Italian & U.S. Law Schools Offer Dual Degree

Feb 03, 2015 829

Since 2008, Nova Southeastern University's Shepard Broad Law Center in Davie, Florida, has partnered with Roma Tre University, in Rome, to provide both U.S. and Italian students an opportunity to earn law degrees in the U.S. as well as in Italy. U.S. students have the ability to spend a semester in Italy while they are completing their J.D. degrees.

Italian students get to do the same in the U.S. When they have completed their home degree, the students return to the partner school to complete their second degree. There is no other program like it between a U.S. and Italian law school.

"Having both U.S. and Italian law students in one class allows for a wonderful sociolegal learning environment," explains Dean Catherine Arcabascio, who runs the International Programs Office at NSU Law and teaches the Italian law students. "In addition, the students have not only learned from each other, but have created life-long friendships and many international networking opportunities."

One of the first candidates to graduate from the NSU Law dual degree program is NIABA Board member Valerio Spinaci. Valerio was about to graduate when he learned about the opportunity at NSU Law, and he postponed his graduation date with Roma Tre in order to enroll in the program. "Everyone thought I was crazy. I had my Italian thesis prepared and everything," he explains. "But I was excited about the life-changing experience that an international program like the one at NSU Law could offer me."

Valerio moved to the U.S. in 2009, graduated with honors in Roma Tre, and earned the Juris Doctorate, summa cum laude with Nova. Then he passed the bar exams in Florida, New York, New Jersey, California, and in Italy. Thanks to the program, Valerio became the first lawyer ever to be admitted to both the bar in Italy and in Florida. Valerio has been working for several years at the firm of Finizio & Finizio, P.A., in Fort Lauderdale, mostly on immigration, litigation, and business matters with international outreaches. His multilingual and multicultural background – combined with his experience in the dual degree program – is perfectly suited to handling complex litigation cases and international business transactions.

NSU Law also offers the dual degree in Spain and Czech Republic, but the real challenge for American students is that they need to speak the language in order to fully benefit from the program. Accordingly, partnerships with organizations such as NIABA and NIAF are crucial to the successful internationalization of American law students.

Source: National Italian American Bar Association

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