into particular aspects of foreign and comparative law.


The courses offered in Summer 2013 are: Introduction to French & EU Law; Comparative Corporate Law; Comparative Fundamental Rights; and Comparative Trial Practice. Introduction to French & EU Law is required and worth 2 units. The student will choose one other course from among the other three, each of which is worth 2 units. Total units for the summer are 4. No prerequisites exist for any of the courses. See heading "Course Descriptions" for more detail.




Introduction to French & EU Law
Doni Gewirtzman
Anne Deysine
Comparative Corporate Law
Christine Sgarlata Chung
Katrin Deckert
Comparative Fundamental Rights
Eric Christiansen
Stephanie Hennette-Vauchez
Comparative Trial Practice
Laurie Shanks
Marjolaine Roccati
GGU classroom

Students have the option to be housed in dorm-style single rooms at the beautiful Cit International Universitaire de Paris (CIUP). CIUP is a small-scale international city in miniature for more than 5,000 students. Created in 1920, it contains 37 houses (maisons), each in a unique architectural style honoring a different country.CIUP is located in the southern section of Paris (14th arrondissement), not far from the Luxembourg Gardens. It has its own Metro stop, making all of the sights of Paris convenient. The cost for a single room is $1250 for June 1-30.


The program will arrange for month-long unpaid internships in the Paris metropolitan area for interested students. The internships will take place in July, immediately following the June academic program. There are two different opportunities: private firm placements and judicial placements.

The private firm placements allow students to work at small and medium-sized French firms with international practices or in the offices of large international firms. (Most of the work is transactional but some litigation work is available.) Past placements have included the best French firms as well as international players like Ernst & Young; Latham & Watkins; and Allen & Overy. No French language skills are necessary for the private firm placements; the work is in English.

Judicial internships allow students to work one-on-one with French judges, researching issues related to foreign and international law for criminal and civil trial courts. French language skills are required for the judicial internships. Students must pay a fee of approximately 400 euros for any of these placements. The deadline to apply for private firm internships is March 15. The deadline to apply for judicial internships is March 1.

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Of course, the program is not all work and no play. Few cities offer students as much to see or do as the incomparable "City of Lights." Moreover, the program will organize group activities, such as a cruise on the Seine, a group dinner in the Latin Quarter, and a night out on the town with French law students.

U.S. and French flags


For Participants from the United States & Common Law Countries

This introduction to French and European Law has two main goals. The first is to provide a solid foundation for understanding both the French legal system, which relies on statutory law and codes as its primary source of law, and the unique European legal system, which relies on treaties as its primary source of law, along with regulations and directives.The second goal is to study key legal terminology in order to avoid common misunderstandings that arise between French and American lawyers. In particular, we will explore some of the fundamental differences that lurk behind deceptively similar terms, such as contrat in French and contract in English.

This course will also cover a wide variety of particular topics. We will examine the specialized French court system, paying attention to the three French Superior Courts and to the difference between the French Conseil Constitutionnel and the U.S. Supreme Court. We will examine how courts are integrated into the larger European system and look at the two most basic areas of civil law, contrat and responsabilit dlictuelle, which are the functional equivalents of contract and tort in Anglo-American law. In both cases, we will examine the profound effects that European law has on French law and courts and will emphasize the need for students to understand the European legal system as a complex continuum in which domestic laws and courts interact directly with international laws and courts. We will illustrate the operation of this system through a case study.

During the two-week course, students will have opportunities to visit French courts; interact with a number of French, European, and American lawyers; and take a field trip to Brussels, where they will hear lectures by members of the European Commission or its staff.


This course examines the various strategies (regulatory and governance) that are used in different legal systems to address corporate law: mediating the tensions between owners and managers, majority owners and minority owners, and the corporation and society. The primary comparison will be between French/EU law and U.S. law.


This course examines issues of equality (civil rights), including hate speech (France, Germany, U.S.); same-sex marriage (France, Denmark, U.S.); sexual harassment (France, U.S.); affirmative action (France, India, U.S.); discrimination remedies (France, Britain, U.S.); religious apparel in public schools (France, Turkey, U.S.); and reparations (Germany, U.S.).


This course explores trials as conducted in Europe (and particularly, in France) with trials as conducted in the U.S. The difference between the inquisitorial system and the advocacy systems are many, including the use of juries and the rules about the admission of evidence. The policies behind the differences are also discussed.

