While students traditionally head for the beaches on spring break, students in Professor John Reitz’s seminar on selected topics in comparative law will be heading for Moscow for spring break 2015. Reitz has been awarded a grant by the U.S. State Department to pay the travel costs for up to ten students in his seminar to travel to Moscow for five nights over spring break to work with Russian law students at the Higher School of Economics to compare U.S. and Russian law on a variety of common legal topics.
The grant will also pay to bring up to ten of the Russian students and their instructor, Professor Alexander Domrin, to Iowa in April. The major task for both sets of joint meetings is to work out for each topic a joint statement of the similarities and differences in the two legal systems and their respective strengths and weaknesses. The students will also present their work in public presentations and meet with various legal professionals in both countries.
The award is part of the State Department’s “Peer-to-Peer Dialogue” grants. Reitz explained that “in this period of heightened tension and competition between our countries with respect to the Ukraine, these kinds of discussions between Russian and U.S. citizens are all the more important. I am glad that the State Department recognizes the importance of making sure that the dialogues include future lawyers, who after all are likely to play leading roles in their respective countries’ businesses, governmental bodies, and civic and political groups.”