Study Abroad: Paris Program


Welcome! Bonjour!  Please view our informational video here. Please note our 2023 Program dates and credit hours: May 14-27 (online, 2 credits); Paris Orientation & Cruise: May 28; Elective Course: May 29-June 8 (2 credits); Final Exam (online): June 9, 2023.

The Summer Paris Program is a joint academic program between GGU Law and the Université Paris Nanterre.  We look forward to bringing you fun experiences and innovative teaching when the Paris Program returns for this summer: May-June 2023.  Detailed information is available below and applications are available November 15.  Please contact with any questions or for more information.

Please scroll through the following sections for more information.

We are thrilled you will be joining us this summer in Paris!

GGU classroom

The Summer Paris Program operates for approximately four weeks in late May and early June. It is jointly administered by Golden Gate University School of Law and the Université Paris Nanterre. The first two weeks of the program are an online course that you can attend from anywhere in the world. The second two weeks includes live courses in Paris, France. All classes are held on the Nanterre campus of the famous Université Paris, and jointly administered by GGU Law professors and UPN professors, attorneys, and judges.

We highly encourage students from other American and Canadian law schools to apply as well!

Download the 2023 Paris Program Application 

Admitted? Pay your program deposit here!

OUR UNIVERSITY PARTNER: Université Paris Nanterre
Nanterre Map - Universit Paris Ouest Nanterre - Service Communication

From its founding in the 1960s, Université Paris Nanterre has dedicated itself to being a new type of institution of higher education: an institution of learning and research whose defining characteristics are its vibrant campus life, educational innovation, and scientific research with a social dimension. Université Paris Nanterre is located to the west of the greater Paris area, just next to the largest business district in Europe and in a dynamic area full of major urban developments. The Nanterre campus reflects the University’s forward-looking policy with respect to sports and cultural activities, environmental commitment, and solidarity actions. 

Today Université Paris Nanterre has 34,000 students in undergraduate, postgraduate and professional continuing education with more than 20% of the student body from a foreign country. There are over 1,000 research professors and researchers in all disciplines of social and human sciences, as well as in sports sciences and physical education, mathematics, computer science and engineering.

Université Paris Nanterre is a member of an Association of Higher Education and Research Institutions known as Université Paris Lumières. The University of Paris 8 and the CNRS research institute also belong to this prestigious grouping of institutions of higher learning. The INS-HEA (special educational needs and disability studies) and ENS Louis Lumière (National Film, Photography & Sound Engineering School) as well as numerous cultural institutions of both French and international renown (Louvre Museum, National Library of France, Quai Branly Museum, Centre Georges Pompidou, National Archives, INA – National Audiovisual Institute, History and Immigration Museum, etc.) are also part of this exceptional educational initiative. This association is one of the leading educational and research bodies in France in the field of social and human sciences.

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


Preliminary 2023 Calendar

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 sessions. The first is an online component – Introduction to French & EU Law – which allows flexibility to take the class anywhere. There are scheduled group sessions where information and lessons will be given by your program directors, and other GGU Law professors and our French counterparts. You will be required to complete the course before beginning the on-site elective courses in Paris.

The second session is two weeks in Paris taking classes at the Université Paris Nanterre. In addition to the in-person courses, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in off-campus excursions, like visiting major international law firms and at least one of the three French Supreme Courts (Civil/Criminal Court; Administrative Court; and the Constitutional Court) to attend lectures by court members.

Classes will meet four days a week for each week, leaving time for off-campus extracurriculars, conversations with peers and professors, and pre-planned trips.


The courses offered in Summer 2023 are: Introduction to French & EU Law, an online course taught by specialists in Comparative Constitutional Law, French Law, EU Law, and European Human Rights Law. The Preliminary 2023 Elective List of Courses are: Comparative Issues in Constitutional Sex and Gender Law; Comparative Corporate Law; Comparative Environmental Protection; and Comparative Social Justice Lawyering.

Previously taught Electives have included: Comparative Human Rights Law, Comparative Corporate Law, Comparative Trial Practice, and Comparative Immigration Law & Policy.

