Columbia Summer Program

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Columbia Summer Program 2014 (June 30 - July 25)

For more than 50 years, students and professionals from all over the world have joined us in the picturesque Dutch cities of Leiden or Amsterdam for the Columbia Summer Program to learn about all aspects of American Law taught by distinguished Professors from Columbia University.

Why don't you join this long tradition? The application deadline for the 2014 session of the Columbia Summer Program at Leiden University has been extended to 1 June 2014! Apply now!





A yearly success


For more than fifty years Columbia Law School has offered this Summer Program in American Law, in cooperation with the law faculties of Leiden and Amsterdam Universities. The Program is held in alternate summers, for the full month of July, in Leiden and Amsterdam.


A team of eight eminent Columbia law professors comes from New York to the Netherlands to teach a set of important subjects in American law - some basic, and some advanced - to young lawyers and advanced law students from around the world.


At the end of the Program, students are awarded a Certificate of Participation. If they wish to take a final examination, they may obtain academic credits toward degrees at their home universities.


Recent students - and students from many years past - have given overwhelmingly enthusiastic evaluations of the Program. Former students - who are now distinguished judges, political leaders, senior attorneys, business executives, and law professors - participate in great numbers in formal Program reunions and in smaller informal reunions in many countries.


A range of exciting subjects and classroom methods


The core subjects of the Program are U.S. corporate law, constitutional law, civil litigation, and common-law torts. In addition, students may choose two or more of the following courses in cutting-edge fields: a workshop on complex deal-making; a tax policy seminar; a course on surveillance and privacy in national-security law; and a course on the U.S. linkage of trade and labor rights. Apart from the important subject matter, students gain an introduction to the general common-law method.


One of the unique features of American legal education is the give-and-take of classroom discussion. My colleagues from the Columbia faculty volunteer to teach in the Program because of the special excitement of bringing this style to a different and fascinating group of students.


A special feature of the Program is a “moot court” - that is, a mock trial, in which students play the roles of lawyers and witnesses, and a professor serves as judge. In a high-spirited setting alongside their peers, students learn the unique style of adversarial litigation in the U.S.


The Program’s many benefits


Through lectures, discussion, mock-trials, and hands-on negotiation of complex transactions, students learn key subject-matter and skills that they can take with them and use in practice and in further research on U.S. law.


In addition to the daily classes, the professors and students continue discussion of law, politics, and other current affairs in convivial lunches at beautiful canal-side cafes and in other special activities. In the lovely setting of Leiden cafes and parks, the professors are available for conversation throughout the day, not just in classes and daily lunches.


For those considering an LL.M. degree in a U.S. law school, whether at Columbia or elsewhere, the Program provides a strong foundation to make your LL.M. study more successful. The Columbia professors can give you special advice about pursuing LL.M or other advanced studies in the U.S.


Each summer, the students develop a strong sense of cohesion and community, both in the coursework and in other activities in Leiden, nearby Amsterdam, and travels to other Dutch cities, villages, and beaches. And in every past summer, students have made friendships and important professional contacts that continue for many years. The Program is a special combination of hard work, intensive learning, and great personal and social enjoyment.


Mark Barenberg,

Professor of Law, Columbia University

Executive Director, Columbia-Leiden-Amsterdam Summer Program