The International Exchange Program is designed to support law students wishing to broaden their understanding of the forces shaping international business law.
Program participants work closely with academics and experienced practitioners to gain insight into legal practice and explore current topics within German, European and transnational frameworks.
Academic rigor is paired with a wide range of extracurricular offerings to ensure that the term abroad supports growth and exploration both in and outside of the classroom. A benefit of life in Germany's second-largest city, participants have a wealth of excursions, lectures and special receptions to round out their stay.
A course list for the 2021 program will be published in December and the course catalogue (including course descriptions) in March.
Course List 2020 (pdf)
- All courses are taught in English and carefully selected to promote the program's focus on international and comparative business law.
- Courses are taught by Bucerius professors, visiting international lecturers and legal practitioners. Instruction follows the Socratic Method, meaning that course meetings rely upon active student participation, rather than formal lecturing. This interactive environment enables students and lecturers from around the world to explore current issues in international and comparative law from different legal and cultural perspectives. Download the course catalogue above to browse full descriptions and lecturers biographies. Questions regarding academic advising should be directed to the program's academic director, Dean Katharina Boele-Woelki.
- Provided sufficient German language skills, exchange students may audit or follow German-taught LL.B. courses for credit. The fall trimester at Bucerius begins in late September; exchange students will be able to view a listing of German-taught courses after arrival to Hamburg and discuss this opportunity during the orientation program. Master of Law and Business courses are not available to exchange program participants.
For law students nearing the end of their study programs, the Bucerius International Exchange curriculum provides numerous professional development opportunities and a range of services to support a transition into the workforce:
- Within the classroom, the program focuses on international and comparative business law and brings together lecturers and participants from diverse academic and legal backgrounds; in doing this, it seeks to promote discussion and encourage comparative review of theory to prepare individuals for international careers and employment necessitating global competencies.
- Linking theory to practice, several courses are taught by practitioners (e.g. Corporate Governance, International Mergers & Acquisitions, Business Mediation). Participants seeking an additional challenge can opt to pursue a Certificate in Leadership and Management (see below) with the Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession.
- The program includes networking events with practitioners from leading companies and law firms to discuss opportunities for global engagement in legal practice. The Director of International Career Services offers one-on-one counseling (including review and critique of application materials) to support individuals considering employment in Germany.
- Exchange students will receive networking opportunities with MLB/LLM program participants, many of whom have gone on to found successful international start-ups.
Employers today expect law school graduates to possess skillsets that extend beyond textbook knowledge.
Exchange program participants can opt to enroll in a module of specialized courses intertwining law, economics and management to earn a Certificate in Management and Leadership for Lawyers from the Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession.
In order to earn the Certificate, students must sucessfully participate in courses such as Business Mediation & Conflict Resolution, Business Skills, Negotiation, Law Firms of Tomorrow or Transactional Drafting.
- The method for calculating credits is based upon American Bar Association (ABA) guidelines; transcripts are issued to reflect both European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) points and the equivalent number of ABA credits. Courses are worth either 2 or 4 ECTS points, equivalent to 1 or 2 ABA credits. (1 ABA credit = 700 minutes of classroom time)
- All students will be enrolled in the course "Introduction to German Law" and must follow this course for credit; this is the only mandatory course in the exchange program.
- In addition to the "Introduction to German Law" course, students must pursue a minimum of 8 ECTS points per session (equivalent to 4 ABA credits). Additional coursework may be undertaken as an auditor or for credit to support a student's interests or home university requirements. There is no maximum number of credits; baring schedule overlaps, exchange students may enroll in as many courses as they are interested in following.
- Prior to undertaking an exchange at Bucerius, all students are encouraged to speak with their home university regarding credit transfer policies. A student's home university will determine how many and which credits and/or grades may be transferred based upon status and degree program.
Courses are generally evaluated based upon performance on exams, final projects and/or presentations. Exams are graded anonymously and not on a curve.
Regular attendance and active participation is required in all courses.
The exchange semester is divided into two sessions with a one-week break between them. Each session is comprised of a six-week lecture period that is followed immediately by a one-week exam period.
Academic Calendar 2021 (pdf)
During lecture periods, courses are held five days a week, usually between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. A tentative schedule will be published in July before the course registration window opens.
A handful of courses will meet over both the first and second lecture periods with exams held in December, at the end of the exchange term. Most courses will be condensed into a three- or four-week block of time during one of the two lecture periods.
As several topics are taught by visiting professors who are in Hamburg only for a brief stay, courses tend to be staggered over multiple days, rather than meeting at regular intervals, e.g. "Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m."