Courses Offered in London

London 2024 Courses

Comparative Advanced Torts (3 credit hours, LAWR IV) – Professor Jonathan Cardi

As much fun as 1L Torts is, much of the practice of tort law involves topics not covered in the 1L class. This course will explore many of those doctrines, gaining an international perspective by comparing US treatment of the topics with that in England, France, and the EU. Specifically, we will explore: (1) pure economic loss (both in negligence and intentional torts like fraud/intentional interference with contractual relations, etc.); (2) liability for traffic accidents, specifically autonomous vehicles; (3) product liability (including artificial intelligence); (4) liability for violations of privacy; (5) liability in tort between contracting parties (the borderline between tort and contract law); (6) damages/punitive damages; (7) governmental immunity; and (8) systemic topics such as contingency fees arrangements, the payment of legal fees, public advocacy, access to justice, and the various ethical and justice concerns that arise in each country’s approach.

Students will be assigned readings each week elucidating the relevant law, and much of each class will be spent working through hypotheticals in a variety of individual, group, and adversarial settings. We will also go on outings in London that pertain to topics covered in the class.

Learning objectives include not only to help students gain an understanding of tort doctrine in these jurisdictions, but also to develop the skills necessary to apply and critique the doctrine to the facts of new cases. Special attention will be brought to critiquing American tort law from a European perspective—what are we getting right/wrong? What societal goals are we sacrificing that Europeans have embraced? Vice versa? What are the relative merits to structural differences in access to justice, procedural requirements, jury v. bench trials, extensive judicial opinions, etc.? We will also explore ethical and character issues to which each system gives rise.

The course will be evaluated on class participation, formative reflective writing assignments, and a final paper. The paper will satisfy the requirements for LAWR IV.

History of the Common Law (2 credit hours)  – Professor Jonathan Cardi

Immerse yourself in the English Renaissance! While learning about the history of Elizabethan courts, explore the art, poetry, sermons, manuscripts, and public speeches that intersected with Renaissance law. You’ll visit the Old Bailey, see a Shakespeare play, transcribe manuscripts, turn the pages of four-hundred-year-old books in rare book libraries, and explore the London sites where law, art, and literature intertwined. You will explore the development of the common law through historical and legal texts as well as speaking with judges and lawyers who are expert in the subject. And by reading John Donne’s “Sermon Upon the Fifth of November,” George Herbert’s “Justice” poems, Elizabeth I’s speeches, William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, and passages from Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene and John Milton’s Paradise Lost that center on law and justice, you will experience the cultural context of one of law’s most dynamic and pivotal periods. In addition to daily group learning experiences, the group will together draft an article on the development of the jury and its role as a source of restorative justice, as a democratic body, and as nullifier of unjust laws.

Wake Forest Students: Please note that Comparative Advanced Torts will be GRADED ONLY and may satisfy the LAWR III/IV requirement. History of the Common Law will be pass/fail only and will NOT satisfy the LAWR III/IV requirement

Non-Wake Forest students should confirm that credit for these courses is accepted in their home law school. Grades for non-Wake Forest students will be only on a Pass/Fail basis (with a “C” being the minimum grade to earn a passing grade.)

Past London Courses

The following classes were offered in previous summers. Courses change each Summer.

Comparative Criminal Procedure (3 credit hours) 

This course will examine six distinct stages of this process: (1) investigation, (2) arrest, search, and seizure, (3) interrogation, (4) pre-trial court procedures, (5) the trial itself, and (6) sentencing, custody, and appeals. In each phase, students first examine principles and practices of criminal procedure in the U.S., and then examine these principles and practices several other countries, including England, France, Germany.  This approach and the texts we use will help us explore a number of key topics in the field of criminal procedure: the role of screening mechanisms in excluding weak cases before trial; the willingness of different legal systems to suppress illegally obtained evidence; the ways legal systems set meaningful evidentiary thresholds for arrest and pretrial detention; the problem of wrongful convictions; the way legal systems balance the search for truth against other values, such as protections for fundamental rights; emerging legal protections for criminal defendants, including new safeguards against custodial questioning in the European Union. Finally, we will examine how best practices identified in other systems (e.g., England, France, Germany) compare with current practices in the United States and whether the system in the United States is preferred or if it could be improved by considering these practices.

The course will also satisfy the requirement for LAWR III or LAWR IV. As such, there will be no final exam. Instead, the course will require a couple of short drafting or critiquing assignments prepared in London and a final paper due in late August or early September.  The final paper will be a scholarly paper exploring a pre-approved topic. The professor will provide guidance to the student in drafting the paper.

History of the Common Law (2 credit hours) 

This course will explore the rich legal heritage of England and the United Kingdom, including the origins of the common law and the creation of the modern court system. Students will trace the roots of the common law tradition, learn about the institutional development of the English system of justice, and examine the role that English common law played in the development of colonial American law.  We will take advantage of our presence in London to visit important structures and documents in the development of English common law.  Field trips are being planned to the British Library (to visit an original copy of the 1215 Magna Carta), Central Criminal Court (also known as Old Bailey), the Royal Courts of Justice, and Westminster Abbey (the perfect location to discuss the relationship between ecclesiastical law and the common law).  Students will be evaluated based on short writing assignments and participation.  No prerequisite is required.

Externships (2 credit hours, Experiential Learning)

Each student will participate in a two-credit, pass/fail externship related to topics covered in class. To help integrate the internships with the course work, students will be asked to keep a journal of their externship experience. Question prompts to help students think critically about their internship and its relationship to their coursework and their emerging sense of professional purpose will be provided. In addition, students will debrief their colleagues on their externship experience.

Wake Forest Students: Please note that Comparative Criminal Procedure will be GRADED ONLY and may satisfy the LAWR III/IV requirement. History of the Common Law will be pass/fail only and will NOT satisfy the LAWR III/IV requirement