U.S. Law and Policy Program for International Professionals

The University of San Diego School of Law offers a select group of visiting Scholars the opportunity to expand their career prospects by conducting research and participating in other elements of the U.S. Law and Policy Program for International Professionals. Scholars are international professionals in law, government, or business. We offer them a mid-career opportunity to combine research in their individual area of interest, the intellectual stimulation of participating in program presentations and events at the law school, and the experience of living in San Diego, one of the world’s most scenic cities.


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Scholars in front of Superior Court
Federal Court Visit

Scholars at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in San Diego
Scholars in front of CaseyGerry
Law Firm Visit

Scholars visit Snell & Wilmer
for IP Law presentation

What Does the Program Offer Scholars?

The program offers Scholars a cultural and educational exchange program organized and coordinated by the University of San Diego School of Law, through its Office of Graduate and International Programs. Professor Fred Heller is the Program Director, and Vice Dean Margaret Dalton is the program supervisor.

  • Orientation
    Scholars attend an orientation session, where they meet each other, the Program Director, law school deans, and school staff. Orientation introduces Scholars to the program and the wide variety of educational and cultural opportunities offered by the university and within the San Diego community. Program officials and staff continually encourage Scholars to explore the wealth of cultural and educational opportunities available to them.
  • Research

    Each Scholar conducts independent research in an area of interest selected by the Scholar, under the supervision of an advisor who is a full-time member of the law school faculty with expertise in the area of the Scholar’s research. Before Scholars commence research, the law school’s writing faculty introduces them to the art of legal writing, and the school’s research librarians train them in conducting legal research. 

    Each Scholar commences research by meeting with the Scholar’s faculty advisor and the Program Director to devise a research plan. Following this initial meeting, Scholars and their advisors continue to meet and communicate with each other as the Scholar’s research progresses.

    Research concludes with the Scholar producing a substantive paper, written in the Scholar’s native language, along with a short (three to five page) English language summary, which must be approved by the faculty advisor. 

    Current and recent faculty advisors include:

    Stephen C. Ferruolo  |  Kevin Cole  |  Robert Fellmeth  |  Ralph Folsom  |  Dov Fox  |  Tom Herman  |  Orly Lobel  |  Michael B. KellyLinda Lane  |  Laurence Claus  |  Mark Lee  |  Miranda Fleischer  |  Michael Ramsey

  • Presentations on Law and Policy
    Scholars participate in a series of informative and interactive presentations on the U.S. legal system and U.S. governmental policies. Dialogue between the Scholars and the presenters provides an exciting basis for educational and cultural exchange. Faculty presenters and topics are different each term, in order to expose Scholars to a wide range of issues in U.S. law and policy.
  • Law School Courses
    Scholars may audit up to two regular law school courses, as approved by the Program Director. Audited courses must be relevant to the Scholar’s proposed research project. “Auditing” a course means a Scholar may attend and participate in class, with or without completing assigned reading (at the Scholar’s election). Auditing does not include taking examinations, receiving a grade, or meeting other course requirements. Associated audit fees will be waived.
  • Outside the Law School
    The program offers Scholars the opportunity to see the U.S. legal system in action, through visits to San Diego courts and to law firms or legal clinics. We also welcome the families of Scholars and offer events where Scholars and their families meet law school faculty and their families. Outside of the program, Scholars and their families experience daily life in an extraordinary setting, where beaches abound and mountains and deserts are within easy reach.
  • Completion Ceremony and Award
    After satisfactory completion of research, each Scholar is awarded a University Certificate of Achievement commending the Scholar for successfully completing the program. At the ceremony, Scholars completing the program celebrate with fellow Scholars and are honored by their families and law school faculty. The ceremonies are scheduled twice a year, usually in December and June.
  • Customized Programs
    Upon request, we will work with governments, companies, and other organizations to develop a customized introduction to U.S. law and government policies. In 2017, select legal staff from SK Group, the major Korean company, attended a two-week session tailored to the Group’s requirements. Organizations interested in a customized program should contact the Program Director to discuss scheduling, content, and costs.
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  • What is the Program Schedule?
  • What is the Application Procedure?
  • What are the Fees and Costs?
  • Visa Information
  • Health Insurance Requirement
  • Housing and Parking