Passport and currency in back pocket
U.S., Canadian, & Common Law-Country Students:
  • Tuition: $4,950 for four units of semester credit.
  • Fees: $ 610 for welcome dinner, reception, and cruise on the Seine; Month-long French Metro Card: Overnight field trip to Brussels; Books, readers and other program materials; Receptions with French lawyers, judges and government officials; and French liability insurance.
  • Total program cost (not including housing): $5,560
  • Housing: $1,250 for a single room in the Cit Universitaire dorms from June 1-30.
  • Meals: These figures above do not include meals. During the week, CIUP maintains a restaurant with subsidized meals for dorm residents. Three set menus are available each weekday for prices between $4-7 per meal. Students must budget for weekend meals. Plan on spending between $500-1,000.
  • Airfare: Airfare is expected to be between $1,000-1,500.
  • Entertainment and misc: These numbers will vary widely by individual but students should plan to budget for about $500.
U.S. and Canadian Students, & Other Students from Common Law Countries / Systems:
  • Students from the United States must have completed at least one year of legal studies and be in good standing at an accredited law school.
  • Students from Canada and other common law countries must have completed at least one year of graduate legal studies, or three years of undergraduate legal studies, and be in good standing at an accredited school.
  • After acceptance, each applicant must submit an official transcript and a letter of good standing from the home law school Registrar, along with the Deposit Form.
  • The Deposit Form must be accompanied by a $250 non-refundable deposit fee, which will be applied toward the program fees. (Only students who are not accepted can receive a refund of the application fee.)

For more information, U.S, Canadian, and common-law-country students should email the program at

EU Students & Students from Other Civil Law Countries:
  • Participating European Union students must have completed at least three years of legal studies in France or another European country.
  • Students from other civil law countries/systems must have completed at least three years of legal studies and must have a strong academic record.
  • Applicants must submit proof of fluency in English.
  • Applicants must submit an official transcript and a letter of good standing from their school.

The program is jointly administered by three law schools: Golden Gate University School of Law, Albany Law School, and University of Paris Ouest (Nanterre).

The Co-directors of the Program are:
Director (FR)
Anne Deysine +33 1 6 81 95 45 76
Director (U.S.)
Leslie Burton +1-415-442-6629
Albany Coordinator (U.S.)
Christine Sgarlata Chung +1-518-445-3389
Program Assistant (FR)
Elena Andreescu +33 6 81 95 45 76
Program Assistant (FR)
Graldine Blanche +33 1 71 39 42 44
Albany Law Dean
Penelope Andrews +1-518-445-2380
GGU Law Dean
Rachel Van Cleave +1-415-442-6601

Leslie Burton of Golden Gate University School of Law holds a BA magna cum laude from University of Portland, a JD cum laude from Santa Clara Law School and an LLM with Highest Honors from Golden Gate University School of Law. She is a Professor of Legal Writing and directs the LLM in U.S. Legal Studies program. She is a Fulbright recipient and has taught in Prague, Brno, Istanbul, and Germany. Before becoming a member of the faculty, she was a clerk to the Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento, a deputy district attorney and a bankruptcy litigator. She will not be teaching in Paris this summer, but will be the Administrative Coordinator of the program.

Eric C. Christiansen of Golden Gate University School of Law received a BA from the University of Notre Dame, an MA from the University of Chicago Divinity School, and a JD from New York University School of Law (where he was a Root-Tilden Public Interest Law Scholar). He was a Center for Transitional Justice Fellow, resulting in a position as a foreign law clerk to the Chief Justice of the South African Constitutional Court. He currently teaches U.S. and comparative constitutional law and researches in the areas of comparative constitutional history, social welfare rights, and the rights of sexual minorities. Prior to joining academia, Professor Christiansen was in private practice, specializing in international capital markets for the London office of Latham & Watkins. He will be teaching Comparative Fundamental Rights.

Christine Sgarlata Chung of Albany Law School graduated from Amherst College magna cum laude and from Harvard Law School cum laude. She was appointed assistant professor of law in 2010, joined Albany Law's faculty in 2007 as assistant clinical professor of law and director of the Securities Arbitration Clinic. She was previously a partner at Goodwin Procter LLP, where she was a member of the firm's securities and white-collar crime practice groups. She also served as Branch Chief of the Enforcement Division of the United States Securities and Exchange Commissions. Professor Chung's research interests include regulatory architecture and regulatory reform, risk management (including systemic risk management), compliance, corporate governance and feminist jurisprudence, with a focus on the challenges facing financial institutions and their customers, investors and employees. She co-directs the program and will also teach Comparative Corporate Law.

