When in Rome…


Ruby Devine

King’s College London, has a “Reading Week” of no classes at the end of October, which is meant for catching up on studies and focusing on papers. Of course, Ali and I took the opportunity for the chance to travel to Italy! We went to Rome, Florence, and Venice. Each city was equally beautiful and enchanting! Italy is unlike any place I have ever seen.

Rome has so much history that it seems that everywhere you turn there is another ruin with historical significance. But on the other hand, there is something mildly depressing about it, mainly that its in ruins. The Coliseum or Pantheon for example, two of the original standing structures, once great and tall above the city of Rome. Now a fraction of the massive figures they once were on the city skyline. Almost all of the granite which once covered these structures are gone, used as a quarry by civilizations that followed the great empire of Rome. The modern city of Rome is in fact built on top of all the prior ruins. Excavations in the city are still finding new artifacts of history, yet they do not have the resources to preserve it, so they just cover it right back up. Many of the ruins of Rome are so far below where the city of Rome stands today. To see Rome in all its glory, would truly be a spectacular site. Funny enough, the western saying we all know so well, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” is not at all popular among modern day Romans!


One day we took a day trip to the lost city of Pompeii. We got to climb Mt. Vesuvius, which is still a very active volcano of 4,203 feet. The citizens of Naples, still live in such close proximity of the Volcano, which covered and preserved the city of Pompeii back in 79 AD with its pyroclastic flows. The volcano last erupted in 1944. After we climbed to the top, we went on to tour Pompeii. Pompeii is one of a kind in the world, to be so well preserved after millions of years. Part of the reason Pompeii remained covered and protected for so long, is a lot to do with certain characteristics of the Oscan people (those that lived in Pompeii). Specifically, the erotic nature of their art tastes. Many archeologists uncovered and recovered the sexual frescoes as they were very inappropriate of the time. The frescoes are so well preserved from over 2,000 years ago. We were able to visit one of the thirty-five brothels of Pompeii, not to mention the entire city still has yet to be excavated.


We then traveled onto Florence, which is a charming city. Florence had, arguably, the best atmosphere. Each street is small and narrow, with Vespas everywhere! While we were there we visited the Piazza del Duomo and climbed to the top of Giotto’s bell tower (414 steps in all), and the Cupola del Brunellsechi (450 steps in all). It was tiring, but well worth the views once we reached the top.


The tour of Italy ended in Venice. It is impossible not to fall in love with Venice, a city with no cars so the entire city relies on water transport. Every corner you turn is picturesque. The entire trip we stayed in AirBnB’s with local inhabitants of each city. Our host in Venice, Cesar, was by far the most entertaining. It was not until we arrived, that we learned he spoke barely any English. This did not stop him from being a very hospitable host, within minutes of arriving he had poured us glasses of wine, and was trying to show us the best spots in the city on his map. Every morning he made us a full spread of breakfast complete with espresso. It sure made for an very interesting trip!


We only have a little under a month left in school here, and I have to write four papers by December. I travel to Spain in a week, and can not wait to share about my adventures there. Ciao!

Would You Like a Cup of Tea?

Ali Rickart

“Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” ― Samuel Johnson

Rickart Blog 2 Photo2This quote is the epitome of Londoners – you live, eat, and breathe this city – but the irony is you don’t have to be born here to be a Londoner, the city itself draws you in and accepts you as its own. London, much like New York, has a flavor of variety. Culture of one group becomes the culture of another, knowing no bounds, constantly ebbing and flowing.

This is ESPECIALLY true when it comes to food. London boasts one of the highest concentrations of delectable foods from all around the world that I have ever seen. With open air street markets such as the Maltby Street Market/Ropewalk to Borough Market, spreading to street food festivals held on the South Bank of the Thames and in the neighborhood Shoreditch, along with the typical variety of food shops just on the streets – if you want it, you can probably find it.

I’ve tried things like Indian curry, an Argentinian steak sandwich with chimichurri sauce, French tartiflette, and fresh waffles filled with strawberries and cream. You can’t forget the traditional meat pies served in most British pubs – filled with chicken & ham, or steak & ale, or even mincemeat (a mix of beef or beef fat, currants, raisins, apples, spices and sugar). I also tried a local beer, brewed from local raw honey and all British ingredients, called Hiver. I’ve been giving it a lot of shout-outs recently, but it deserves it.

