Photo of Gonzaga in Florence plaque on stone wall

Academics in Florence

Students take two two-credit courses from the following course offerings, plus students also may register for the optional one-credit mediation program and competition with the University of Florence School of Law, for a total of five academic credits:

The course will explore the influence of cultural identity on property ownership, including indigenous land rights and cultural heritage protection. Through case studies and comparative analysis, students gain insights into the complexities of real estate transactions across cultures, considering factors such as the impact of globalization, technology, and sustainable development on property rights and ownership patterns. Through critical thinking exercises and research projects, students develop a nuanced understanding of how cultural identity intersects with real estate laws, enabling them to navigate multicultural environments with cultural competence and legal acumen. Ethical considerations in cross-cultural real estate dealings are also examined, fostering discussions on fairness, justice, and respect for cultural diversity.


This course will provide a comprehensive exploration of cultural heritage as a human right and its significance for global businesses. It will examine the impact of various business activities on cultural heritage sites, artifacts, and indigenous rights. This course will address ethical considerations, emphasizing respect for indigenous rights, fair trade practices, and cultural sensitivity. Additionally, it will examine corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives related to cultural heritage preservation through real-world case studies. The course will evaluate the risks associated with cultural heritage violations, encompassing legal consequences, reputational damage, and financial implications, and will offer strategies for crisis management. Furthermore, it will provide guidance on how businesses can engage respectfully and collaboratively in preserving cultural heritage.

This course will explore laws governing the collection, storage, and use of personal information from both international and comparative perspectives. It will examine different theories of privacy and privacy harms and how these theories are shaped by social structures and regulated within distinct privacy regimes. The course will also explore several international legal standards and regulations on privacy, focusing on how these standards impact – and are impacted by – domestic laws, norms, and practices.

This course will challenge you to think critically about privacy law and policy in a global context and help you to develop the skills needed to navigate legal questions within international and comparative frameworks.
This course aims to provide conceptual and historical foundations of international human rights law, as well as the main international legal instruments and institutions aimed at protecting and promoting human rights worldwide. Throughout the course, concrete case studies will be used to illustrate the range of human rights problems as well as the utility of the accountability paradigm to current international and national events and problems. This course will also assess the remedies that exist for violations of human rights law in the various systems (international, regional, and national) and examine one of the contemporary human rights issues as a practical case study. The combination of theoretical approaches, critical legal analysis, and an investigation into specific contemporary event as a concrete case study will enable students to acquire key skills in the application of human rights to their research and practice in the area of international human rights law. Current affairs and student interests will also shape the topics to be discussed as case studies.

Professor Upendra Acharya

In this unique international skills program, students will learn the history, objectives, and methods of international mediation in both commercial law and human rights contexts, culminating in an international competition co-hosted with the University of Florence School of Law. To begin, prior to the start of the Florence program, students will study online to build a foundation for mediation practices. Once in Florence, to prepare for the competition, students will practice mediation methods with Gonzaga faculty.

The mediation program itself covers two days. On day one, students will attend a seminar on mediation practices with world-renowned mediation experts. For example, in years past the seminar speakers were Pietro Galizzi, Avv., General Counsel of Eni Oil and Gas, one of the largest industrial companies in the world, and Dr. Johanna Hawari-Bourjeily, director of the mediation program at the University of St. Joseph School of Law in Beirut, Lebanon. After this seminar, Gonzaga and Florence students will retire for a happy hour and social activities to cultivate professional relationships. On day two, five teams of four Gonzaga students will compete against five teams of Florence students. That evening, the schools will host an awards dinner and gala, where faculty, students, and other guests celebrate the program and student accomplishments.


Standards for Academic Credit

  • Grades ranging from “A” – “F” will be assigned for these courses.
  • Students from law schools other than Gonzaga must determine the transferability of grades and credits earned in the program to their home institutions.
  • Students should make inquiries at their home institutions concerning transferability before applying for admission to the program.

Academic Scheduling

The Florence Summer Law program is a four week long program. Classes are held three days a week, Monday through Thursday. Each class meets during the day for two hours each.

Accreditation Information

  • The Florence Summer Law Program is open to law students in academic good standing at law schools accredited by the American Bar Association, by a state of the United States, or Canada.
  • Gonzaga is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools.
  • The Florence Summer Law Program is considered part of the Gonzaga University School of Law’s regular course offerings.

Academic Standards

  • In order to be accepted to the Florence Summer Law Program students must be in good academic standing with a 2.400+ GPA.
  • Many law schools, including Gonzaga, will not allow students who have been academically dismissed to continue in the program.
  • The academic content of the program meets the same standards as courses offered on-campus.
  • Student performance is measured by the same standards used to evaluate student performance in on-campus courses.
  • Students who register in summer law programs before their grades for the prior semester or quarter have been finalized do so at their own risk.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the policy regarding academic dismissal at the student’s law school.
  • When all grades have been submitted to the registrar for the prior semester, a Gonzaga student participating in the program must meet the requirements of Academic Rule 2-3.I.2.d, or his or her registration in the program will be canceled and any paid tuition will be fully refunded.

Please note:

In the event of a program cancellation, or of any material change to the program offerings, students will be notified promptly and given an opportunity to withdraw, or notified that any tuition deposit will be refunded within 30 days.

Gonzaga will certify earned academic credits from the Florence law program to other U.S. law schools. Students from those schools must confirm with their Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or other administrator that their home school will accept these transfer credits and whether those credits will be graded or ungraded transfer credits.