Anne Deysine of the University of Paris X (Nanterre) holds her JD (Licence et Maitrise en Droit) and LLM(DES) from the University of Paris II School of Law, and her Ph.D. in political science, University of Paris. She also holds a degree from the Paris Institut d'Etudes Politiques.Professor Deysine is the author of numerous works of legal scholarship, in French and English. She regularly teaches Comparative Political & Legal systems, International Business Transactions and Drafting & negotiating of International Contracts as well as cross-cultural communication and negotiation. In the Paris summer program Professor Deysine is a co-Director of the summer program and also co-teaches Introduction to French and EU Law.

Katrin Deckert of Nanterre is a Professor as well as Deputy Secretary-General of the International Academy of Comparative Law. She studied law in different universities in France and Germany. She holds a PhD in German, French and European corporate and securities law from Panthon-Sorbonne University (Paris, France) and the University of Hamburg (Germany). She was Research Fellow at Pantheon-Sorbonne University, research and teaching assistant at Panthon-Assas University in Paris, Research Assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, Lecturer in German Law at Paris-Est Crteil University, and Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. She teaches and researches in German, French and European civil, corporate and capital markets law as well as in comparative law. She will be teaching Comparative Corporate Law.

Doni Gewirtzman of New York Law School holds a BA (High Honors) from Wesleyan University and a JD from UC Berkeley College of Law. He joined the faculty after serving as the Vanderbilt Fellow at Vanderbilt Law School and as the Co-Associate Director/ Acting Assistant Professor of Law at New York University School of Law's Lawyering Program. His areas of interest are constitutional law and theory and he has written extensively on these subjects. He was the recipient of NYLS's teaching award in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Before entering academia, Professor Gewirtzman was a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison and a Skadden Fellow at Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. While at Lambda, he represented the mother of Brandon Teena, a Nebraska teen whose murder was portrayed in the film Boys Don't Cry, in a wrongful death suit against a local police department. Gewirtzman will co-teach Introduction to French and EU Law.

Stephanie Hennette-Vauchez of Nanterre is a Professor of Public Law. After graduating from Sciences Po, she obtained her PhD at the Universit Paris I Panthon Sorbonne in 2000, and was appointed as an assistant professor in 2001 and a full professor in 2002. She also was a Fulbright post-doctoral research scholar at Northwestern University in 2000 and a Marie Curie Fellow at the European University Institute under the European Commission's FP7 from 2008 to 2010. Her main research interests lie in the field of legal theory, human rights law and critical approaches to human rights law theory. She is strongly committed to the introduction of critical approaches to human rights law -- and of feminist legal theory in particular -- in the curriculum of French law schools. She will co-teach Comparative Fundamental Rights.

Marjolaine Roccati of Nanterre obtained a Masters in Private International Law at Paris Sud University (Paris XI), a Diploma of English Translation in Legal Field at the Institute of Interpretation and Translation, and a PhD in European Law and Private International Law at Nanterre. She has conducted research at the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law (Lausanne, Switzerland) and at Max Planck Institute in Comparative Law & Private International Law (Hamburg, Germany). She worked at the Court of Justice of the European Union (Luxembourg), in the Office of the General Advocate. She is now a Lecturer in Private Law at Nanterre University, where she teaches Introduction to Law, Civil Law (Contracts & Torts), UK Civil Procedure, Private International Law and European Law. In the summer program she will co-teach Comparative Trial Practice.

Laurie Shanks of Albany Law School holds both a BS and a JD from Arizona State University. She Joined Albany Law School in 1989 after being in private practice in Phoenix, where she concentrated on criminal defense and personal injury litigation. She was the training director for the Maricopa County Public Defender's Office and served as a a judge pro tem. Teaches CLE seminars and trial advocacy workshops throughout the nation. She also serves on Judge Kaye's task force on wrongful convictions and the state bar's committee on the future of indigent defense, as well as a referee for the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Professor Shanks is a frequently quoted resource for reporters around the country. She will co-teach Comparative Trial Practice.

GGU classroom

The Paris Program will be on hiatus for the 2013-14 academic year. We expect to offer an updated program in Summer, 2016. Please email Professor Leslie Burton with any questions at

Professor Leslie Burton

Golden Gate University School of Law
Co-Directors GGU/UPO Summer Law Program

Professor Christine Sgrarlata Chung

Albany Law School
80 New Scotland Ave.
Albany, NY 12208-3494

Liberte Egalite Fraternite


Enrollment is not limited to GGU or Albany students. Anyone can apply!