As for classes, they are happening. It’s weird that they manage to pack so much information into each session, yet we’ve only covered a relatively few topics within each class. It does help that two of my four classes give us full outlines about what will be discussing so that you only have to fill in details about the cases and anything the professor might say that doesn’t follow the outline. They do give a lot of extra ‘outside’ reading though, on top of the textbooks, statutes, and case law. It is sometimes helpful, and sometimes not.

Labour Law and Russian Legal Studies are definitely my favorite classes. Labour law seems to be extremely pertinent to a lot of things that are everyday life, including employment and contract issues. While English labour law may not be applicable in the States, it is common law and can reflect many values and issues we face for similar concepts. Russian Legal studies is fascinating because we discuss the development of a country, a legal realm, and the makings of a constitution. I love when we dissect the various constitutions that Russia has enacted and the move from purely socialist policies to a constitution that is more in line with international law such as the ICCPR and ICESCR, while still examining its potential faults and flaws.

On to more discussion of adventures, I went to the Warner Brothers Studio London and toured the Harry Potter studios. THE BEST TIME I’VE EVER HAD. I have a degree in Communication with an emphasis in writing, editing, and filming and I’m a diehard Harry Potter fan so this was like Christmas. There were real sets, costumes, and props. The had the entirety of Diagon Alley, Dumbledore’s Office, the Weasley’s kitchen, the Knight Bus, the Hogwarts Express, etc. It included a lot of the behind-the-scenes features as well such as the animatronics, make-up, concept art, and set mock-ups. To say it was truly magical doesn’t even begin to cover it.

I also attended a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, The Oresteia, which had been adapted to modern times. British theatre gets a little weird to say the least but probably the best three hours I’ve ever spent in a cold, open-air theatre. Honestly though, quite an incredible performance, Shakespeare & Aeschylus would’ve been proud.

I leave for Italy this week – Rome, Pompeii, Florence, and Venice. The parents are coming to visit the first week of November and my younger sister and one of her friends are joining me for Thanksgiving week. This next month is looking incredible! Till next time!

Ali Rickart is a 3L student at the University of Baltimore School of Law, spending her Fall semester at King’s College London. She is a Student Fellow with the Center for International and Comparative Law, whrere her work with Track Impunity Always was highlighted in a Daily Record article earlier this year. Stay tuned as she chronicles her time in London this semester.

Getting Lost in London and Jet-setting to Oktoberfest; Such is Life in Europe!

Ruby Devine

I first arrived in London on Monday September 14th.  As I write this I have only been in Europe for a little over two weeks now. I arrived at Heathrow Airport, which is about an hour ride into the city centre of London.  September 14th was also the day of King’s College orientation, so I got an uber ride to my housing that is located in South London in Elephant & Castle. I dropped my bags off and then hopped onto the tube to get to orientation. The first day and into week was especially tough because I had not figured out an international cell phone option so I did not have any internet to help me if I was ever lost in the city. The orientation was all study abroad students, and the entire auditorium was packed! One of the speakers asked which country we all came from and lots of us were Americans. Orientation was somewhat helpful, but I was so tired from traveling and could barely keep my eyes open! All I wanted to do was go to sleep, but I still needed blankets and sheets for my bed unfortunately. This was another adventure in of itself, I had researched and found a T.K. Maxx (UK’s version of T.J. Maxx) location and traveled there by bus, however this one unfortunately did not sell any home goods. So I took to the streets and wondered for a good thirty minutes until I located an Argos, which sells extremely cheap home goods. Sheets and blankets in tow I planned to hope on the next bus I saw, but there did not seem to be any stops in this area of London. It was nighttime and I started to get worried, but I asked a nice man on the street, who led me to a tube station and back home. So ended my eventful first day in London!

