Photo of Gonzaga in Florence plaque on stone wall

Academics in Florence

Students take two two-credit courses from the following 2021 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:
Class information coming soon!
This course explores restorative justice’s global roots, theoretical underpinnings, values, limitations, and modern practices. As many countries engage in critical examination of their criminal justice systems, which tend to over-utilize retributive principles for behavior correction, the need for investigating alternative possibilities becomes increasingly important. This course offers a critical look at how restorative justice, as a complementary or alternative model of justice, can be effective. In particular, we will examine a variety of restorative practices, past and present, from across the world. One aim of this course is to increase students’ awareness of the prevalence of restorative models for most of human history in intervening and responding to crime. Many of the world’s people have benefited from practices that have successfully operationalized the core tenants of restorative theory.
This course will focus on employment law, employment discrimination law and labor law under common law, civil law and socialist-oriented systems, respectively, in three counties – the United States, Italy, and a developing Asian country, Vietnam. In particular, and utilizing the experience of and examples from each of the three countries, the course will (1) provide a comparative overview of traditional approaches to regulating the employment relationship, (2) turn next to a comparison of modern employment discrimination and labor law, focusing on the rights of oppressed and/or underrepresented groups, including children, women, racial, ethnic or religious minorities, disabled individuals, individuals with LGBT status, and labor unions, and (3) finish with a comparative analysis of dispute resolution systems in the employment and labor law settings, including litigation in a judicial forum, before an administrative agency or under grievance and arbitration systems, as well as other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
Our world is increasingly digitally connected. Many people experience the benefits of emerging technologies on a daily basis. But reliance on technology also exposes vulnerability and shifts power structures within a growing and complex ecosystem of individuals, governments, and increasingly, very large private companies. The positive and negative impacts of technology are not felt equally by all people or in all regions around the world.

This course will survey the impact of technology on oppressed and marginalized communities and the institutional and legal structures that shape the ways these technologies are developed and used. It will explore both international and comparative perspectives on topics such as privacy rights, digital surveillance tools, disparate impacts of technology on marginalized communities, biased algorithms and data, unique challenges posed by robotics and artificial intelligence, and autonomous warfare. The course will also examine technology as a means to support human rights, from innovative disability accommodations to tools for expanding access to justice, and how legal structures facilitate this support. The course will challenge students to think critically about technology law and policy in a global context, and to engage with these issues through a comparative analysis of legal systems, as well as a survey of pertinent international technology standards and agreements.

Professor Upendra Acharya and Dr. Ilaria Forestieri, Avv.

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 and Italian mediation expert Dr. Ilaria Forestieri, Avv. 

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, last year, 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

  • 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.
  • Many law schools, including Gonzaga, will not allow students who have been academically dismissed to continue in the program.
  • 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.