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Berlin Program

Due to uncertainties created by the Covid-19 pandemic, our plans for Summer 2021 remain uncertain.  We hope to offer all of our usual summer programs, and will do so if possible.  A final decision regarding all programs will not be made until January, 2021, at the earliest.  We will keep you updated as the year progresses.

The Berlin Program is a unique joint venture between Tulane Law School and Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. The two-week program focuses on alternative dispute resolution in a cross-cultural setting.

Description

The Berlin Program is a unique joint venture between Tulane Law School and Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. The two-week program focuses on alternative dispute resolution in a cross-cultural setting. Three credit hours involve a combination of workshops, role-play exercises, lectures and other presentations. Optional components cover the mediation of political disputes such as peacekeeping, constitutional transition and labor disputes as well as international arbitration. The program qualifies for experiential learning credit at Tulane.

Lectures and small group sessions provide training in both the theory and basic skills of negotiation and mediation. One major objective is to develop these skills in cross-cultural transactions involving participants of different nationalities and diverging expectations. Even experienced mediators in the U.S., where the use of mediation has advanced rapidly in recent years, encounter unexpected pitfalls when interacting with parties from different cultures. These situations often arise both inside countries as diverse as America and in the many international transactions that occur across the globe every day.

Host Institution
The program is hosted at Humboldt University, located in the heart of Berlin. Founded over 200 years ago, Humboldt ranks among the top ten of German universities. Uniquely cosmopolitan with cultural attractions that few other cities can match, Berlin is described as one of the undiscovered great cities in Europe. Berlin is full of excellent museums, historical sites, outstanding contemporary architecture and good restaurants at reasonable prices. Past participants have greatly enjoyed Berlin's vibrant nightlife and avant-garde art scene.

Follow the adventure on Instagram at #TulaneLawBerlin.

Courses and Materials

The Academic Course: Intercultural Negotiation and Mediation (three credits)

  • There are no prerequisites.
  • Credits counts towards the completion of the Skills Training Requirement for Tulane JD students as well as for the Tulane Sports Law Certificate.
  • The exam is graded on a scale of Pass/C/Fail. A passing grade indicates that the student was given a grade of above a C.
  • The final examination is at 6 p.m. on August 7.
  • Tulane students who take this course may not take Professor Feldman's Negotiation & Mediation Advocacy courses on campus.

Detailed Course Description
Substantive lectures on negotiation and mediation theory and practice are presented to all students in joint sessions. However, most of the course is conducted in a workshop setting with role-play exercises in small groups with a maximum of 20 students and two or three faculty members. Students are assigned to the small sections by nationality so that each exercise is conducted by participants from different countries. The lectures and small section sessions provide standard training in both the theory and basic skills of negotiation and mediation.

Course Schedule
The program courses focuses on negotiation during the first week and mediation in the second week. Classes are generally scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with small breaks during the day and a 90-minute break for lunch.

Certificates
Students receive a Certificate of Advanced Study and Training in Mediation and a Certificate of Advanced Study and Training in Dispute Resolution if they attend the non-compulsory ADR-related components of the program. The 40 hours of mediation training meet one of the key requirements to become a certified mediator in Louisiana and a number of other states. Note that certification requirements vary by state.

Supplemental Academic Activities
Optional lectures on arbitration and the mediation of political disputes are offered after normal class hours. The afternoon lectures in the first week of the program provide a mini-course on international arbitration. Outstanding law professors and practitioners with substantial theoretical and practical expertise in the field present the fundamentals and contemporary issues of international commercial arbitration. An optional component that focuses on the mediation of political conflicts is offered in the second week. This part of the program complements the introduction to the core elements of ADR. International experts introduce participants to the characteristics and dynamics of political disputes and share their firsthand experience in the management of constitutional negotiations, peacekeeping missions, labor disputes, conflicts over environmental protection, and other highly controversial and public processes. Teaching formats include lectures, panel discussions, and case studies.

Course Materials
Course reading materials, the class schedule and syllabus, past and present faculty bios, photographs from past programs, Berlin maps, and general information about the city will be made available on the Humboldt website. Access is password protected. Program participants are provided with a username and password as soon as the materials become available.

Enrollment

Students applying through Tulane are admitted on a first-come basis. Please apply early to ensure your spot. A maximum of 50 U.S. and Canadian law students are admitted through Tulane. International students are admitted through Humboldt.

Housing

Accommodations are not offered through the program. Please utilize the Berlin Housing Recommendations, which feature suggested names of hotels, hostels, and apartments at various price ranges (this information is continuously updated). The Apartments am Brandenburger Tor has been the most popular housing choice for the past five years. To connect with other students and possibly coordinate roommates, join the program's Facebook group 2020 Tulane Law Summer in Berlin!

