Lithuania Summer Law Program — Academics and Events

Field Trips

The program cost includes field trips to Lithuanian legal, political, and cultural institutions. Visits may include the Lithuanian Constitutional Court, the Seimas (Parliament) of the Lithuanian Republic in Vilnius and the Presidential Palace in Vilnius. A visit is also planned for a trial court in Kaunas. The program includes several festive social events and cultural field trips that may include Old Town Vilnius, the Museum of Genocide Victims, the Plokstine Cold War Museum, and Palanga Seaside Resort.

Students also have a choice of exciting optional excursions to other parts of Lithuania, such as Trakai Island Castle & History Museum, Grutas Park, and the coastal city of Klaipeda. Finally, students may wish to take advantage of low cost flights to visit other European countries before or after their program participation.

Lithuania Summer Abroad Program Calendar from May to June 2015 (schedule subject to change)

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
            23

10:00–12:00
Mandatory Student Orientation

12:00–14:00
Faculty Meeting

24 25

16:10–17:20
E.U. Competition Law (with no break)

18:00–20:40
Public International Law (with 20 minute break)

26

16:10–17:20
E.U. Competition Law (with no break)

18:00–20:40
Public International Law (with 20 minute break)

27

16:10–17:20
E.U. Competition Law (with no break)

18:00–20:40
Public International Law (with 20 minute break)

28

16:10–17:20
E.U. Competition Law (with no break)

18:00–20:40
Public International Law (with 20 minute break)

29

Required visit to Lithuanian Constitutional Court and the Presidential Palace in Vilnius plus combined course lecture will replace course lectures on this day.

30

Optional field trip to be determined.

31
1

16:10–17:20
E.U. Competition Law (with no break)

18:00–20:40
Public International Law (with 20 minute break)

2

16:10–17:20
E.U. Competition Law (with no break)

18:00–20:40
Public International Law (with 20 minute break)

3

16:10–17:20
E.U. Competition Law (with no break)

18:00–20:40
Public International Law (with 20 minute break)

4

16:10–17:20
E.U. Competition Law (with no break)

18:00–20:40
Public International Law (with 20 minute break)

5

16:10–17:20
E.U. Competition Law (with no break)

18:00–20:40
Public International Law (with 20 minute break)

6

Exam Prep Day

7

Exam Prep Day

8

Exams

9

15:30–17:20
Legal Environment of Transitional Economies (with 10 minute break)

17:50–19:40
International and Comparative Family Law (with 10 minute break)

10

15:30–17:20
Legal Environment of Transitional Economies (with 10 minute break)

17:50–19:40
International and Comparative Family Law (with 10 minute break)

11

15:30–17:20
Legal Environment of Transitional Economies (with 10 minute break)

17:50–19:40
International and Comparative Family Law (with 10 minute break)

12

15:30–17:20
Legal Environment of Transitional Economies (with 10 minute break)

17:50–19:40
International and Comparative Family Law (with 10 minute break)

13

Optional field trip to be determined.

14 15

15:30–17:20
Legal Environment of Transitional Economies (with 10 minute break)

17:50–19:40
International and Comparative Family Law (with 10 minute break)

16

15:30–17:20
Legal Environment of Transitional Economies (with 10 minute break)

17:50–19:40
International and Comparative Family Law (with 10 minute break)

17

15:30–17:20
Legal Environment of Transitional Economies (with 10 minute break)

17:50–19:40
International and Comparative Family Law (with 10 minute break)

18

Exam Prep Day

19

Exams

 

Orientation

Saturday, May 23, 2015 at 10 a.m. marks the beginning of mandatory attendance for all students to the very important orientation and reception at VMU. This is your opportunity to meet the faculty and your fellow students. Classes, materials, and general living hints will be discussed. IF YOU MISS THE ORIENTATION, YOU MAY BE DISENROLLED FROM THE PROGRAM. DO NOT MISS IT!

