A Successful Return Visit from Chungnam National University Law School

Chungnam students divide into groups of 3 for a mediation role play in Dr. Pilarczyk's class.

Chungnam students divide into groups of 3 for a mediation role play in Dr. Pilarczyk’s class.

The office of the Executive LL.M. Program recently welcomed a small but spirited group of second year law students from Chungnam National University in Daejeon, South Korea. As part of our portfolio of special programs, which we offer every year, we hosted 9 students and their chaperone Professor John Kong (LAW ’92) for a customized three-day workshop in American Law. The first two days of the program consisted of four mini-courses: Introduction to Civil Procedure (Prof. David Webber); Introduction to Criminal Procedure (Prof. David Breen); Introduction to International Law (Prof. Emeritus Daniel Partan); and Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution (taught by myself). These courses offered the Korean students some exposure to the American style of legal instruction, including the Socratic method. In the ADR course we engaged in a number of interactive exercises, including two mediation and negotiation ‘role plays’. While none of them had participated in these types of exercises before, and despite English not being their native language, they seemed very enthusiastic about the new experience!

The final day of the workshop featured a field trip to a local court and law firm. Our first stop was the U.S. District Court located in the beautiful John Joseph Coakley U.S. Courthouse, a striking landmark building opened in 1998 that features striking Boston Harbor views and public galleries. Following a guided tour of the building, our students were able to meet with a U.S. Judge Magistrate and attend a bail hearing, but even more noteworthy was the chance to hear some of the testimony in the trial of Azamat Tazhayakov, one of three friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy related to their alleged removal of evidence from Tsarnaev’s dorm room after the Boston Marathon bombing.  We then had lunch at the firm of Bowditch & Dewey, where we were hosted by Mary-Pat Cormier, partner specializing in business and insurance litigation, who gave a detailed presentation on the “Life Cycle of Litigation: From Filing to Appeal”. The field trip concluded with a farewell dinner at (appropriately enough) Legal Sea Foods in the Prudential Center.

In between their law-related activities, the students also took in a “duck tour” of the downtown and a Red Sox game against Chicago, no doubt resulting in many pleasant memories of their time here in Boston. This marked the third such visit by students from Chungnam since 2012. As always, our thanks go to Prof. Kong for acting as chaperone and facilitating the visit.

ELLM Director Ian C. Pilarczyk talks with a student from Chungnam University

ELLM Director Ian C. Pilarczyk talks with a student from Chungnam University

Second Annual Budapest ELLM Session Concluded!

The ELLM program concluded its second Budapest session, held June 16-June 28, 2014, which saw 12 students enjoy the lovely backdrop of Budapest during their studies. Held in ELTE Law School, this session offered three courses by our regular faculty: International Mergers and Acquisitions (Professor John Sullivan); International Arbitration (Professor Phil O’Neill); and Corporate Finance with U.S. and International Reporting (Professor Ray Wilson), as well as our Colloquium series, Current Issues in International Business Law.

ELTE Law School

ELTE Law School

Among our Colloquiia speakers was FBI Supervisory Agent John Terpinas, who is Director of the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest (ILEA Budapest, for short). Agent Terpinas discussed the history and scope of the ILEA, the role of the participating agencies, and their role in training law enforcement personnel across central and eastern Europe, especially in the areas of public corruption, organized crime, and human trafficking. Topics covered included antitrust and competition law, real estate and M&A, privitization in Central and Eastern Europe, and banking and finance.

On the last day of the residency, we gathered to celebrate yet another milestone in the history of the ELLM, as well as in the lives of our students, as we toasted friends old and new and exchanged stories about our time together in Budapest. As is typical in Budapest, the dinner was held in an lovely outdoor courtyard. Two of our instructors were able to attend: John Sullivan and Ray Wilson; and in addition, Dr. Király (Dean of ELTE Law School) and Dennis Campbell (Director for the Center for International Legal Studies) joined us.