Introduction to French & EU Law is mandatory, is worth 2 units, and is self-paced over two weeks. The Elective courses are worth 2 units each. No prerequisites exist for any course (save the mandatory Introduction). See “Course Descriptions” for more details.

GGU classroom

GGU Law will provide resources to assist you in finding affordable housing in Paris for the two weeks you plan to stay for the program. We will also help you connect with other program students for co-housing situations.

Housing costs are somewhat comparable to the local San Francisco market, so finding an apartment, Airbnb, or other short-term rental (especially with other students) is doable.  

GGU classroom

The first official evening of the program (Sunday, May 28, 2023) there will be a Seine River Cruise and Orientation Dinner to welcome you to the city of lights. 

There are also planned visits to one of the three French Supreme Courts, as well as visits to other French legal institutions.

 Your classes will last from 1 pm – 5 pm Monday through Thursday, so there will be plenty of opportunities for you to explore Paris with your classmates. Have the local students show you around!

U.S. and French flags

Introduction to French & EU Law
This Introduction covers French law, the European human rights regime (Council of Europe's European Convention on Human Rights, or ECHR), and the law of the European Union (EU). The course has two main goals. First, it aims to provide a solid foundation for understanding the French legal system, which relies on a constitution, statutory law, and codes as its primary sources of law, and the European legal system, which relies on treaties as its primary sources of law. The module on EU Law also examines secondary sources of EU Law ("regulations" and "directives"). Judicial decisions also exist in each system. The second goal of the course is to introduce key legal terminology to avoid some of the most common misunderstandings between American lawyers, French lawyers, and other European lawyers.

Comparative Corporate Law
All corporate entities operate within complex legal environments that are constantly changing. This course introduces students to some basic concepts of (mainly US, European Union, French, and German) corporate law, but also the evaluation and management of legal risks and opportunities within those environments. Topics may include agency problems, related party transactions, corporate & director liability, and corporate social responsibility.

Comparative Issues in Sex, Gender, and the Law
This course explores a variety of issues at the intersection of gender and constitutional law. Our focus will be on both the meaning and the practice of substantive equality in relation to sex, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation, with special attention to modern rights controversies related to gender.

Comparative Racial and Social Justice Lawyering
This course is designed to expose students to a variety of legal skills most useful for social justice and public interest advocacy. Students focus on public interest lawyering through a close analysis of case studies and discussion of recurring issues in public interest practice. The students address questions of how public interest problems are framed; how clients, lawyers, and their allies think about problem-solving strategies; and how public interest lawyers use different modes of advocacy to address problems.

Comparative Environmental Protection
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of environmental protection and regulatory schemes in the United States, France, and the European Union. Topics may include a look at specific problems like atmospheric pollution, land degradation, and global climate change and environmental principles, policies, and systems across jurisdictions and legal cultures.

Passport and currency in back pocket

2023 Paris Program Costs for students receiving credit from GGU Law:

  • Total cost for the summer program: $7,000 USD
    • Tuition: $4,000 USD for four units of summer semester credit
    • Fees: $3,000 USD include books/readers in Paris and other course/program materials; local transportation to events and activities; admission fees to socio-legal sights; French civil liability coverage; receptions and orientation meals and social events
    • Students wishing to add an additional unit (and complete a comparative law research paper related to their elective over the summer semester) will incur an added tuition cost for 1 unit of approximately $1,750 USD and complete a total of five academic units.
  • Housing, Transportation to/from Paris, and most meals are not included
    • Airfare is expected to be between $700-$1,200, depending on when you purchase your ticket and route availability
    • Entertainment/other/misc.: This depends on you! Please plan and budget accordingly.

UPN and other French Law Students: please contact Professor Stéphanie Hennette-Vauchez at

U.S. and Canadian Students, & Other Students from Common Law Countries / Systems:
  • Students from the US 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 international students 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 law school.
  • After acceptance, each applicant must submit a letter of good standing from their 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 tuition/fees.

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

EU Students:
  • 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.

