Photo of a volcano surrounded by water and clouds in Nicaragua

Micro-Trade Clinic

Wake Forest Law provides students the opportunity to explore issues of development and trade as well as get hands-on work with clients while exploring the culture of Nicaragua.

The Micro-Trade Clinic, a short course in Nicaragua is offered in January before the spring semester officially begins, and some years during Summer Session II (check Summer School schedule). Professor Steve Virgil leads the trips and teaches the Micro-Trade Development course. Students interested in a comparative law course, or who want to work on economic development or poverty issues, won’t want to miss this opportunity to spend time working with NGOs and exploring the dynamics of development in an emerging economy.

While in Nicaragua, students stay in Managua and the colonial cities of Granada and Leon. Granada’s beautiful geography allows students the chance to spend their free time swimming in the Apoyo Lagoon, a lagoon located in the center of a chain of volcanoes, and volcano surfing, among other pursuits.

2018 Dates

Winter Session: Jan. 2-10, 2018

The Micro-Trade Development Course

Microtrade Development explores the role of the legal profession in assisting community and human development. It incorporates historical and practice-focused perspectives. The course begins with an overview of Nicaragua’s unique history and relationship with the United States, then moves on to consider the need for development in Nicaragua. Students will learn about development strategies and work with NGOs/MSEs.

A Student’s Perspective on Nicaragua

Interested students should read this blog post from Joseph Motto (JD, ’14), who participated in the trip in January 2013, to learn more about the experience from visiting the Supreme Court of Nicaragua to 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.


The class has been approved for 2 graded credits.


Summer Session (not offered 2018): Regular 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 $650.  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 $650.

Travel and Food

Travel to Nicaragua is fairly easy.  Delta and American airlines 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, while 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 2018 Session

Students may register for the class beginning in late September.  The class is limited to 12 participants.  Professor Virgil will hold an informational meeting about the trip prior to registration.

Sept. 29, 2017 - Statement of Interest due to Professor Virgil expressing your intent to take the class and asking to be registered for it.

Oct. 20, 2017 – Deposit of $450 due.


For more information, please contact Professor Virgil at