Exchange Programs

Exchange Program Opportunities for ND Law Students

Every year, select J.D. students at Notre Dame Law School study law abroad as part of our exchange programs with pre-eminent law schools around the world. Choosing to deepen their knowledge of a particular area of law through comparative legal study and familiarize themselves with transnational legal issues they will encounter later in practice, these J.D. students benefit from the strong partnerships the Law School has formed with institutions in countries and cities around the world. As part of their law studies abroad, students may choose, depending on the host institution, to study for an LL.M. at the host institution or to participate in other unique facets of our exchange agreements, as best embodied by our Honors Scholars Programs.

J.D. students at Notre Dame Law School may study law abroad during their second or third years, depending on the exchange program. Students are encouraged to consider how they would benefit from studying law at a particular host institution and in a particular country, given their wider interests in specific areas of law and their career goals. J.D. students are encouraged to meet with Dr. Felicia Caponigri, Acting Director of International and Graduate Programs, prior to applying to study law abroad to discuss their interests in specific programs.

Notre Dame Law School maintains partnerships with the following institutions to host exchange programs:

  • Bocconi University in Milan, Italy
  • Trinity School of Law in Dublin, Ireland
  • University of Lucerne in Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany
  • Peking University Law School in Beijing, China
  • Tsinghua University School of Law in Beijing, China
  • Pontifical Universidad Católica in Santiago, Chile

Click here if you are an exchange student interested in studying at Notre Dame Law School.

Study Law in Italy

Select J.D. students at Notre Dame may study law at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, the country’s financial capital. Known for its strength in business and economics, Bocconi’s law program offers students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of business law from an international and comparative perspective, while learning uniquely Italian perspectives on constitutional law and fundamental rights. With depth in public and private law subjects, Bocconi also offers a wealth of interdisciplinary courses. Visit this page for more information on studying law in Bocconi and Milan. 

Study Law in Ireland

The Law School’s exchange program with Trinity College Dublin allows two to four students to study each year in Dublin for a semester or a full academic year. Students study alongside LLB students and can, if they choose, pursue an LL.M. at Trinity College during a full academic year of study. First year law students interested in opportunities in Dublin should also consider the Dublin Honor Scholars Program. As the most important English-speaking common law jurisdiction in the European Union, Dublin has emerged as an important European business capital for technology companies, the oil-and-gas industry, and other sectors. Studying law in Dublin allows our J.D. degree-seeking students to gain important knowledge of EU law and to learn how lawyers in Dublin are shaping transnational legal, economic and social issues. Visit this page for more information on Trinity College.

Study Law in Switzerland

Select J.D. students at the Law School may study at the University of Lucerne for a full academic year or for a semester. Lucerne’s location in Switzerland makes it an ideal place to explore human rights and international economic law, as well as arbitration, international litigation, and Swiss law. Visit this page for further information on studying law at the University of Lucerne.

Study Law in Germany

The Law School’s partnership with Bucerius Law School in Hamburg allows two J.D. degree seeking law students to spend the Fall semester as students at Bucerius. The Law School has also established the Hamburg Honor Scholars Program, which allows up to 3 students per year to enroll in Bucerius’ summer program or to intern with a leading Hamburg-based law firm. As the premiere private law school in Germany, study at Bucerius allows students to explore the unique history of the German legal system and to study German and EU laws that affect commercial and areas of transnational legal practice. Visit this page for more information on Bucerius Law School.

Study Law in China

The Law School has two distinct student exchange programs in Beijing, one with Tsinghua School of Law and the other with Peking University School of Law (PKU).  The exchange program with Tsinghua offers students the opportunity to pursue an LL.M. in Chinese Law. Studying Chinese Law in Beijing allows students to learn the history, structure and cultural context of the Chinese legal system, a body of law that has global significance in areas including trade, international finance, intellectual property, and international dispute resolution. Our exchange programs in China are also complemented by summer internship opportunities at leading Chinese law firms. Students are encouraged to visit the websites of Tsinghua School of Law and at Peking University in Beijing for more information on studying law at each particular institution.

Study Law in Chile

Building on their commitment to global engagement and shared Catholic mission, Notre Dame and the Pontifical Universidad Católica (PUC) have founded a strong partnership which provides for student and faculty exchanges, research collaboration, internships, and dual degree programs. Notre Dame Law School contributes to this partnership with an exchange program that allows Spanish-speaking J.D. degree-seeking students from Notre Dame to study at PUC. Visit this page for more information about PUC.


How to apply

Students interested in studying law abroad as part of the J.D. studies at the Law School are encouraged to meet as soon as possible with Dr. Felicia Caponigri, Acting Director of International and Graduate Programs. Each spring semester, the International and Graduate Programs will send an email calling for expressions of interest to study abroad from current 1Ls and 2Ls. After this initial expression of interest, students are invited to formally apply to the Law School to participate in individual exchange programs. This application process includes submitting a transcript, a personal statement along with a proposed program of study at the host institute abroad, and an interview with the International and Graduate Programs Office and its partner offices at the Law School.

To be eligible for foreign exchange, rising 2Ls must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher as of the end of the spring semester of their first year of studies, and rising 3Ls must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher as of the end of spring semester second year. In extraordinary circumstances, a student who does not meet the requisite GPA standard and who wishes to study abroad may ask the Dean of the Law School to waive this requirement. Any waiver shall be based on a determination regarding whether there are sufficient grounds to conclude that the student will succeed academically in the program given that student’s previous academic performance in law school. The determination of the Dean of the Law School will be final and not appealable. After successfully completing the application process at the Law School, a student is formally nominated by the International and Graduate Programs Office to the host institution and may be required to complete a second application provided by the host institution.