Over the eight years that GGU has operated the program, it has welcomed American students from 34 other American law schools, in addition to one student from the UK and one from Canada, as well as approximately 130 French/EU students. Last year we also had a student from Romania and one from Russia.

In 2012, GGU had not yet entered into a partnership with Albany Law School. The program enrolled 56 students, of which 34 were from French and other EU countries. GGU students represented 16 of the remaining 22. The non-GGU students came from Ave Marie, UC Berkeley, Charlotte, Maryland, Nova Southeastern, Thomas Jefferson, and Victoria (Canada). In 2013 we anticipate at least several students from Albany as well.

In 2011, the program enrolled 67 students, of which 29 were from French and other EU countries. Of the remaining 38, GGU students represented 27 and other U.S. law schools represented 11.

The 2011 figures are more consistent with enrollment in past summers. Enrollment of American students decreased in 2012, while enrollment of French/EU students increased. It has been more typical in previous years to enroll 42-54 American students each year, along with 19-34 French/other EU students.


  • Program will be limited to 60 U.S./Canadian/common law country students and 40 EU/civil law country students.
  • Most EU students participating in the program probably will be French nationals but we anticipate that we may have students from other European and non-European countries represented as well.
  • Introduction to French and European Union law (2 credits) will be limited to 60 students (United States, Canada, and other common law students only).
  • The specialized comparative law elective courses will be limited to 25 students each. Some students may not receive their first choice from among the elective courses.


Once you are accepted, you will receive a Deposit Form that you must return along with a U.S. $250 non-refundable fee. (The fee is refundable only to students who are not accepted into the program.) Payment in full is due by April 21. Alternatively, students can submit letters from their home school's Financial Aid Office stating that the student has applied for financial aid to pay for the program and that the application is pending. No course credits will be awarded until payment in full is received.


  • U.S./Canadian/common-law-country students will earn 4 semester units of credit from Golden Gate University School of Law, except for students from Albany Law School, who will receive credit from Albany Law School.
  • EU students may arrange for credits through University of Paris Ouest (Nanterre).
  • No course credit is awarded for internships.
  • It is unlikely that participation in a foreign summer program could be used to accelerate graduation. Students interested in acceleration should contact their home schools to review this issue in light of ABA Standard 305, Interpretation 4.


  • Students will be expected to attend all class meetings, prepare for classes by reading the assigned material, and participate in class discussions.
  • Grades will be based on a two-hour in-class exam administered on the final Friday or Saturday of each session.
  • GGU permits faculty to award the following grades: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, and D.
  • No mandatory grading curve will apply to these courses.
  • Acceptance of any grade or credit for any course taken in the program is subject to the policies and determination of the students' home schools.


Liberte Egalite Fraternite
Mobility Disabilities

The classrooms and law library at Nanterre are accessible for people using wheelchairs, as are the public rooms at CIUP. French consciousness of the importance of providing access to people with disabilities is similar to that in the United States. Paris, however, is an old city, and its cobblestone streets and sidewalks, which often lack curb cuts, can be very challenging to navigate. Students with disabilities who wish to enroll in the program should consult the program directors regarding their specific needs to be sure they can be accommodated.

Other Disabilities

Students with disabilities that may require (or have typically required) accommodations, especially examination accommodations, should let the Golden Gate disability services department know by April 30 at The GGU disability services office will handle accommodations for all students with disabilities, regardless of home school. The program will make every effort to make reasonable accommodations, but French facilities differ significantly than those of U.S. law schools. For example, all exams in France are handwritten, and the program needs advance notice to prepare accommodations for students who must type.


  • The $250 deposit fee (due with the Deposit Form) is non-refundable (unless the application is rejected), but will be applied to the program fees.
  • Except in the case of cancellation of the program, or academic disqualification from GGU (see below), students who cancel after April 21 still must pay $2,000 to cover our housing and administrative costs.
  • Students who are academically disqualified after arriving in Paris may opt to remain in the program or withdraw. Students who withdraw must vacate the CIUP campus, but will receive no refund on their housing charge. They will receive a refund of tuition minus a $500 administrative charge.


  • Students and partners/spouses registered in the program will be covered by a French insurance policy that provides liability insurance.
  • Students are responsible for securing basic medical insurance and evacuation insurance (for transit back to the U.S. in a medical emergency) through a US insurance company.


U.S. Department of State Seal


Golden Gate University School of Law, Albany Law School, and the GGU/ALS/Nanterre Summer Program in Paris, are all fully accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).