Photo of a volcano surrounded by water and clouds in Nicaragua

Micro-Trade Development 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. 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.


Clinic currently on hiatus due to pandemic. Check back for new dates.

The Micro-Trade Development Course

The microtrade development clinic is offered as a 3 credit clinical course for Summer Session II with travel to Nicaragua. The clinic incorporates on-line class meetings prior to travel. Travel take place over ten days during July, with tentative dates set for the last 10 days of the month. (Final travel dates will be set once a minimum of six students have registered for the class.) Online class meetings will be scheduled to accommodate student schedules.

This clinic provides students with an opportunity to work with micro-enterprises and NGO’s while in Nicaragua. The Microtrade Development Clinic explores the role of the legal profession in assisting community and human development. It incorporates historical and practice-focused perspectives. The class will travel to Nicaragua to work with businesses, investigate a civil law system, and explore the country’s rich cultural heritage.

The course is offered during Summer Session II. In a series of on-line classes, 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 development NGO’s. On-line class dates and times will be set to accommodate registered students schedules.

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 3 graded credits.


Summer Session: 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 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.


For more information, please contact Professor Virgil at