Day Two was quite rainy and gross in London, but Ali (other UB Law student attending King’s) and I went to Buckingham Palace. The Palace was beautiful and grand, I especially enjoyed the audio listening tour, because I was able to learn much more about the Palace and its creation. Then we went to Covent Garden which is an open-air market and had dinner. Since Covent Garden is so close to some London theatres local artists come and perform for tips. While we sat and ate we got to watch a lively four-member band and two opera singers. I love all the open markets that London has to offer and I hope to explore them all. The rest of the week consisted of getting my room set up and meeting my six flatmates! Other than myself, there is a German, two Singaporeans, two French, and another American. I look forward to getting to know them all better and their various backgrounds.


My first week in London was topped off by traveling to Munich, Germany for the opening ceremony of the Oktoberfest festival! Ali and I booked a place to stay with a welcoming German lady named Judith. Her place was only five minutes walk to the festival grounds and it was very cheap. Munich is a charming city with lots of fun activities to do. Friday when we arrived, we checked in with Judith then set out to explore the city. We had lunch at an authentic German restaurant (and arguably ordered too much). Also there just so happened to be another fellow UB law student in town for the Oktoberfest as well, so we were able to spend time with him and his travel group. We all wanted to be in the tent, which the mayor of Munich comes and taps the first ceremonial keg of Oktoberfest. All the locals told us that we should arrive very early in order to ensure we got into one of the awesome beer tents, as they fill up quickly!


Oktoberfest is so exciting, everyone wears the traditional outfits, for men it’s the Lederhosen, and women wear the Dirndl. If I could change one thing, it would be that we had the appropriate attire. We were a bit tired so we actually did not arrive until 8:45 am, but we were extremely lucky because they opened a side door that we happened to be standing near! Once we were in the tent and had a seat, there was a lot of waiting as they do not start serving beer until noon. But once they do, the tent is filled with singing, laughter, and lots of beer glasses clinking! Above is a picture of right after we were served our first beers. It was such a fun experience and I hope I get to return one day.

Oktoberfest View

Ruby Devine is a 3L student at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Stay tuned as she details her London life and Euro travels as she is studying abroad this Fall semester.

No Place Like London

Ali Rickart

This semester, I am spending my time studying abroad at King’s College London in London, England. It’s ranked in the top twenty universities in the world, so it is an honor and a privilege I get to spend my time studying here! I arrived in London on September 8, a week before I could move into the residence halls. I stayed at a local hotel, which gave me a chance to become familiar with the Tube – the underground subway system and figure out where everything was located! Naturally, I checked out a few pubs too, they are the way to a Londoner’s heart!

During my early visit to London I was able to explore the Kensington Gardens and tour the Kensington Palace, which I highly recommend! It boasts being the residence of the current Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, but also housed Princess Diana, Queen Victoria, and many more. You can tour the old apartment of Queen Mary II and the separate and much more lavish apartment of King William III.  If nothing else, the elaborate rooms and painted ceilings in the King’s apartment make the trip more than worth the price of admission. They also have other exhibits, which included “Victoria Revealed” a look at the life of Queen Victoria and her beloved Prince Albert (more on this later) as well as “Fashion Rules” which was a collection of gowns and dresses worn by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Princess Margaret.


A walk through the gardens into Hyde Park will take you to the magnificent Prince Albert Memorial, erected by Queen Victoria after her husband passed away. The statute is quite tall and has ornate carvings surrounding its base. It is located directly across from Royal Albert Hall – a famous music and entertainment venue. There is also a magnificent area called the Italian Gardens, created by Prince Albert to show his love to Queen Victoria. I like to go here and read and enjoy the wonderful weather we’ve been having, which I’m told is very uncharacteristic of London! Due to this fabulous weather, I’ve spent a lot of my time wandering around to different famous sights, such as Big Ben, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Globe Theater, etc. I’ve toured Buckingham Palace, which you aren’t allowed to take photos in but the amount of velvet and silk walls and gilded objects makes you swoon! Also, I spent a rainy afternoon in the British Museum, which I was in for over two hours and only probably covered 1/3 of it. Sometimes the best things you find are the ones you just stumble upon, like the St. Bride’s Church which had an entire museum in its catacombs that dated back to the Ancient Roman times! Also, its steeple is what gave a baker the idea for a layered wedding cake! It’s located on Fleet Street, renowned for the story of Sweeney Todd, which gave inspiration to the title of this blog.

