Learning the law in London
English common law is the system on which the U.S. legal system is based—and nothing brings the study of American law to life like a personal introduction to British legal institutions. For three decades, a popular Loyola study abroad program has allowed law students to experience firsthand the similarities and differences between English and American advocacy.
All of the School of Law’s areas of expertise—health law, child and family law, advocacy, business and tax, antitrust, intellectual property—have strong international and comparative components. The School of Law’s rich curriculum, in Chicago and abroad, continually expands to respond to developing areas of international professional interest.
Now in its 30th year, Loyola’s London Comparative Advocacy Program remains a popular study option for second- and third-year students interested in experiencing different cultures, creating global connections, and deepening their understanding of foreign legal systems.
Each year over winter break, approximately a dozen Loyola law students, accompanied by Associate Dean James Faught, members of the law faculty, and distinguished guests, participate in the London Comparative Advocacy Program. For two weeks, students immerse themselves in London activities that focus on the English legal profession and system of advocacy. After a series of lectures at the Inns of Court, students observe trials at the historic Old Bailey while considering parallels and variances with the American legal system they’ve come to know.
“The many strong partnerships Loyola has forged with our London friends and colleagues over the years really makes this study abroad opportunity unique for our students,” says Faught, who founded the program in 1988. “It’s a wonderful learning experience to compare the English and American legal systems through interaction and educational activities with barristers, judges, and court administrators.”
Students also experience London through guided walking tours of various legal institutions, including the Inns of Court, the Royal Courts of Justice, the Law Society, and Parliament, which allows them to become acquainted with Central London fairly quickly. Many students take day trips touring Oxford and Canterbury, among other nearby destinations.
The London Comparative Advocacy Program is the study abroad portion of a two-hour course offered in the fall semester that focuses on the English legal system. More than 300 Loyola law students and dozens of alumni have explored London and studied its rich history through this outstanding law program.