 

ELLM Director Dr. Ian C. Pilarczyk and Dean of ELTE Law School, Dr. Miklós Király

ELLM Director Dr. Ian C. Pilarczyk and Dean of ELTE Law School, Dr. Miklós Király

ELLM Farewell Dinner (Budapest), June 28, 2014

ELLM Farewell Dinner (Budapest), June 28, 2014

We therefore thank all of our international friends for our time together and for our fruitful institutional colloborations, and bid a fond farewell to Budapest, content in our memories of a beautiful city and new friendships made. Back in Boston, the ELLM office is preparing for our first special program of the summer, and our Summer Boston residency that runs from July 28- August 9th, about which we will write more later in the summer. As always, we invite you to visit our website for information on the program, as well as join our Facebook group and our group on LinkedIn.

For now, ”Viszlát!” (goodbye).

Welcome to Zachary Wang, new Assistant Director of the ELLM!

Zachary Wang, Ass't Director of ELLM

Zachary Wang, Ass’t Director of ELLM

Dear friends of the ELLM–

I am delighted to introduce the newest member of Graduate and International Programs at BU Law, Zachary Wang, the Assistant Director for the ELLM.

Prior to joining the Executive LL.M. program, Zachary was an adjunct professor at Chongqing University Law School where he taught a professional legal English and Introduction to American Law class and served as the faculty advisor for the law school’s international Jessup moot court team. Zachary also acted as a senior advisor to education consulting companies that assist Chinese students from middle school through college with studying abroad. In addition, Zachary worked in Beijing at a boutique Chinese law firm that focused on servicing international clients primarily from Western Europe, the U.S., and South East Asia. His practice areas included offshore restructuring, seed investments and bridge financing, asset acquisitions, intellectual property protection, joint venture agreements, and employment law. Previously, Zachary practiced law in Boston as a commercial litigator engaged primarily in defense work for hospitals and insurance companies. In addition, Zachary has experience working in the tech industry, as he was a project manager at a business analytics startup in Beijing. Zachary earned his bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies and Political Science from Columbia University and his J.D. from Boston College Law School. He then earned an LL.M. in Chinese law from Tsinghua University Law School.

I know he will be an invaluable part of our team going forward, and I am confident he will help us continue to grow and improve upon the ELLM. His email is zacwang@bu.edu, and his office can be found in our temporary home on the 5th floor of the new law building. Welcome, Zach!

Upwards and onwards,

Ian

An Introduction to Prof. Babak Boghraty and our new ELLM Course on Compliance

Dear friends of the ELLM–

Some of you have already had the opportunity to meet our newest member of the ELLM family, Professor Babak Boghraty, BU Law ’89, during our Colloquium series in March (if you have not had the pleasure, you can read his bio here). Today I have the pleasure to welcome him as a guest blogger on our website, in which he offers a description of his new course titled Managing Compliance Risks for International Business Networks.  I am very pleased to have this new addition to our curriculum, as it covers an area of international legal practice that is increasingly important to many practitioners, and because it marks a significant step forward towards our goal of offering a robust portfolio of all-online courses. With the addition of this course, an all-online version of International Business Transactions and Agreements, and the array of tax and energy/environmental offerings available to our students, we can now say that the ELLM has an additional “fall online” session open to our students. In developing the course, Professor Boghraty has drawn on his own experience in assisting global enterprises establish and maintain a long-term presence in Iran — a market defined by risk and also unique business opportunities.  Besides his technical knowledge of the issues, he brings a real-life sense of the challenges facing international lawyers practicing in this field. And now to turn things over to Professor Boghraty:

“Covering a nascent and growing field of practice, the course focuses on U.S. laws that govern international business conduct — like the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, export controls and sanctions.  Those laws have been vigorously enforced against multinational businesses in recent years, resulting in record fines and underscoring the need for risk-management systems tailored to international operations. The course is designed to help students develop the skill to identify and manage potential compliance obligations in a variety of international business contexts.  It looks in depth at U.S. enforcement agencies’ guidelines for initiating and resolving enforcement actions, and at compliance programs that mitigate the risk of such actions.  It also explores how compliance and risk management fit into a broader ethics program aimed at serving stakeholders and building social capital.”

