Oxford Summer Program offers a variety of unique experiences for law students
By: James Grega, Jr.
Since 1993, the Oxford Summer Program has offered students the opportunity to study at one of the world’s oldest academic institutions.
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oxford Summer Law Program at Moritz returned in 2022. 3L Hannah Firestone was one of the students accepted to attend the program and looks back on her experience with fond memories.
“What you put in is what you get out of the Oxford Program,” Firestone said. “The rigor of the courses all depends on the classes you take. In my experience, the classes were on par with the rigor of my normal Ohio State Law classes. But you can hop on a train and go anywhere on the weekends. I think there was a good balance.”
In 2023, Moritz is set to offer Comparative Legal Professions (three credit hours) and Comparative Corporate Law (two credit hours), in addition to a three-credit class and one 1-credit class, which will be soon announced.
The program is accelerated, with the entire course set to be completed in a four-week span. This year, the program will run from July 2 through July 30.
“I learned a lot and I retained a lot. What I learned there has been very helpful in coming back to the States and law school,” Firestone said. “Understanding how the European Union works has formed my understanding of everything that is going on in Ukraine and Europe. I came away with a lot of practical knowledge, but I also think the Oxford program helped my performance in the class or comprehension of the subject.”
This year, Professor Todd Starker will direct the Law Program, and Professor Katherine Kelly will direct the Pre-Law Program, which is aimed at undergraduate students considering a law degree. Associate Dean Paul Rose will also be a part of the program. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Anne Ralph, who has previously been a representative for the pre-law program, said that all law students can take something away from the trip that will enhance their legal knowledge, regardless of where their career takes them.
“There are a lot of student profiles that fit well with the Oxford Program. Whether you are going to work for a law firm, government office, or a business, there is something to benefit you in the Oxford Program,” Ralph said. “Having international studies and a comparative focus is going to be helpful in anyone’s career.”
Firestone added that her Business Negotiations course has helped her tremendously as she prepares to graduate law school and move into the work force.
“Knowing how to negotiate is important in any legal field,” she said. “I learned a lot about effective communication. All these things are transferable skills.
“The relationship that I formed with Professor Katrina Lee in my Business Negotiations course was beautiful. She has been a great mentor to me,” Firestone continued. “There are a lot of transferable skills and knowledge to be gained.”
While classes and academics are the primary focus, the Oxford Program offers students the opportunity to experience the surrounding areas. Students will reside at St. Anne’s College, one of the constituent colleges of the larger University of Oxford, 54 miles northwest of London. Students on the program will be afforded the opportunity to visit London, with trips planned to the English Inns of Court (including the Middle Temple) and the Houses of Parliament. Trips are also tentatively planned to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, Windsor Castle, and Runnymede.
For those who are accepted into the program and attend, Firestone said planning ahead is ultimately the best thing someone can do to maximize their experience abroad.
“You are responsible for making your flight plans both there and back,” she said. “If you want to go to London for a weekend, or Paris for the long weekend, you have to plan it. There’s a lot of logistics involved. Certainly, you don’t have to. You can still have a lot of fun just exploring in and around Oxford but being on top of your budget and planning will help you get everything you want out of this trip.”
Finally, Firestone said in addition to all the legal knowledge she gained on the trip, she ultimately learned a lot about herself by attending the Oxford Summer Program.
“I made a lot of really good friends,” Firestone said. “You will learn more about yourself. You are going to a new place to learn, but you are also learning more about others. You are there to study and learn, but I made a lot of great connections there as well.”
The deadline for students to apply for the 2023 Oxford Summer Program is March 1. More information and application materials can be found here.