Excursions

The Berlin Program offers a wide variety of social and cultural activities. A fixed meeting point at a hip location is organized every day of the program. Students receive a calendar of activities upon arrival in Berlin but here is a preview of what to expect:

  • The program begins with a complimentary bus tour of Berlin at 3 p.m. on the first Sunday of the program.
  • The program's opening reception will be at the Law School immediately following the bus tour at approximately 6 p.m. There will be ample food, beverages, music, and an opportunity to mix and mingle with other participants and members of the faculty.
  • Jointly organized tours of the Chancellery, the Reichstag, the Holocaust Memorial and other interesting sites are offered during the program.
  • A loosely organized soccer match and beach volleyball games (no skill required to participate!) are scheduled on two afternoons after class, followed by visits to traditional German beer gardens.
  • On many evenings, faculty with excellent knowledge of Berlin lead student expeditions into different neighborhoods for a walks, dinners at neighborhood restaurants, and almost always a bar review, i.e. a gathering of the students at a neighborhood nightspot. The location and time of the bar review is posted each day for those students who want to join the group later in the evening.
Arrival and Departure

You should arrive in Berlin no later than July 26 and depart no earlier than August 8. The final exam is scheduled for 6 p.m. on August 7. Please note that final exams cannot be rescheduled.

Students are responsible for all travel. We recommend researching ticket prices early via competing travel search engines to find the most competitive prices.

Bringing Family
Family members and friends are cordially invited to participate in all activities except the academic course.

Visas
U.S. and Canadian citizens (and citizens of any other country that has a visa-waiver agreement with Germany) will not require a visa for the Berlin Program due to the short time period you will be abroad. If you are uncertain about your eligibility to travel without a visa due to your nationality or due to the duration of your travel, you should inquire about the applicable visa prerequisites at a German Consulate-General in your home country. Further information can also be obtained at the website of the German Foreign Ministry.

Language
The Berlin Program is conducted entirely in English. Fluency in English is a prerequisite for all students. Students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to acquire basic German language skills before arriving in Berlin but this is not essential as most people you encounter in Germany will understand and be able to respond in English.

Student Reviews

Overall

  • I had the greatest time both in and outside the classroom.
  • I LOVED this course - I thought it was extremely well run and the professors were all amazing/top in their fields. The strong academic program was complemented by a strong social program that enhanced the program immensely.
  • I got to travel, which I don't get to do a lot, which I think is beneficial in and of itself. I also think the workshops on negotiation and mediation were extremely effective, I feel I learned a lot. The professors were great because they were obviously very interested in the subject and were very engaged and hands-on with the students' learning.
  • Absolutely amazing program that exceeded my expectations!
  • I had so much fun and learned so much; it doesn't get much better than that.

Courses

  • I liked the hands on approach to the learning process. It made the course interesting and allowed me to meet a lot of different students.
  • I learned so much via interactive learning about the mediation and negotiation processes.
  • The mediation and negotiating classes were extremely useful. The material provided really helped me grasp the subject matter. The hypothetical breakout sessions were my favorite. They really allowed us to practice the material.
  • I learned a lot about all forms of alternative dispute resolution and think it will be useful knowledge no matter what area I practice in.
  • The Berlin program provided interesting opportunities to put theories into practice. The material had application in the practice of law and outside of the law.

Beneficial to Career?

  • Yes, I learned a lot about fields of law I didn't know much about.
  • I feel that I gained a good overview of negotiation and mediation, and feel that this course will help me in my career.
  • Absolutely. As an attorney, I'm going to need to know how to manage conflict, and this program gave me the skills to do so effectively.

Location

  • The school building was nice and the location was perfect.
  • Yes. The study areas were large and there was perfect space to conduct our role-play.
  • I loved the location, the speed of the program, and the people involved from professors to fellow students and student advisers. All the activities helped people be more comfortable with one another while getting to know the city better.
  • The course schedule was short enough to where we had time in the afternoons and weekends to enjoy Berlin or travel abroad.

Student Recommendations

  • Go to social events to make friends
  • Jump right in and try everything from the food to the role-play.
  • Döner and curry are great. There is a place by the river called the Green Knight or something like that that is a beer garden/restaurant with good prices and great food.
  • Veganz is a vegan grocery chain in Berlin that has all vegan food items.
  • Lots of good, cheap street food near the train station and a couple blocks from the school.
  • Döner Kebab at any random shop.
  • All the restaurants around school we tried were good; there was an Indian restaurant called Bombay Spice that was absolutely amazing.