Prof. Babak Boghraty

Prof. Babak Boghraty

I hope you will join me in welcoming Professor Boghraty, and I also hope that you will agree with me that this is a most welcome expansion of the ELLM curriculum, one that will offer both an immensely practical as well as an intellectually engaging pedagogical experience.  You can expect to hear more from Professor Boghraty as he joins us a regular faculty blogger on this website in the months ahead. Thank you, Babak, for joining us!

 As always, we are happy to hear from you, and I also hope you will visit my personal website from time to time as I examine subjects related broadly to legal history.

All best,

Ian

ELLM Program Salutes the Graduates of the Class of 2014!

On Sunday May 19th, along with friends and family, we celebrated the growing alumni body of the ELLM program by welcoming our 10 latest graduates! BU Law’s Commencement featured the usual pomp-and-circumstance we expect at these events, highlighted by the Commencement address by the Honorable Juan R. Torruella (BU Law ’57) of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Here are the latest additions to our noble roster of ELLM alumni:

Anne Broudic

Ernesto Carrasco

Erik Estrada

Stefan Greimel

Christos Kelepouris

Virginia Lombardo

Shenying Peng

Jaime Rodriguez Garcia

Alexander Russell

Roger Tangry

2014 ELLM Graduates with Current Student Anna Townes

2014 ELLM Graduates with Current Student Anna Townes

Given that our program is non-residential, it is always gratifying to see how eager our graduates are to come to BU to celebrate their achievements with their classmates–particularly when they have to travel considerable distances to do so. Six out of this year’s 10 graduates were able to attend–Anne, Ernesto, Stefan,Virginia, Alex, and Roger–travelling from France, Honduras, Austria, Italy, the United States, and Canada. At the post-Commencement reception, a current student and soon-to-be ELLM graduate, Anne Townes (Slovakia), who is working in the Boston area, came by to say hello and join them in the festivities. Such wonderful camaraderie! The only ELLM graduate of the Class of 2014 who was local was Alex Russell, who enrolled in BU’s Banking and Financial Law LL.M. Program in January– so we will see him at BU Law Commencement again in the near future!As always, we hope all of you will stay in touch and we look forward to more formalized alumni activities and networking in the year ahead as our alumni body continues to grow. You can also expect to see more activity on our ELLM blog, as we begin to feature guest writers, including instructors who will share their thoughts on their courses and discuss legal issues related to international business law. In addition, there will be some updates on new initiatives in the pipeline (hint: they include a soon-to-be announced new course for 2015, and the introduction of our new instructor who will offer a revamped version of Securities Regulation). In the meantime, however– congrats again to the Class of 2014, and don’t be a stranger!

Alex Russell (ELLM '14 and current Banking and Financial Law LL.M. student) and Director Ian C. Pilarczyk

Alex Russell (ELLM ’14 and current Banking and Financial Law LL.M. student) and Director Ian C. Pilarczyk

All best,

Ian

 

Moving on…

Today is my last day at Boston University and I wanted to say farewell. The past year has been a blur with my first residency session coming 2 weeks after my arrival at BU Law, the inaugural Budapest residency, the Third Annual Workshop for Chinese Law Students, the first semester of the International Environmental & Energy Law Concentration courses, and the development of the Legal English Certificate Program. While I am eager to begin my role in Veteran Recruitment for UMass Boston, I am happy to have met you, and wish you all the best!

First impressions of the International Environmental & Energy Concentration

Happy New Year and welcome to a new semester at the Executive LL.M. Program. As you can see from our Happy Holidays from the ELLM Office post there have been many developments over the past year. One of these developments was the addition of the addition of the International Environmental and Energy Law Concentration (IEEC). This past fall semester we had our first ELLM student participate in the Environmental Law course offered through this partnership.