Courses — Lithuania Summer Law Program in Kaunas

Session I
(May 23-June 8, 2015)

European Union Competition Law (1 credit)
Instructor: Professor Jurgita Malinauskaite; Vytautas Magnus University

The course will analyze EU competition law. It will start with the introduction to the course, description of the objectives of competition law and policy, theories in competition law and relevant market definition. It will continue with the specific subjects and issues, such as restrictive agreements, abuse of a dominant position, merger control, and private and public enforcement of competition law. The course will conclude with the overview of the competition law in an international context.

Public International Law (2 credits)
Instructors: Professors Jorge Ramirez and John Watts; Texas Tech University School of Law

An introductory course in international legal studies, with attention given to recognizing, analyzing, and solving international law problems in the areas of treaty interpretation, determination of statehood, nationality of persons and corporations, and use of military force. Special emphasis is focused on the sources of international law and the manner in which it is changing to meet the demands of the future.

Session II
(June 9-June 19, 2015)

Legal Environment of Transitional Economies: (1 credit)
Instructors: Professors Julijia Kirsiene, Charles Szymanski, Tomas Berkmanas, and Paulius Cerka; Vytautas Magnus University

The course will discuss issues related to legal systems, human rights, business and labor law, and the role of lawyers in transitional economies, using Lithuania and other Eastern European countries as the primary examples.

International and Comparative Family Law (1 credit)
Instructor: Professor DeLeith Duke Gossett; Texas Tech University School of Law

Students will be introduced to family law policies in different countries and explore their various commonalities and differences. The course will also explore the role of international courts and international law in the shaping of family law in such areas as marriage and cohabitation, divorce and property division, parenting and family formation, and children’s rights. Recent trends in family law will be emphasized, including same-sex marriage, reproductive technologies, child trafficking, and the problems that led to the shutdown of international adoptions from Russia.

Externship

We expect that up to five U.S. students will be selected to participate in a 1-credit externship program that will run from June 19 to June 30, 2015. Students selected for an externship placement must pay an additional tuition of $1,000. The most likely placements will be with international law firms in Vilnius. We will ensure that the students’ work can be performed completely in English. The work the students perform will build on the academic program offered during the preceding four weeks. We are seeking opportunities for students to observe the Lithuanian judicial system in action and to expand their understanding of how international legal issues arise and are resolved. We anticipate that students will engage primarily in one or two legal research and writing projects and interact with attorneys who practice international law.

Selection of students for participation in the externship program will be based upon a separate on-line application (DUE March 16, 2015) that will include a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, law school transcript, and resume. Among other things, we will focus on reasons for applying and indicators tending to demonstrate your professionalism and ability to serve as a good ambassador for your university, your state and the United States. Although the following list is not exhaustive, we will be interested in understanding your demonstrated interests in international activities (e.g., past international studies, past international travel, foreign language skills, and/or articulated reasons for your current interest even if you have no demonstrated past experiences), extracurricular activities and interests; public service; previous employment; demonstrated leadership abilities; academic abilities and scholarly interests. We will be open to any and all arguments why you should be selected for this opportunity, so feel free to argue beyond the factors listed above -- again, the list is not exhaustive.

Student performance in the externship program will be evaluated on a Credit/D or F basis. A determination of the student’s grade will be based on the quality of the student’s work (based on written and oral feedback from the supervisor), a journal that students will be asked to keep daily, and a short reflective paper in which the student summarizes significant learning experiences and ties the externship program to the academic portion of the course.

The following law firms agreed to host our students for externships as part of our 2014 Summer Law Program, and we hope that they will elect to participate again in 2015:

Academic Policies

The usual academic requirements for Texas Tech University School of Law will apply to the Lithuania Summer Law Program. A final examination will be administered.