London Memorial

Sadly, reality hit when Orientation began, as I had to figure out how to find the buildings (the abbreviations on schedules don’t always match the building names) and figure out what floor (they have negative floors here!).  Orientation wasn’t as helpful as hoped, we mostly were told how to use the Tube (which most had to figure out to make it to orientation), how not to plagiarize, and to not to worry that most of us didn’t have our schedules yet (it was less than a week until our first class).  I was surprised to find that the majority of the students for study abroad (at least in the non-European section) were from America, Singapore, and China. The Americans were specifically from mainly New York and California. We learned that those of us only here for a semester would not have to take the exams as they are given in June (yes!) but would have to write an essay for grades.

London Skyline

Disorganization aside, it has been a great first week of classes! I’m enrolled in Company Law, Labour Law, Family Law, and Russian Legal Studies. An eclectic mix that is sure to provide me with some interesting essay topics come end of semester. As far as traveling goes, I’ve already had the pleasure of traveling to Munich, Germany to attend the famous Oktoberfest and have plans to travel to Italy, Scotland, Paris, and Ireland before the end of the year!

Ali Rickart is a 3L student at the University of Baltimore School of Law, spending her Fall semester at King’s College London. She is a Student Fellow with the Center for International and Comparative Law, with her work with Track Impunity Always highlighted in a Daily Record article earlier this year. Stay tuned as she chronicles her time in London this semester.

Windmills, Bicycles, and Stroopwafels – A Semester in the Netherlands

Tim Jarman

After leaving the United States, I arrived in the Netherlands Wednesday, the 27th of August.  The University had scheduled several bus pickups for international students at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, but unfortunately I arrived on a day in which they did not conduct them.   After arriving in Rotterdam, I promptly checked into my accommodations at the Student Hotel in Rotterdam.  The Student Hotel is a very nice dormitory-styled hotel that accommodates roughly eighty percent of its guests as students during the semester, but still operates as a hotel.  It was designed with several common areas for students to study, relax, and workout.  My stay would also include a bicycle which would come in handy as the Dutch are very well known for using bicycles as their primary form of transportation in and around town.  After checking in, I headed to the local immigration office to begin the process of receiving my Visa identification card.  The rest of my day was spent learning where specific sites, such as the university and grocery store, were located and ended my day very early due to fatigue because of the time difference.


The next day involved getting used to my bicycle and traveling around town, exploring the beautiful port city with its modern architecture, which still maintains a classic European touch.  In the afternoon, there was an indoctrination meeting for all International Law students at Erasmus.  It was here that I learned how large the international program at Erasmus University is as there was an auditorium full of students.  Quickly I found out I was one of the few Americans, if not only American in the program.  Student organizations and professors talked to us about helping with acclimating to Dutch life and the student body at Erasmus.  The International Office for students also organized us all into teams to conduct a game of trivia, testing our knowledge of European law and the Dutch culture.  My team was made up of myself and two Australians.  Unfortunately, with no European national on our team, we did not win the prized Stroopwafels, a traditional Dutch treat made of caramel sandwiched between two thin waffles. After this, the International office invited us to a reception to get to know more of our fellow students over dinner and drinks.  It was here that I met friends from over fifteen different countries and learned that students had come from all over the globe, spanning from the Americas to Australia.


After the weekend was the first day of school.  I registered for a Research and Writing Skills workshop based on Maritime and Transport Law.  While nervous about the difference in teaching style and being able to understand my professor, I discovered that the teacher for the class was very proficient in English.  He was very helpful and informative, which comforted my nervousness about taking courses here.  It was also in this classroom that I began to meet Dutch law students, as up to that point, my time had been mostly spent with other internationals.  Class ended early as it was primarily an introduction class, and I attended the “Welcome Back” or “Heartbeat” festival held by the school where there were several traditional Dutch food and beer trucks, as well as performances by student groups and live music.   On my second day of class, I learned more about Maritime and Transport Law in a classroom of roughly twenty five students in a smaller workgroup/class setting.  I also learned that my Bluebook may not come in handy and that I will have to learn how to use the OSCOLA citing system for my papers.


