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The Law School’s relationship with The Jagiellonian University began with Professor Rett Ludwikowski’s creation of the International Business and Trade Summer Law Program in 1991. Prior to his arrival in the United States in 1982, Professor Ludwikowski taught law and politics at The Jagiellonian University and was both the chair of the Department of Modern Legal and Political Movements and Ideas, and the chair  of the Division of Law and Business. When Professor Ludwikowski first conceived the idea of a program that would provide an East-West exchange of ideas, he naturally turned to his former Jagiellonian colleagues and a partnership was born.

The Jagiellonian University was founded in 1364 in Crakow, Poland and counts among its distinguished alumni Nicholas Copernicus and Pope John Paul II. The Law Faculty has been part of the University since its founding. For the past several years, The Jagiellonian University has held first place as the best Polish law school in most rankings issued by independent institutions.


The inaugural International Business and Trade Summer Law Program is held in
Cracow, June 22 – July 24.


With the assistance of CUA Law, JU establishes the first legal clinic in Poland.


CUA Law and JU jointly establish the American Law Program in Cracow.


The CUA-JU LL.M. in American Law is established.


CUA presents JU law professor Michal Chorosnicki with the President’s Medal, the
university’s highest honor.


JU awards CUA its Merentibus Medal in recognition of the important professional
contributions made to JU by CUA Law faculty and staff.


JU awards Professor Leah Wortham the With Merit to Jagiellonian University Medal.


CUA bestows an honorary degree upon Professor Karol Musiol, the rector of the
Jagiellonian University.


Professor Rett Ludwikowski receives the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit
of the Republic of Poland


Professor Wortham receives the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the
Republic of Poland.


JU awards Professor Wortham the Plus ratio quam medal.


Professor David Lipton receives the Amicus Poloniae (Friend of Poland) award from
Ambassador Piotr Wilczek, the Polish Ambassador to the United States.


Catholic Law and the Jagiellonian University (JU) celebrate the 30th anniversary of the
International Business and Trade Summer Law Program (IBTSLP) in Kraków, Poland.

International Business and Trade Summer Law Program, Cracow, Poland

In the early 1990s, seeing a need for an East-West exchange of ideas, Professor Rett Ludwikowski conceived the idea of a program that would expose students not only to differences in legal systems and education, but also to political, cultural, historical, and social differences. Working with former colleagues at The Jagiellonian University, Professor Ludwikowski created a business and trade law program that would jointly enroll American and Polish law students, comprised of courses taught in English by American and Polish law faculty members. The program was approved and set to begin in June 1991, but was postponed due to unrest in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. A failed coup in the Soviet Union in August 1991, which led to the complete dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, made summer 1992 a particularly exciting time for the program to begin.

A unique feature of the program is the emphasis on building relationships outside the classroom. American students are encouraged to explore the social life of Cracow with the help of their Polish classmates. Students also take part in river trips and visits to historic sites. By attending classes, socializing, and sightseeing together, Polish and American students form beneficial future connections.

Now in its 27th consecutive year, the International Business and Trade Summer Law Program just completed another successful session, hosting fourteen American and fourteen Polish students in June – July 2018.

The Jagiellonian Legal Clinic

In 1997, professors Leah Wortham and Catherine Klein assisted The Jagiellonian University in securing a Ford Foundation grant to establish a legal clinic in Poland. This was the first legal clinic established in Poland, and the first successful clinic in Central Europe. Created to provide legal services to low-income clients and practical experience to Polish law students, the clinic initially had three sections: human rights/refugee law, civil law, and criminal law. In its first year of operation, the Human Rights clinic convinced the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) to provide additional funding for the clinic to help asylum seekers and refugees. A second Ford Foundation grant awarded in 1998 enabled the clinic to add a labor law section. The second grant also assisted JU faculty, administrators, and students from the clinic to visit CUA and see firsthand how legal clinics function in the United States.

By the year 2000, clinical legal education had expanded throughout Poland. In 2002, representatives from all of the clinics established the Polish Legal Clinics Foundation, with the goal of coordinating and shaping the future of clinical legal education in Poland. The Foundation’s 2016-2017 annual report noted that legal clinics have been established at every law school in Poland, a total of twenty-six clinics in seventeen cities.

“The CUA partnership with the JU clinics began by hosting their faculty for a study visit in the U.S. and consulting with them in Poland as well as by phone, fax, and e-mail. With the rapid establishment of their clinic, the relationship evolved to one of working side-by-side with JU faculty, and often students as well, on teaching, mentoring, and consulting to assist others in the region interested in clinical education.”

Leah Wortham, Aiding Clinical Education Abroad: What Can Be Gained and The Learning Curve on How to Do So Effectively, 12 CLINICAL L. REV. 615 (2006).

The American Law Program

In 1998, seeking to broaden the Law School’s relationship with The Jagiellonian University, professors Rett Ludwikowski and Leah Wortham proposed an Anglo-American law concentration for Jagiellonian law students. They outlined suggestions for the curriculum, instruction, and ideas for outside funding. In June 2000, their proposal became a reality when the Law School and the Faculty of Law and Administration of The Jagiellonian University jointly established a program in American law studies in Cracow, Poland.  The American Law Program is one component of a Jagiellonian program that provides Polish students with comparative studies of non-Polish legal systems. Six basic courses were offered the first year, all taught by CUA Law faculty.

Since that first year, the course offerings have expanded to cover a variety of subjects, including intellectual property law, business organizations, and negotiation. Both schools have benefitted from this cooperative endeavor. The American Law Program is the most popular of Jagiellonian’s foreign law programs, with 130 to 150 students seeking one of the fifty slots offered each year.  CUA Law faculty members regularly teach in the program, giving them the opportunity to contribute to the global legal environment, as well as to develop a deeper understanding of our own legal system. The program also enriches the faculty members of both law schools by providing opportunities to share ideas, develop a greater understanding about different legal systems, and engage in cooperative scholarly research.

CUA—JU LL.M. in American Law

In 2003, recognizing that an understanding of U.S. law was becoming an increasingly valuable skill to foreign-born attorneys, the Law School and The Jagiellonian University established an LL.M. in American Law for non-U.S. students. The LL.M. consists of three components, two at JU, and one at CUA. Students spend a summer in the CUA International Business and Trade Summer Law Program, and nine to twelve weeks of an academic year taking courses in the American Law Program. For the third component, students complete their degree requirements during a summer-in-residence at CUA Law.

The curriculum is designed to provide lawyers educated outside the U.S. with a foundation in American law and the American legal system. Such knowledge is useful for lawyers representing American clients doing business abroad and lawyers who deal with American entities in other regards.  Past students have come from countries including Poland, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Ireland, and Sweden.

International Business and Trade Summer Law Program Photos


1993 - Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor with Professor Rett Ludwikowski



1997 - Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor with faculty, staff, and students






Jagiellonian Legal Clinic Photos

American Law Program Photos

American Law Program Signing Ceremony, June 2000

Professor Lou Barracato with ALP students

Rett Ludwikowski receiving the Polish Commanders cross in 2016

Leah Wortham receiving the Polish Officers Cross in 2016

2017 ALP graduates

CUA - JU LL.M. in American Law Photos

2011 LL.M. Graduation Reception

2011 LL.M. Graduates

2011 LL.M. students

LL.M. 10th Anniversary

LL.M. Alumni Meeting, March 2013

2018 LL.M. students

Judge Kathryn J. DuFour Law Library / 3600 John McCormack Road N.E., Washington, DC 20064 / 202-319-5155