The professors teaching the courses will evaluate the students’ performance using a final examination at the conclusion of each course and other standards that will be set forth in the syllabi, such as class participation. Each professor will either grade his or her examination, or for objective questions, will provide a key so that the on-site program director or Vytautas Magnus University may arrange for grading. Grading will be anonymous. Grading will be on the Texas Tech grade scale and will use a similar curve. Texas Tech uses a 4.0 grading system.

The acceptance of any grade or credits for any course taken in this program, including externships, is subject to determination by the participant's home school. Each participant carries individual responsibility for determining the transferability of grades and credits earned in this program.

It is unlikely that participation in foreign summer programs may be used to accelerate graduation. Inquiries should be made by the applicant to his/her home institution before application.

Attendance

Attendance is mandatory and each professor will check attendance at the beginning of every class session, and after each formal break. Each professor’s syllabus will address students arriving late and leaving early. At the end of the course, the professor will submit attendance sheets to the administrative office, which will calculate compliance. Should a student miss more than 20% of class time, unless the onsite director allows otherwise, he or she will not be eligible to take the final examination.

Faculty

Professor Jorge Ramirez graduated from Harvard College in 1984 with an A.B. in Economics, and graduated from Harvard Law School with a J.D. degree in 1990. Professor Ramírez administers Texas Tech’s international programs in Mexico, France, Germany, Lithuania, Denmark and Australia. His responsibilities include teaching international law courses at our Summer Law Institute in Guanajuato, Mexico. In January 2007, he was one of seven members of the Texas Lyceum Association (a statewide leadership organization) to be invited by the Central Party School (“CPS”) of the Communist Party of China to participate in an educational and cultural exchange program. The CPS serves as the Communist Party’s ideological research institute and as the main training program for cadres slated for senior posts. Among other things, Ramirez participated in discussions with CPS leaders in both Beijing and Shenzhen, the first city in China to experiment with capitalism. In May of 2006, he was selected as one of five professionals to travel to Brazil as a participant in a Group Study Exchange Program ("GSP") sponsored by the International Rotary Foundation. The GSP provides participants with an opportunity to meet with colleagues in Brazil to discuss opportunities for collaboration, study and research. Professor Ramirez also participated in the "American Swiss Foundation Young Leaders Conference" held in Ermatingen, Switzerland in May, 2005. Participants in the Conference are nominated by prominent American and Swiss citizens and provide the next generation of leaders in Switzerland and the U.S. an opportunity to develop a deeper awareness of the other's perspective. The bipartisan group of fifty participants (half American and half Swiss) is selected on the basis of outstanding professional and personal achievement. Professor Ramírez serves as an editor of the Baltic Journal of Law & Politics, a joint publication of the Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy and the Faculty of Law of Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania; and he has received a number of awards recognizing his contributions to the university including the Law School Faculty Service Award for 2011, the Faculty Distinguished Leadership Award for 2011, the Professor of the Year Award from the Hispanic Law Students Association for 2008-09, the President's Excellence in Teaching Award for 2006, Texas Tech College of Education Teaching Award in 2005, and the Texas Tech Alumni Association's New Faculty Award for 2002.

Professor DeLeith Duke Gossett, Associate Professor of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law; J.D., University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, B.S.E. University of Central Arkansas; former law clerk to four federal judges. Teaches Legal Practice. Professor Gossett writes in the area of social justice and child welfare, focusing on international and domestic systems of adoption and foster care. She has presented her scholarship at Texas A&M University School of Law, the 2013 Nootbaar Institute on Intercountry Adoption at Pepperdine Law School, and the 2014 Biennial Adoption Initiative Conference at St. John’s University. Professor Gossett also taught International and Comparative Family Law at the 2014 Summer Law Institute at the Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico.

