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Center for International Legal Studies

FAQs for Host Universities of the Senior Lawyer Visiting Professors' Program

The CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL LEGAL STUDIES, in cooperation with senior lawyers from Common Law countries offer short-term appointments to host universities from Eastern Europe, China and India during spring and autumn each year. More than 600 senior lawyers have taken up over 1800 appointments in the first 11 years of the program.

Senior Lawyer Definition |Number of Visiting Professors | Assignments | Remuneration | Travel and Housing | Courses, Erasmus, Students, Classroom | Spouse teaching | Visa | Communicating and responding | Special Event and Moot Court Team | Students help for SLVP | Dinner/Lunch invitations, Sightseeing info, and gifts | Partner institutions | Hosts Map |

What is a "Senior Lawyer"?

A "senior lawyer" has at least 15 years of significant practice experience in the area in which he or she proposes to teach.

How many Senior Lawyers should we accept?

Your university can host one per annum, one per semester, or two or three per semester. It is entirely up to you. Just make sure you always update the Senior Lawyer Administration of your needs.

How long are the assignments?

The term of teaching may be from two to six weeks and the length of appointment and dates of teaching are subject to negotiation between the appointee and the host university. Usually about two weeks, but some have also taught one week or twelve weeks. The main importance is that a minimum of 15 hours are taught.

Can we make our own assignments with visiting professors?

No. With over 300 active alumni of the SLVP program all assignments have to be routed through the Senior Lawyer Administration Office. If you have a preference for a specific professor, please let us know, and we set it up.

Do we have to remunerate the visiting professor?


Who pays for the travel?

The senior lawyer has to cover his or her own travel cost.

Do we need to provide housing?

Generally, yes, ideally providing suitable accommodation with private bathroom at a hotel near the faculty, or a dormitory or faculty apartment. If this is beyond the host's budget, other options can be discussed with the visiting professor.

Can we ask for specific courses?

Yes. The more information the Senior Lawyer Administration receives from the hosts, the better the chances of finding the most suitable professor. Subjects are not limited, but bear in mind that most professors are from Common Law countries and the purpose of such teaching appointments is to introduce particular areas of Common Law legal systems to the law students and junior faculty of the host university.

How should the courses be scheduled best?

According to your needs. You can schedule the visiting professor for teaching an Erasmus class with credits and exam; or you can add it as a voluntary class to the curriculum. Be sure you communicate it to the visiting professor well in advance what days, what time of day (morning, afteroon or evening) you want the class to be held. You can issue certificates, we can also issue joint certificates with the CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL LEGAL STUDIES.

How many students should have signed up for the course?

A minimum of 6.

Do the students need to speak English?

Yes, they will have to have an understanding of english. You can augment the class with an interpreter into the local language, but students should have some command of the language.

Do we need to provide a classroom?

Yes, ideally the same classroom for the duration of the course.

Would the visiting professor teach more than one class (a bachelor class and a master class for instance)?

Yes, but it might depend on the number of hours you want the professor to teach. Best to discuss specifics with the assignee.

Would the visiting professor teach more than one subject?

Maybe. It depends on what you are looking for. Again discuss with the visiting professor.

Would the visiting professor be available for other classes than his or her own?

Yes. Any visiting professor would be thrilled to be asked to join a class of the local faculty. By the same token, maybe local professors would like to sit in from time to time in the class of the visiting professor.

If the visiting professor asks whether their spouse could teach a course (not law related), may we accept?

Yes by all means. There have been a number of husbands or wives of visiting professors who have given courses on a variety of subjects. The students enjoyed it and it was doubly-rewarding for the visiting professor and his/her spouse.

What if the spouse of the visiting professor is a lawyer?

Then, from the outset, they will most likely be co-teaching the course.

Do we need to assist with obtaining a visa?

Yes. If the visiting professor requires a visa to enter your country, please prepare the visa letter for him or her. Make sure you receive certain information (copy of passport, arrival and departure days, and flight number et. al.) from the visiting professor in a timely fashion. If uncertain, just be sure the visa letter refers to a "business" not "study" trip.

Under the US-Russian Visa Agreement, which entered into force September 2012, it is expected that qualified US applicants for humanitarian, private, tourist, and business visas can receive multiple-entry visas with a validity of three years, but will still be beholden to the six-month rule. In theory this is possible, in practice no Senior Lawyer has been successful with a 3-year multiple entry visa thus far.

When should I expect to hear from my assigned professor?

First, you will receive a nomination letter from us with a brief biography of the visiting professor and the suggested course subject. We need you to confirm (or deny) the nomination within the deadline given in the letter. If the nomination is accepted the assignment letter is sent to the visiting professor usually with CC to the host contact. At this point you are at liberty to get in touch with the visiting professor at any time. Usually, they write rather quickly introducing themselves.

Do we have to respond right away?

It certainly helps. At least reply to them acknowledging receipt of the message. Very often visiting professors are assigned a year in advance, but they like to discuss dates with the host right away. If it is too early in your calendar, please tell them.

Can we schedule an event with the visiting professor as the guest lecturer?

Most certainly. All of the visiting professors are eager to be of service to their hosts.

We have a Moot Court Team. Can the visiting professor be scheduled to assist them?

Again, yes, most certainly.

Can we assign students to the visiting professor as assistants, tour guides, or to pick them up from the airport or train station upon arrival?

Yes! Actually, it seems to be an advantage if you have two or three students volunteer to be the point persons for the visiting professors. Friendships have formed over the years, and many of our alumni keep an eye on their students and student assistants from their hosts.

Do we need to take the visiting professor out to dinner or lunch?

No, but it is certainly appreciated, should it happen nevertheless.

Do we need to provide sightseeing information about our city or our country?

Anything you can offer in terms of advice and suggestions will be appreciated. If students are available for a stroll through town that is certainly the best of all options.

Do we need to provide gifts for the visiting professor?

Small tokens are appreciated for sure. Usually it is a book on your university, your city, or the history of your country.

Can I recommend this program to partner institutions?

Yes, of course.