Photo of Gonzaga in Florence plaque on stone wall

Academics in Florence

Students take two two-credit courses from the following 2020 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:
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.
Through a comparative lens using the United States experience as a reference point, this course will explore specific legal issues of concern to women worldwide and the concomitant social and cultural factors that affect policy making. It will also address gender-related human rights issues and the role of international law. Topics will include: (1) marriage and family law, traditions, and rituals; (2) work and education; (3) health care and reproduction; (4) war and peace; (5) violence against women, including sexual harassment, prostitution, pornography, rape, and intimate partner abuse.
Millions of people around the world are forced from their homes by persecution, armed conflict, environmental change, natural disasters, development projects, or some combination of these factors. Law attempts to address many of the complexities related to forced migration. Elements of international, regional, and national law aim to protect forced migrants, defend the security interests of host regions, ameliorate the causes of displacement, and remediate its effects. This course will examine these legal regimes, including European and Italian law and policy, from an interdisciplinary approach. Italy has been one of the primary European ports of entry for the tens of thousands of migrants who survive crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Students in Florence will have a unique opportunity to analyze Italian and European approaches to forced migration while being immersed in a social context deeply affected by unprecedented human displacement.

Professor Brooks Holland 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.