The program is jointly administered by Golden Gate University School of Law and the Université Paris Nanterre.

US Director
Eric Christiansen +1-415-369-5338
US Director
Laura Cisneros

French Director
Stéphanie Hennette-Vauchez  

Eric C. Christiansen (Comparative Human Rights Law): Professor of Law and Associate Dean for International Partnerships at GGU Law. He has extensive experience with international education and program management. Professor Christiansen successfully directed the earlier iteration of this Program from 2009 to 2013.  He is a former Fulbright Senior Scholar and publishes and teaches in the area of comparative constitutional law.  Additionally, he has taught as a visiting professor and guest lecturer at the University of Paris Nanterre (France), the University of Valencia (Spain) and worked as a lawyer in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, and South Africa. He is a founding member and instructor in Europe’s INNO-Talk program for the promotion of trans-national dialogue related to innovation in international legal education. Prior to entering academia, Professor Christiansen directed several international and local nonprofit organizations.

Laura Cisneros
LauraA.Cisneros  joined the Golden Gate University School of Law faculty in July 2010. She teaches Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure. She is also the Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship. She writes and lectures on constitutional law and theory, reading U.S. constitutional jurisprudence through the lens of European Critical Theory with a focus on theories of time and difference. Her articles have appeared in law reviews, including the Santa Clara Law Review and the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. She is a frequent presenter to law school faculties nationwide on issues involving constitutional law and judicial review. Professor Cisneros earned her J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, her LL.M. from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she was also a William H. Hastie Fellow, and her B.A. in 20th century American History from the University of San Diego. 

GGU classroom

Download the 2023 Paris Program Application. Scan and if you are on the GGU Law campus, you may give your completed application to Maya Guerrant in the Law School Student Affairs Suite 2333 or in the faculty mailbox of Prof. Eric Christiansen.

Maya Guerrant

Golden Gate University School of Law
Administrative Coordinator, Summer Paris Program

Professor Eric C. Christiansen

Golden Gate University School of Law
Director, Summer Paris Program


Professor Laura A. Cisneros

Golden Gate University School of Law
Director, Summer Paris Program

Liberte Egalite Fraternite


Enrollment is not limited to GGU Law students only; anyone can apply!

In the past, the program welcomed American students from 34 other American Law Schools, as well as students from the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. Approximately 200 French and other EU students have also participated through the Université Paris Nanterre.


  • Program will be limited to 60 U.S. and other international students, and 40 French students.
  • Introduction to French and European Union law (2 credits) will be limited to 60 students (United States, Canada, and non-EU 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/GGU-enrolled international students will earn 4 semester units of credit from Golden Gate University School of Law.
  • If you wish to earn an additional unit (for a total of 5), speak to the Program about an independent study research project.
  • EU students may arrange for credits through GGU Law or the Université Paris Nanterre.
  • 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 preparation and participation, formative assessment assignments, and a two-hour online exam administered on the final Friday of the 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 mobility 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 inform GGU Law’s Student Disability Services Office by April 30th at Please expressly identify yourself to the Director as a Paris Program student. The GGU Student Disability Services Office will work to accommodate 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. 


  • The $250 deposit fee (due with the Deposit Form) is non-refundable, but will be applied to the program tuition/fees.
  • Except in the case of cancellation of the program, or academic disqualification from GGU (see below), students who cancel after April 21st must still pay an additional $250 to cover our administrative costs.
  • Students who are academically disqualified after arriving in Paris and before the last class day at Nanterre may opt to remain in the program or withdraw. Students who withdraw will receive a refund of tuition minus a $500 administrative charge.


  • Students registered in the program will be covered by a French insurance policy that provides liability insurance during the on-site period of the Program.
  • Students are responsible for securing basic medical insurance and evacuation insurance (for transit back to the U.S. in a medical emergency) through a U.S. insurance company.


U.S. Department of State Seal


Golden Gate University School of Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. 

The Summer Paris Program is ABA approved since November, 2019.

The Université Paris Nanterre is accredited by the Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de l'Innovation, France (Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, France).