Seventeen students from the United States teamed with 10 Ghanian law students to participate in Fordham Law School’s first Ghana Summer Institute.
The four-week session in international and comparative law is the only program of its kind in West Africa.
The students, 10 of whom attend Fordham Law School, got a firsthand look at an emerging, stable democracy while simultaneously studying global legal issues, according to program coordinator Alena Herklotz (LAW ’06), the Levinson Fellow in International Law of Sustainable Development at Fordham’s Leitner Center for International Law and Justice.
A June 5 opening ceremony attracted the chief justice of Ghana’s Supreme Court, Georgina Wood, who is Africa’s first female chief justice, and other prominent government and University representatives.
“The response here as been very encouraging, with positive news coverage and support [for the program],” Herklotz said. “With enough student interest, we would certainly like to return next summer.”
The ABA-accredited program allows students to earn up to four classroom credits and to work at legal internships in Ghana after the academic session. The Ghanian law students were able to attend with the aid of Fordham Law scholarships.
Courses ran through July 3 at Ghana’s Institute of Management and Public Administration, and were taught by both Ghanian and United States professors. Faculty from Fordham include Paolo Galizzi, clinical associate professor of law and director of the Ghana program; Victor Essien, adjunct professor of law; and Gemma Solimene, clinical associate professor of law.
Hon. Theodore A. McKee, U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the third circuit, was also a member of the faculty.
The summer program came about through the Leitner Center, which has developed a long-term judicial-capacity building project with the African nation to improve the delivery of judicial services.