NORMAN, OKLA. -- Each summer, students in the University of Oklahoma College of Law get the chance to get a jump on graduation and gain a global perspective on the world through the school’s Oxford program.
Tracy Pearl, program director and professor in the OU College of Law, said the opportunity offers more than just the maximum four courses taught at the prestigious Trinity College.
“This is the first time we’ve been at Trinity College,” Pearl said. “It’s the most centrally located and it’s an incredibly old and prestigious college. Their resources are better than we ever dreamed. We hope this will be the beginning of a very long relationship with Trinity College.”
Law student Tricha Bunce called it “a truly amazing experience.”
“Even though I was taking OU classes with OU professors, it was incredible to be in that beautiful and historic place with nothing to focus on except studying and traveling,” she said. “The small class size really allowed me to develop relationships with my professors and get to know them so much better than I would have in a larger classroom setting.”
The Oxford program offers first- and second-year students an opportunity to take as many as four classes over the course of the summer. Three are taught by University of Oklahoma faculty and topics vary year to year. The fourth offering is taught by Oxford faculty. For the past several years, Oxford professor Thomas Krebs has given students a taste of international commercial law.
Second-year student Josh Emerson used the opportunity to get six more hours of credit and spend time in Europe with his wife and three children. In addition to the coursework, the Emersons were able to visit Barcelona, Spain; Paris; and the Amalfi coast of Italy, as well as London.
“It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study at one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world, while also getting to see Europe and get out of the 105-degree Oklahoma summers,” Emerson said.
That’s the response Pearl hopes for.
“I’m really passionate about making sure students have a great experience here,” she said. “The legal market is an international market. All large law firms and many medium-sized firms have offices abroad and there is always a need for American lawyers who can navigate different cultures. This gives many students their first taste of that.”
Starting next year, the five-week program will offer scholarships to incoming students who show exceptional promise.
In addition to Monday-through-Thursday classes, faculty and students dine together three nights a week in the college dining hall. Students often use the long weekends to explore England and continental Europe, sometimes reaching far-flung destinations like Paris and Rome.
“We’ve become a global society, and this means more than just three or four credits toward graduation,” Pearl said. “Increasingly, people who are coming out of law school with experience with international travel are going to have a leg up.”
For more information on any of the programs at the OU College of Law, visit law.ou.edu.
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