Professor John Watts graduated from Harvard Law School in 1996 and earned a B.A. from the University of Maryland in 1992. He is admitted to practice in Virginia and Washington, D.C. After graduating from law school, Professor Watts clerked for the Honorable Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Following his clerkship, he spent eight years in private practice in Norfolk, Virginia, as a civil litigator in the areas of personal injury, product liability and False Claims Act, qui tam, "Whistleblower" litigation. Prior to joining the faculty of Texas Tech School of Law, Professor Watts was on the faculty of Barry University's Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law in Orlando, Florida. Professor Watts teaches Torts, Evidence, Products Liability, Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure and The Laws and Ethics of War. Before attending college, Professor Watts served four years in the United States Marine Corps and had the honor of guarding President Ronald Reagan at Camp David. Professor Watts was the Student Bar Associations 1L Professor of the Year for 2011-2012. He was also named the 1L Professor of the Year by the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity of Texas Tech University School of Law for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.

Professor Charles Szymanski. J.D., University of Pittsburgh. Vice-Dean for International Relations of Vytautas Magnus University Faculty of Law. Lecturer of labor law, international public law, and diplomatic law in Vytautas Magnus University Faculty of Law and Faculty of Political Sciences and Diplomacy, and numerous universities and faculties in Poland.

Associate Professor Tomas Berkmanas. Ph.D., acquired in Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania). Vice-Dean for Research of Vytautas Magnus University Faculty of Law. Lecturer of legal theory, legal philosophy and public law at Vytautas Magnus University Faculty of Law and Faculty of Political Sciences and Diplomacy.

Associate Professor Paulius Cerka. Ph.D., acquired at Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania). Lecturer of civil procedure, tax law and business law in Vytautas Magnus University Faculty of Law and Faculty of Political Sciences and Diplomacy.

Assistant Prof. Jurgita Malinauskaite. Ph.D., acquired at the University of Westminster (United Kingdom). Lecturer of Competition Law and Public Law in the Brunel University (London).

Facilities

Vytautas Magnus University Faculty of Law, including its administrative office, is housed in a modern building near the center of Kaunas. The classrooms provide students with desk space. There are general outlets at the side-walls of the classrooms. Electrical outlets in Lithuania are European standard electrical socket types. The student will need travel plug adapter in order to plug in appliances that do not have the shape of these sockets.

The classrooms have Wi-Fi. Classrooms are equipped with computers and A/V equipment for the instructer’s use and they are very similar to that available in most U.S. law schools. Students should bring their own laptops to the classroom if they wish to use a computer during class.

Lecture hall Lecture hall

Students may use the law library or other University libraries for their study. The locations of the different libraries and study rooms may be found at: http://biblioteka.vdu.lt/en/departments. All buildings of VMU, including the law library and classrooms, have free Wi-Fi internet access for students. Free access to electronic academic journal services (e.g. EBSCO, Cambridge Journals Online, etc.) is provided by the University. Students can use the library’s resources in preparing for lectures and seminars.

Vytautas Magnus's Library Small study area in library

Applicants with Special Needs

Applicants with disabilities or other special needs should contact the International Programs Office at Texas Tech University School of Law in advance to discuss arrangements. Although Kaunas and Vilnius are modern cities, they have preserved many of their historical buildings and sites within their ancient city walls, meaning that some locations may not meet U.S. standards for accommodations.

Although VMU’s facilities have elevators and are generally accessible to individuals with disabilities, they may not fully comply with all of the U.S.’s higher standards. The U.S. State Department discloses the following about Lithuania’s accessibility and accommodation for individuals with disabilities:

While in Lithuania, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what is found in the United States. Lithuania’s Law on Equal Treatment prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities, although it does not specify what kind of disabilities. It mandates access to buildings for persons with disabilities; however, according to 2011 data from the Department of Statistics, only 44.1 percent of housing was accessible.

(See http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_952.html (under “Lithuania” and “Accessibility))

We recommend that the applicant contact the International Programs Office in advance so that Texas Tech Law can make every effort to reasonably accommodate the special needs of applicants.

Program Evaluations

At the end of the Summer Law Program, students will be asked to complete a written evaluation of all aspects of the Program.