Law students may miss an opportunity to study abroad due to logistical issues surrounding the Olympics, scheduled to be held in London next summer from July 27th through August 12th.
Over 11,000 athletes are expected to be in the city. That number doesn’t include coaches, trainers and support personnel, or the hundreds of spectators and tourists sure to come as well. The London 2012 Olympic Games will feature 26 sports, and 39 disciplines.
London is the most popular city in the world for law students to study abroad; about twenty other U.S. law schools have programs in the city. Why? Due largely to the presence of both Parliament and Lloyd’s of London, the world’s leading insurance market, as well as the city’s position as the publishing and media capital of Europe, it is a prime environment for students to get a flavor for international, financial and intellectual property law.
According to the recent nationaljurist.com article, “London study abroad programs reschedule for Olympics”, Georgetown Law points to the Olympics as the reason for cancelling its almost five week summer program in London next summer; it generally costs students $4,500 to take up to six credits. However, the program should be reinstated in 2013.
Cara Morris, director of transnational programs at Georgetown Law was quoted as saying in the article: “The overall increase in costs and scarcity of affordable housing in London during the Olympic period were the major factors that influenced the decision not to offer the program in 2012.”
However, Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles began planning in the summer of 2009, so as not to miss out on the excellent opportunity London provides for students to study abroad.
Michael Scott, professor and director of the London summer program in international information technology was quoted as saying: “We expect this summer to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students. We have done several things that will (we hope) ensure that this year’s program will not be negatively impacted by the Olympics.” This included securing flats early and finishing tours earlier than normal.
In addition, the school booked the dorm rooms and classrooms far in advance and altered the program schedule so that it will end two weeks sooner than before, putting its last day three weeks before the beginning of the Olympics. Scott hopes students will take advantage of the many pre-Olympics events, like concerts, art exhibits and athletic competitions.
Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota’s six credit program, which takes place in June and July, will overlap the Olympic games by a few days. The program offers students a chance to study international commercial arbitration.
Kitty Atkins, an associate director at Hamline was quoted as saying: “We usually have our publicity ready to go out to students at this point in the academic year. We just decided on [Oct. 18] that the program will be a go.”