I am extremely excited for this semester which is split into two eight week semesters.  Student groups have organized student trips, with one coming up in a few weeks to experience traditional Dutch culture.  There may also be trips to Oktoberfest in Germany and hopefully some trips to international courts in The Hague in the Netherlands and Brussels in Belgium.  I am also looking forward to testing my skills in soccer or voetball, as some of the International students are putting together a team.  I also look forward to getting to know more students at the International Student “Speed Dating” event next week, designed to meet more International Students in a Speed Dating setup.  There is also an Official Welcoming Ceremony on the 10th of September that will include speeches and traditional Dutch culture, such as food and dances.  This definitely feels like it will be an extremely positive experience, and I cannot wait to provide an update mid-semester.

Tim Jarman is a 3L at the University of Baltimore School of Law. He is spending the Fall 2015 semester at Erasmus University School of Law, which is a member of the European American Consortium for Legal Education (EACLE). This post is the first in a series of three, which will chronicle his time spent in the Netherlands and his inevitable travels throughout Europe.

Far Out in the Far East

Christian Noble


A view of Yokohama from the Landmark Tower

こんにちは!  <- that means “Hello” in Japanese!  I was fortunate enough to spend the summer between my 2L and 3L year    studying abroad in Tokyo, Japan.  For the first month, I studied the Japanese legal system and International Business Transactions.  For the second month, I worked at Nakamura & Partners, a Japanese IP firm in downtown Tokyo.


Ueno Park – One of many parks in Tokyo

Having studied Japanese in undergrad, I had a pretty good grasp on phrases, sentence structure, and generally surviving.  Unfortunately, having not used my language skills in a few years had made me a little rusty, but staff at hotels and airports are generally bilingual in Japanese and English.  During the shuttle ride and upon arriving at the hotel, the first thing I noticed is that everything in Tokyo is small and often a little cramped (a fact that would come to haunt me later as I am relegated to a small out of the way area for people with big feet in a massive shoe store).

The professors taught class in the hotel, so commuting was never an issue.  Our instructors were all very knowledgeable international scholars.  Professor Taniguchi was a member of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body.  Professor Matsushita is an expert in competition law and international economic law.  Professor Abe was an expert in comparative law at Seikei University and accompanied us on our various trips to government institutions.


The Japanese Diet

Our professors consistently stressed the importance of exploring Japan and appreciating the culture.  In addition to in class work, we travelled to major government institutions, includingthe Japanese Diet (Legislature), the Japanese Patent Office, and the Japanese Supreme Court.  But educational field trips were not our only chance to explore Tokyo.  Classes ended fairly early in the day, so we were free to sightsee.  In the short month during classes, we went everywhere.  The famous Tsukiji Fish Market, Sensoji Temple, and Yomiuri Giants games are only a few examples of our group exploration.

About half way through classes, the second class began.  This class was entirely optional, of which I did not participate, leaving me ample time to explore on my own.  My strategy consisted of choosing a random Tokyo neighborhood in my guidebook and spending the day wandering around and crossing off sights and sounds.  Walking around, I went to Ginza and saw a Kabuki show, in Oshiage I climbed the SkyTree, and in Shibuya Idid a great deal of shopping.

At the end of the month, I began my internship with Nakamura & Partners out of the Marunouchi neighborhood in Tokyo.  Wanting to experience a different side of Tokyo, I moved out of the hotel and into a small house in the Suginami area of Tokyo, 45 minutes west of downtown Tokyo.  The house was in a residential area where I lived with Kaoru-san, a 77 year old grandmother, and her dog.

Kyoto (5)

Okochi Sanso Villa in Kyoto

Every morning Kaoru-san would make breakfast while I watched the news before my 45 minute train ride to work.  Our discussions were primarily in Japanese and were always entertaining and informative.   She makes her own plum wine and now I am too!  The only downside was Japan’s energy conservation mentality in the middle of summer often made for some hot evenings.



飲み会 (No-mi-kai) – going out after work is a very important Japanese tradition. This is me with my boss Okumura-sensei and a fellow co-worker.

As an intern for Nakamura & Partners, I did a great deal of contract work and legal research.  The clients I worked for were major corporations, many in America, so the primary correspondence was in English (a saving grace for my limited Japanese!).  My boss, Naoki Okumura, was extremely helpful.  Having earned his LLM from Duke Law School and passed the New York State Bar, Okumura-sensei was well versed with North Carolina and major cities along the east coast.