Stefan Greimel recently completed the Environmental Law course offered in conjunction with Vermont Law School and we took this opportunity to talk to him about his experience.

Stefan Greimel

Stefan Greimel

The course provided an overview of some of the major environmental statutes in the United States, addressed the variety of regulatory tools and concepts that can be used to prevent environmental harm, focusing on the proper match between regulatory tools and environmental harm, and explored the role of other disciplines (e.g., science) and alternative means (e.g., public awareness) to facilitate changes in environmental policy. In addition to the core subject matter, Stefan was gratified that “I also learned quite a lot about U.S. administrative law in general.”

While Environmental Law is not a core area of interest for Stefan, he took the course because he finds value in exploring new areas of law that challenge him. He found the subject of the course intellectually interesting, but more importantly the approaches and tools used to find solutions to the assigned problems were very valuable for his professional development. Like many students, Stefan was concerned about missing something by taking a completely online course, but the design and pace of the Vermont Law School online environment alleviated his concerns.

With respect to the course content and pedagogy, Stefan noted that “In particular I appreciated the group work in module 2, where in the course of a case study we looked at the challenges in dealing with the environmental and public health impacts of a landfill and considered what avenues community members might pursue in their efforts to abate the harm, where we were encouraged to think creatively about innovative legal and non-legal solutions, also considering the applicable statutory language. This provided the greatest insight how a lawyer would work on an environmental issue, and I got a lot out of this module in terms of how to argue a case. To work together with my colleagues on this case was a great experience, too.” He was impressed with the structure of the course and enjoyed the group format of the discussions and the assignments, saying “the group experience added something special to the course” and “it was a very positive group environment that challenges you.” One aspect of the course Stefan found particularly compelling was the format of the assignments each week. For example, the format changed from individual assignments to group assignments, and the type and length of the assignments varied depending on the week. This broke up the work and encouraged communication with classmates, whom Stefan found to be very engaged and capable.

Overall, Stefan’s experience was that the course was very challenging but rewarding, and he agreed that taking more than one intensive 7 week course at a time would be a very difficult task for someone working full-time. On average he spent 15-20 hours a week on reading and assignments, as the course covered material normally spread out over a 15 week semester. A few tips Stefan gives for managing the workload: spread out the reading and assignments over the work week and start the reading of the materials at the beginning of every week; start to work on the assignment in the middle of the week and finalize the assignments during the weekend, if the schedule allows you to do so (sometimes it was required to post assignments on Thursday or Friday). He said “there is just too much material to get through if you do not pace yourself and start early” and attempting to do all the course work on the weekend would be too onerous. While it was a busy schedule with firm deadlines, Stefan noted there was some room for accommodation: “during one week I had a conflict with work and the faculty was flexible enough to allow me an extra day.”

As our first ELLM ‘graduate’ of an IEEC course, Stefan was very pleased with the experience which he described as ”enriching”, and recommends his fellow ELLM students consider taking one or two of these courses as they provide flexibility in program scheduling and subject content, and offer an interesting addition to the overall ELLM curriculum. For more information about the IEEC or any of the other courses offered through the ELLM program, please contact us at execllm@bu.edu.

Thank you to Stefan for sharing with us his experiences with this course, and we hope your new year has started off well. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Happy Holidays from the ELLM Office!

Greetings from BU Law and the ELLM Office!  At this special time of year, we like to reflect on all the blessings we have enjoyed and take stock of 2013.

