Law students with guest lecturer, Dr. Despina Mavromati, and Professor Ken Jacobsen after an International Sports Law presentation.
All roads may not lead to Rome, but students who travel the one paved by Temple Law School are rewarded with new skills and perspective developed in one of the world’s most historic cities. Through the 4-week study abroad program at Temple Rome students from Temple Law and other law schools earn up to 5 ABA-approved credits, participate in class field trips, and enjoy local culture. Classes are taught in English by American and European law professors, and the program is designed to equip students with the skills and connections needed to build their professional, global network. This practical knowledge comes, in part, from the numerous guest faculty who share their expertise with students during their courses. This summer’s faculty lineup—consisting of accomplished professors, arbitrators, and attorneys—visited Temple’s Rome campus to contribute to the Global Legal Perspectives (GLP) and International Sports Law course curriculums.
The opening guest speaker, Professor Paolo Butturini led two discussions during the first week of classes. As a business law professor at the University of Verona and colleague of Temple Law Professor Susan DeJarnatt, Professor Butturini shared his legal expertise in company and business law, introducing students to the Italian legal system. With these prefatory lectures, students commenced their immersion into the comparative nature of the GLP course, as Paolo highlighted the striking contrasts between the practice of business law in Italy and the United States, while simultaneously underscoring both countries’ shared company and client-focused approach to legal matters.
Professor Alessandra Gianelli of Sapienza University of Rome law school led a presentation regarding a pressing global issue—the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Professor Gianelli shed light, not only on the legal implications of this “act of aggression” launched by the Russian Federation, but also on the lasting repercussions impacting the entire European Union (EU). By discussing the legal significance of this global event, Professor Gianelli incorporated themes of self-defense, the collective use of force across the EU to aid the Ukraine response effort, the overwhelming enthusiasm in support of the Ukraine in the United States, and the underlying notion of neutrality.
Offering a divergence from the GLP-focused presentations, Temple Law Professor Ken Jacobsen hosted exceptional lecturers to discuss international law concepts. International sports law attorney Massimo Coccia led the first of these lively discussions. Introducing students to the Court of Arbitrations for Sport (CAS)—the organizational body tasked with resolving international disputes related to sport through the process of arbitration—Coccia provided a comprehensive overview of CAS and regaled students with stories from his prior decisions and resolutions while serving as a CAS arbitrator. The class came to life when reviewing Coccia’s involvement in the notorious “skate-gate case” from the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. During the Pairs Figure Skating event, controversy struck the Olympic stage when a judge revealed that she was pressured to cast her vote to the Russian pair over the Canadian pair during the competition. Appointed to resolve the dispute, Coccia and two other arbitrators delivered the final decision which awarded the Canadian figure skating pair gold medals along with the Russian pair.
Professor Alice Abreu —renowned Temple Law tax professor and Director of the Center for Tax Law and Public Policy —delivered an insightful presentation covering her area of expertise—tax law—but with an international flare. Titled “Mission: No Tax Anywhere,” the presentation described the phenomenon of transfer pricing as the “ticket to near-zero taxation,” and introduced the objective of corporations as a prime method for tax avoidance.
Visiting Rome from Switzerland, international sports lawyer Dr. Despina Mavromati served as the final guest lecturer. Invited by Professor Jacobsen to examine characteristics of sports dispute resolution, Dr. Mavromati attested to the pervasiveness and efficiency of mediation and other forms of dispute resolution in the sports context by drawing on her current and past experiences as an attorney, multi-faceted sports arbitrator, and lecturer at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Dr. Mavromati offered valuable advice to students about working in the legal field, stressing the importance of ignoring stereotypes and falsities about women in the legal profession.
In addition to these guest lectures, students developed their own “global legal perspectives” by attending class field trips. Francesco Portolano, of the Portolano Cavvagio Firm, met with students at the Rome campus to discuss the work of his own law firm and provide insight into the Italian legal education and professional landscape.
Upon the announcement of the Temple Law partnership with the University of Parthenope in June 2022, students enjoyed a single-day field trip to the city of Naples to visit the school and hear lectures from two Italian law professors: Professor Sara Pugilese and Professor Alessandro Milone. Lastly, students visited The Fosse Ardeatine mausoleum, meeting with Adriana and Julia Montezemolo to learn about this unique, cave site memorial and its commemoration to victims of an infamous Nazi massacre dating back to Germany’s occupation of Italy during World War II.
With a large alumni network and a history dating back over 45 years, the Temple Rome program offers a unique opportunity for students to add to their law school experience and bridge the academic, international gap. Through this well-rounded curriculum, students leave Rome better prepared to navigate the global legal landscape.