Going to lunch with partners and associates everyday was an extremely valuable insight into the everyday goings on within a Japanese law firm as well as a food adventure.  Indian, Thai, Chinese, it was different every day and this was only a sampling of the eateries in our office building.  It was the best intern experience I have ever had.

I would like to give special thanks to the program directors, Philip Jimenez and Marcus Kosins.  Both of whom contributed immensely to the excellent experience.  Overall, it was the best two months of my law school experience and I cannot wait to visit all the friends I made in my very short time in Tokyo.


Christian Noble is a third year student at the University of Baltimore School of Law, planning to graduate in May 2015 with a J.D. and a concentration in International Law.  He graduated from the Penn State University in June of 2008 with a Bachelors of the Arts in International Politics with a minor in Sociology.  He has also studied Japanese and Korean language. Previously, Christian studied abroad in Curaçao during the winter of his second year, taking classes in International Law and European Union Law.  Currently, Christian serves as a CICL Student Fellow, the Emerging Issues Editor for the Journal of International Law, Vice President of the Immigration Law Association, Treasurer of the Latin American Law Student Association, Treasurer of OutLaw, and is 3L Representative of the International Law Society. Christian is also a Maryland Rule 16 Student Attorney with the Immigrant Rights Clinic at UB.

Fantastico! An Unforgettable Experience!

Ilaria Ballabeni


Hi folks! My name is Ilaria Ballabeni and I am an exchange student from the sister University of Parma, Italy. I am a part of the EACLE partnership and I am spending five months in Baltimore attending classes at the Law School and conducting research about bankruptcy crimes for my Italian dissertation.


Myself and fellow Parma student Elisa Iacovino with Professor Sellers and Parma professor, Cesare Pitea

I arrived in Baltimore at the beginning of January and, despite the terribly cold weather, I was welcomed very warmly by a lot of people. My benchmark is Professor Sellers (the contact person for the exchange program).  And indeed, he has taken great care of my Italian classmate and me. He even came in person to pick us up at the airport!  During the first days, I had the chance to meet some very nice people of the staff, like Mrs. Laurie Schnitzer, Mrs. Wendy Burgess, Ms. Catherine Moore (who was also just arriving at UB), Ms. Dawn Harrell and all of the administrative personnel. Then, the semester started.

Despite the problems of facing a new (to me!) common law system (Italy is a civil law country) and a couple of headaches after a whole day speaking and listening only in English, I believe that everything went well.    Being helped by Professor Sellers, I decided to take a couple of LLM LOTUS classes (Criminal Law and Constitutional Law) and I also took a JD course, Special Topics in Applied Feminism. These classes all gave me the opportunity to meet students from all over the world, of different ages and to learn a lot from this important diversity of cultures and experiences.

I have met some great professors; all of them have been generous and sympathetic with me.  They have given me tremendous amount of help in the full comprehension of the different issues discussed in the classes.  I was really fascinated by the course Special Topics in Applied Feminism. It has allowed me to improve my knowledge of this field of the law, by analyzing it from different perspectives. But, Baltimore means more than just the School of Law. There have been some great experiences during my spare time too! I met a lot of beautiful and fun people at The Varsity (an apartment building with nothing but students) and at the Student Center. Immediate Bonding!  I am really happy about that and I hope I will have other chances to meet up with them again in the future. Who knows!

During spring break, I decided to visit New York City for the second time.  I am still amazed at its deep contradictions. Although Baltimore is not the “Big Apple”, I found some great opportunities to enjoy myself here too. Color RunIndeed, Charles Street, Fells Point, Federal Hill and the Inner Harbor are full of interesting and lively pubs, in which it is possible to meet students from the other universities here in Baltimore.

As an additional touch of color, I was part of “The Color Run”, taking   place here in Baltimore on April 19th.  It is also known as the happiest 5k, a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality.

Therefore, if I was asked to evaluate my experience in Baltimore, I would definitely say that, thanks to all these factors, it turned out to be a great experience! UNFORGETTABLE!!