Nicaragua Short Course

Wake Forest Law offers a unique opportunity to take a short course in Nicaragua in January before the spring semester officially begins, and some years during Summer Session II (when offered). Professor Steve Virgil leads the trips and teaches Cross Disciplinary Professional Development. If you are interested in a comparative law course, or want to work on economic development or poverty issues, this is an opportunity you do not want to miss. The class offers an opportunity to look at law in a comparative, interdisciplinary class along with an opportunity to visit Nicaragua.

While in Nicaragua, students stay in Managua, Granada and Leon. Granada is a beautiful place to visit and students in the past have even swam in Apoyo Lagoon, a lagoon located in the center of a chain of volcanoes.

2017 Dates

Winter session: Jan. 1-9, 2017

The Course-Cross Disciplinary Professional Development

The class, Cross Disciplinary Professional Development, is focused on the practical and ethical aspects of transactional law and has two components.  First, the class will meet in a series of seminars to discuss the role of trade in development, the history of Nicaragua and the discrete legal skills needed to advise clients who are exporting goods to the United States. These seminars will meet in a WebEx setting so students can participate from any location and the classes will be scheduled during the first half of Summer Session II (when offered).

The second component involves a 9-10 day trip to Nicaragua and may be the most interesting part of the class.  During our time in Nicaragua we will meet with companies who are exporting products to the United States. Students will interview these clients, devise work plans and then execute the work to help our clients accomplish the goals they have set.  This work involves typical work for an associate in a law firm — client interviewing, factual development, research and writing.  In addition, students work in a cross cultural context and will thus gain the benefit of that experience.

International Blog- Students Perspectives on Nicaragua

Be sure to read this blog post from Joseph Motto (JD, ’14), who participated in the trip in January 2013. Read about his time volcano surfing, visiting the Supreme Court of Nicaragua and working with local business owners who wish to export their products to the United States.


Winston Salem and Nicaragua. Seminars are held on campus prior to traveling to Nicaragua for 7 days of class and experiential course work.  Nicaragua is a beautiful place and while there you will spend time working with NGO’s, visiting two colonial cities and exploring the dynamics of development in an emerging economy.


The class has been approved for 2 graded credits.


Summer Session (not offered 2017): The normal summer session tuition applies for this class.  In addition, travel costs and expenses while in Nicaragua are the student’s responsibility.  A student can budget $60-70 a day while in Nicaragua for a shared room and food.  Airfare typically runs between $450 and $600.  A small fee will also be collected for each student’s pro rata transportation costs while in Nicaragua.  The final cost will be determined by the number of students, but it will most likely be approximately $25 a day. Professor Virgil will arrange for a comfortable hotel and all transportation details.

Winter Session: Tuition costs are part of the spring semester tuition.  Students will be billed a surcharge for lodging, travel within Nicaragua and translation services.  The surcharge for the course is $750.

Travel and Food

Travel to Nicaragua is fairly easy.  Delta and American offer several flights each day from Miami and Atlanta.  Travel costs to Nicaragua are the student’s responsibility (currently airfare from Greensboro to Managua is $610 round trip.  Flights from Atlanta and Miami are substantially less).  Meals are the student’s responsibility while in Nicaragua – with the exception of two dinners and all breakfasts which are included with your room.

Registration and Deadlines

Summer Session: You may register for the course online via WIN when available. Please e-mail Professor Virgil at as soon as possible if you are interested.

Winter 2017 Session:

Students may register for the class beginning in late September.  The class is limited to 10 participants.  Professor Virgil will hold an informational meeting about the trip prior to registration.

Oct. 1 - Statement of Interest due to Professor Virgil expressing your intent to take the class and asking to be registered for it.

Nov. 1 – deposit of $450 due.


For more information, please contact Professor Virgil by email: