GW Summer IP Program in Munich:
Law student readers who are interested in intellectual property law (or technology law more broadly) might want to know about about GW Law's summer IP program in Munich, Germany. You can find an overview here, a list of courses here, FAQ's here, and bios for the faculty members here. I've taught in the program for the last two summers and will do it again this summer. I find the weissbier, er, intellectual atmosphere, refreshing. For a criticism of European summer programs operated by U.S. law schools, see the comment thread here.

  While I'm advertising for the home school, I also want to point out that GW Law is looking to fill a position as a Marks IP fellow. Details are available here.
Tony Tutins (mail):
I agree with Jeff that there is little value to overseas programs that consist of holding US classes taught by US professors to US students. Overseas programs should use local professors and adjuncts with deep experience with local laws, and should include local students as well. Otherwise you never leave the U.S. bubble, except to have a beer.
1.8.2008 5:15pm
Peter Wimsey:
The summer abroad law programs taught largely by US professors in other countries are, IMO, the law school equivalent of CLE classes given in Cancun or professional conferences given in Las Vegas - nothing but an excuse (or opportunity, if you will) to learn something you could learn anywhere at a nice place.
1.8.2008 6:45pm
Truth Seeker:
I did a Summer at Oxford with 1/2 US professors and 1/2 Oxford professors and it was a great time. Luckily my school did not average the grade into my GPA so I could spend the free time having fun. Some of the best memories of my life.
1.8.2008 8:02pm
Robert Stark (mail) (www):
Overseas law programs certainly help to our law carrier. European country has best law schools.
1.9.2008 11:07am
The European program I did was fine. It was priced to be competitive with taking classes on my regular campus, even after figuring in the airfare, so there was no reason not to give it a try. We had mostly US professors but international law classes. And we had guest speakers on local law topics, along with visits to the national legislature and to various other law-related institutions.

I'd say it was academically respectable and worth doing, even taking the "junket" phenomenon into account. We could have studied the same material at home (and probably consumed the same amount of beer as well), but the international extras made it more interesting. Students enjoy international travel as much as professors do.

If the classes are weak on content or overpriced, however, I would say don't bother. Take classes at your home school and then go on a real vacation.
1.9.2008 11:27am
Taylor Souter (mail):
As a practical question for those who did a summer program - what did you do for the remainder of the summer? I ask because the program's only a month long, so I assume that you're expected to find some other legal-related work for the other two months.
1.9.2008 3:54pm
Stevethepatentguy (mail) (www):
Peter and Tony, would you consider a summer in Washington D.C. as part of a Supreme Court class a boondoggle?

As the cite of the European Patent Office and German Patent Office, Munich is arguably the most important city in the world for patents. It certainly a reasonable place to hold this class. A fair number of patent attorneys will be there during their career and knowing the lay of the land will absolutely help a career.

Head over to Cincinnati Strasse and watch a hearing at the German Federal Patent Court. Stroll up the Isar River to the European Patent Office; take the U-Bahn to Fraunhoffer Strasse.

Stay away from the Hofbrauhaus except as a tourist destination. Waiter: "Your bill is 28 euro, without tip." Walk in to any bar and ask "ein helles, bitte" and you will have a great beer at half the cost, without the drunken Australians (although they are a lot of fun).

And don't miss the BMW museum and tour.
1.10.2008 11:19am
Stevethepatentguy (mail) (www):
Of coarse, I meant sight instead of cite.

Damn homophones.
1.10.2008 11:23am