DePaul University College of Law > Academics > Study Abroad > Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

Ju​ly 17 - August 10, 2017

​Earn five law school credits in Berlin, Germany this summer working on important refugee/asylum and police/state violence projects for leading international human rights NGOs, and discovering how Berlin’s significant 20th century history informs national and international law. DePaul and Humboldt University of Berlin are hosting one of the most innovative and rewarding summer study abroad programs available—Law and Critical Social Justice.

Each course in the program incorporates Berlin as part of the “living classroom” through which students will examine major world events as they relate to law and social justice lawyering. Financial aid is available to cover tuition, airfare, lodging and meals.

Why ​​Berlin?​

This unique program features two innovative courses on Intersectionality & Human Rights, and History, Memory & Law, taught at the storied Humboldt University of Berlin (HU-Berlin), a host institution chosen for its tradition for excellence and criticality. HU-Berlin is one of the most prestigious universities in Europe and the world. According to the latest 2015 World University Rankings​ by Times Higher Education magazine, HU-Berlin is the 41st best university in overall world reputation. In addition to Albert Einstein, other notable HU-Berlin alumni and professors or lecturers include leading intellects and talents of the 19th and 20th centuries, such as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Max Weber, Georg W.F. Hegel, Felix Mendelsohn, the Brothers Grimm, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, W.E.B. DuBois, Angela Davis and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. Students will hear from some of the most cutting-edge thinkers in law and humanities through the program’s collaboration with the Humboldt Law Clinic Grund- und Menschenrechte (HLCMR)​ and Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies (ZtG)​

Why Law & Critical Social Justice?

The Law and Critical Social Justice program in Berlin allows students to gain valuable experience applying legal skills and training to assist leading NGOs in Berlin working to secure asylum and improved living conditions for refugees, or to redress police brutality and state violence for Europe’s most vulnerable populations. These high quality NGO partnerships are supported by DePaul’s Steans Center for Community-based Service Learning​. Students in the program will serve social justice while also acquiring theoretical tools, cross-cultural competencies, historical context and practical experiences that will serve DePaul students well in any legal field or career. Each course will provide unique experiential learning or praxis-based skills to develop advocacy-based careers. The program specifically seeks to explore the critical traditions in human rights law and how they relate to specific justice struggles confronting immigrants, religious minorities, communities of color, women, LGBT, and trans*people in Germany and the U.S. 

Social Justice Praxis

In Intersectionality & Human Rights, students will visit ReachOut Berlin​, an organization serving victims of rightwing extremist, racist or anti-Semitic violence in Berlin, and Da Migra​, a Berlin-based umbrella organization serving migrant women of color. In a unique opportunity to incorporate community-based service learning in an international context, students will engage the anti-violence work of ReachOut Berlin and the cutting-edge asylum work of Da Migra. This course provides an important social justice praxis lens through which students can incorporate intersectionality theory, social justice lawyering, and antidiscrimination tools to learn how they might apply national, international and transnational laws to empower multiply subordinated subjects confronting issues of asylum, residency, and state-based police violence.​

Experiential Learning

The History, Memory & Law course will utilize experiential learning to take full advantage of our siting in Berlin. Students will complement their classroom learning about comparative German and U.S. histories of colonialism, genocide and forced labor by visiting local museums and important cultural sites to see how the social construction of remembering maps onto a region’s laws, legal culture and understanding of human rights. Students will consider how lessons from historical traumas can inform contemporary strategies of inclusion and anti-subordination of minorities in Europe, the United States, or other parts of the world today. Learning by doing allows students both to observe how law functions to shape historic events (and vice versa) and to develop insights about the lawyer’s role and relationship to social justice.