We have discussed many of the exciting developments in previous blog entries already– the success of our Budapest session, our special programs, the introduction of our new IEEL Concentration, two new courses in Deals and Compliance, but there are other things about which we are grateful that we have not yet talked about. Some highlights:

  • a growing number of ELLM students have taken courses from our online International Taxation basket — 11 so far– including courses in Corporate Law, Federal Tax, Transfer Pricing, and International Tax;
  • 1 student pursued the Concentration in International Taxation in 2013, with 2 so far for 2014;
  • the introduction of the IEEL has proven to be an interesting addition for some of our students, with several students enrolling in courses such as Environmental Law, Administrative Law, and Environmental Dispute Resolution;
  • our alumni population continues to grow, with 7 graduates in 2013, and 11 anticipated in 2014;
  • the geographic spread of the ELLM continues to expand, as we approach 40 countries represented by our student cohort;
  • we are increasing ELLM’s footprint in Africa (Ghana, Morocco, South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe), the Middle East (Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, UAE), Central and Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Russia), Latin and South America (Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela), and Asia (China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea);
  • in addition to our already-robust cohort from many developed countries (Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, USA), we have a growing student body from many developing-world countries (Bangladesh, Haiti, India, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey). This diversity of representation, with students from all over the world and a multiplicity of backgrounds, makes the Executive LL.M. program at BU one-of-a-kind.
  • For the Spring 2014 session– scheduled to begin in about a month–we have new students entering the ELLM from Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Hungary, Japan and the US. And there are more to come, as applicants continue to arrive. Welcome, all, to the ELLM family!

And, of course, construction of the new Sumner Redstone Law Building continues apace, with the entire external structure up. While we not occupy our full space in the new building until 2015, we will be moving out of the law tower for next September, when the gutting of the main law building will take place. If you’d like to see the time lapse camera shots of the Redstone building construction, please visit here: http://oxblue.com/open/bostonuniversity

We are grateful for the growth of the ELLM, and are grateful for your participation and interest in it. Each one of our students and alumni have contributed to our success and we are, in a word, also grateful for each of you! Please feel free to send us any pictures of your celebrations of the holidays or the New Year, or a scenic photo from where you live– we’d love to post them!

Have a happy and safe holidays and we look forward to seeing or hearing from you in 2014!

XMAS Terrier

All best to you and your family,

Ian

 

ELLM Updates for Fall 2013

After the successful completion of three residency sessions this past summer, one in Budapest and two in Boston, the ELLM program has continued to move forward with the addition of the International Environmental and Energy Law Concentration (IEEC), the creation of two new courses, and involvement in a completely new certificate program at BU Law.  It has been a busy few months and we are confident the LECP will quickly become a robust program and all the hard work we are doing now will pay off next year!

The IEEC is the ELLM’s second online concentration. Like the International Taxation Concentration, the IEEC offers students the opportunity to specialize in a growing and important area of specialized legal practice. Offered in conjunction with the Vermont Law School – the nation’s top law school for environmental law studies — this concentration is offered entirely online, with no residential components, in a 7 week long intensive format. ELLM students will now have access to seven new courses: Environmental Law, Administrative Law, Energy Law and Policy in a Carbon-Constrained World, Energy Regulation and the Environment, Alternative Fuels and Renewable Energy, Oil and Gas Development and the Environment, and Environmental Dispute Resolution. These courses offer additional flexibility in addition to providing immersion in this highly-relevant international field. Completion of the IEEC Concentration also allows students to complete the Executive LL.M. program requirements through two, rather than the usual three, residency sessions if desired. Students may also enroll in these courses individually as all these courses will count towards the Executive LL.M. degree.

In addition to the launch of the IEEC, the ELLM program is developing two new courses for 2014. The first new course, Deals: The Legal Engineering Behind Corporate Transactions, will be offered during the 2014 Summer Boston session. This course will be taught by Mr. Andrew Croxford who has over 17 years of experience as a solicitor in London, England, with experience in mergers and acquisitions, equity capital markets, joint ventures and venture capital investments in the U.K. and throughout the world, with a particular emphasis on transactions in emerging economies. This course looks at how lawyers can, and do, add value to complex transactions and contracts, or deals through identification and evaluation of common issues that present contractual risks for corporate clients and examination of how those risks can be resolved or mitigated by legal advisers through the application of conceptual frameworks. The second course, Managing Compliance Risks for International Business Networks, will be offered during the Fall 2014 semester as an entirely online course. Taught by Mr. Babak Boghraty, a BU Law graduate with two decades of experience assisting global enterprises extend their presence to some of the most inaccessible markets, this course will examine recent developments in US law that impact compliance risks in international business operations, and explore potential tools for evaluating and managing those risks.

