This month, a group of Czech and Slovak attorneys visited John Marshall for a week-long reunion. Each year alumni and instructors from John Marshall’s Czech/Slovak Legal Institute reconnect, typically in Prague or Bratislava, but this year they decided to meet in Chicago. This is the second reunion in Chicago for the group, but for many, it was their first trip to the U.S.
Over the course of the week, the Czech/Slovak Legal Institute alums discussed the rules of evidence, discovery, summary judgment, class actions and dispute resolution. Lectures were delivered by U.S. professors, attorneys and judges. The visiting attorneys toured the Circuit Court of Cook County, where they met with Presiding Judge LeRoy K. Martin Jr. They also met Chief Judge Ruben Castillo and Judge Joan B. Gottschall at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
John Marshall’s Czech/Slovak Legal Institute, established in 1990, offers a variety of programs for students, attorneys, judges and friends of the law school to foster a better understanding of the U.S. legal system and an appreciation of the Czech and Slovak cultures. The annual seminar for Czech and Slovak attorneys, held in European countries, is designed to develop a better understanding of the U.S. legal and entrepreneurial systems. The program is funded in memory of two John Marshall alumni, Robert Beart and John Drost. All 29 of the attorneys attending this year’s reunion also attended the seminar over the past 15 years.
“The program has been very beneficial to both sides,” said Professor Michael Seng, Director of John Marshall’s Czech/Slovak Legal Institute. “It has exposed Czech and Slovak attorneys to the American legal system and has greatly influenced the careers of the Czech and Slovak attorneys who have participated in the program. It has also taught the American participants about European law and how the United States can learn from other legal systems.”
In addition to programs offered to Czech and Slovak attorneys, John Marshall offers its students an opportunity to study European Community Law in the Czech Republic at either Metropolitan University Prague or Masaryk Faculty of Law during the fall or spring semesters. John Marshall students may also enroll in a European Law course presented in the Czech and Slovak Republics. This study opportunity is offered each summer. In addition, Czech and Slovak students currently enrolled at Masaryk University Faculty of Law may apply to study at John Marshall during the fall semester.