Study Abroad RBG AT LOYOLA

A supreme learning experience

Hearing a United States Supreme Court justice’s insights firsthand is among the top experiences a law school can offer its students. Loyola University Chicago School of Law regularly hosts SCOTUS justices at its Study Law Abroad program at the University’s John Felice Rome Center in Italy.

In the last decade, the two-week program has five times featured jurists from the nation’s highest court as guest lecturers or course instructors. This summer, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lectured in the program, reprising her 2009 visit. Last year, Justice Samuel Alito taught a summer course in Rome, and the late Justice Antonin Scalia joined the program in 2010 and 2015.


Loyola's study abroad in Rome launched


students who have attended the study abroad program in Rome


In 2017, Justice Samuel Alito taught a two-week summer course in constitutional law at Loyola John Felice Rome Center.


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave a series of guest lectures in both the 2009 and 2018 Loyola summer law programs in Rome.


The late Justice Antonin Scalia guest-lectured in Loyola’s Study Law Abroad program in Rome in 2010 and 2015. He called Loyola students among the best prepared he’d ever taught.

Inspirational interactions

“Meeting and learning from a Supreme Court justice is a profound experience for any student preparing for a career in the law,” says Michael Kaufman, dean of the School of Law. “It becomes even more meaningful when it takes place in the extraordinary environs of Rome, where our summer program students get an introduction to the Italian legal system and comparative law.”

Justices who participate in the Rome program choose the form of their involvement. This summer, Justice Ginsburg gave three lectures: “A Conversation with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” moderated by Judge Ann Williams of the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals; “Workways of the U.S. Supreme Court”; and “Highlights of the Major Cases of the 2017-18 Court Term.”

Besides soaking up SCOTUS justices’ observations on the court, current cases, and the Constitution, students have the chance to personally interact with the visiting jurists. For instance, Justice Ginsburg mingled with students, faculty, and Rome Center administrators at a reception and banquet in her honor.

Listening to Justice Ginsburg "made me want to hug my mom, my grandmother, and every other woman of those generations who fought for women to have an equal place in society."

“Justice Ginsburg's presence reminded me of the incredible privilege I have to study law free from gender discrimination,” says third-year law student and Rome program participant Audrey Van Gilder. “The justice's life-long achievements on behalf of women directly contribute to my own quality of life and opportunity. She made me want to hug my mom, my grandmother, and every other woman of those generations who fought for women to have an equal place in society. I’m deeply grateful to have learned from Justice Ginsburg this summer.”

Sharon Allen, a student in Loyola’s Weekend JD program, says she didn’t expect to be so deeply inspired by Ginsburg’s words. “She has such a powerful presence,” Allen says, adding that all her summer program professors were “outstanding—I learned a lot in that whirlwind two weeks.”

Now in its 36th year, the Rome program introduces students to comparative and international law. Studying in Rome, the seat of the Italian government and the site of European Union offices, private law firms, banks, and corporations, acquaints students firsthand with the Italian legal system while providing a deeper understanding of American legal culture. A number of other high-profile judges, elected officials, and attorneys have guest lectured in the program.

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Study Abroad at Loyola The summer program at the John Felice Rome Center is one of Loyola’s diverse Study Law Abroad offerings designed to immerse students in other cultures and legal systems. Other options include programs in Beijing, China; Strasbourg, France; London, England; and Santiago, Chile. Learn More