We have also been busy developing the Legal English Certificate Program (LECP). This program is specifically designed for law practitioners who are academically and professionally qualified to enter an LL.M. program, but require additional English Language instruction. The courses in this two semester, full-time program are designed to strengthen a students Legal English skills as well as give them a firm foundation in the skills necessary to succeed in their future U.S. graduate school education. The program contains two tracks: track one, known as the 2 Year LL.M. option, are for applicants who are provisionally accepted into a BU Law LL.M. program but need to improve their English and legal English proficiency. Track two, the certificate-only program, is also open to non-lawyers and practitioners who are not seeking to matriculate in one of BU Law’s LL.M. programs.

Sumner M. Redstone Building

In addition to these program additions, we have been busy reviewing applications for the ELLM (which have been coming in at a rapid pace!), planning the 2014 residency sessions, and working with faculty and students completing their summer session online post-residencies. All the while, the construction of the new Sumner M. Redstone Building has continued and we look forward to the new building opening summer 2014. This building will eventually house the new ELLM suite of offices and classrooms, with a marvelous view of the Charles River. It has been a busy few months, but we look forward to next year when all of this work will come to fruition!

As always, please contact us at execllm@bu.edu if we can provide you with any information on the ELLM program, to sign up for one of our upcoming informational webinars, or to give us a professional update.

 

Third Annual UCLEF Workshop on American Law Hosted at BU Law

From August 1 to August 7, 2013,  the ELLM program was honored to host a delegation of law students and lawyers from China for a Workshop on American Business Law. Organized on behalf of the US-China Legal Exchange Foundation (UCLEF), this marked the third occasion since 2011 that the ELLM program offered this special program, and was the sixth such workshop that we have offered to institutional partners since that time.

The universities represented included the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), Shenzhen University School of Law, and Southwest University of Political Science and Law. Participants attended four days of lectures covering topics that included Introduction to Intellectual Property, Contracts, Corporate Reorganizations and Bankruptcy, Banking Regulation, Securities Regulation, Trade, and Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution. Several members of the full-time teaching faculty of BU Law participated, including the “singing professor”, Mark Pettit, who lectured on the law of Contracts.

Prof. Mark Pettit lectures on Contracts, August 2013

Other instructors included Professors Stacey Dogan and David Webber, Professor Emeritus Daniel Partan, Associate Director Martin Lacdao of the Banking and Financial Law LL.M. program, and myself. As in previous years, Zachary H. Smith, partner at O’Melveny & Myers in New York City, flew to Boston to share his expertise on bankruptcy law. On the last day of the Workshop, the ELLM program arranged for a visit to the U.S. District Court and were hosted for lunch and a panel discussion at Bowditch & Dewey LLP courtesy of Mary-Pat Cormier, Esq., and Al Gray, Esq.  The capstone was an enjoyable farewell dinner at the Elephant Walk in Boston.

We are always pleased to hear from prospective partners interested in having us organize special programs during the summer, so feel free to contact us if your institution is interested in exploring such a collaboration. We are able to create a wide range of customized programming, ranging from foundational U.S. law lectures to specialized areas such as business law and bankruptcy, tailored to the interests of your group, and can accommodate groups ranging in size from 10 to 50. If your undergraduate or graduate institution, government agency, foundation or corporation would like to obtain more information on this, please contact us at execllm@bu.edu.

UCLEF Participants at Boston University