Madrid Spring Seminar

This spring semester seminar will take place primarily in Boston during the semester, with one week at the Suffolk University Madrid campus, tentatively scheduled for April 30 through May 8, 2021, if the public health situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic permits travel. All students who register for the course must commit to going on the trip to Madrid, should the trip be permitted. A decision regarding whether the class will be allowed to travel to Madrid will be made in late March.

During the semester leading up to the trip to Spain, the class will meet once a week in Boston, with each two-hour lecture and discussion covering different subjects necessary to appreciating the contemporary Spanish and European legal climate. At this crucial time in European affairs and in international relationships generally, the seminar will provide a fascinating look at Spain as a major European nation facing a variety of legal challenges.

Topics to be covered during the Boston segment of the course include the contrast between the United States common law system and Spanish civil law; fundamentals of European Union law; and overviews of intellectual property law, privacy law, and health and social insurance law in the EU, Spanish, and United States contexts. The topics are especially relevant as the legal and health and social support systems attempt to address the transmission of COVID-19 pandemic and to engage the research and regulatory sectors in developing new treatments and vaccines targeted at the disease. Guest lecturers will visit the class from time-to-time to give students the benefit of their expertise in some of these topics.

The week in the beautiful modern capital city of Madrid promises to include exciting and informative lectures, and excursions of both legal and cultural interest. Spanish legal experts will share their knowledge with the group, and students will also visit Spanish courts and Parliament, as well as legal offices to obtain a concrete sense of the practice of law in Spain and its policy implications. Also planned are outings of more general cultural interest.

Course Materials and Additional Costs

Class materials will be in the form of online content or handouts to be made available through the course page on Blackboard.

Students enrolled in the course will be assessed an extra charge of approximately $2400 to cover expenses related to the Madrid component of the course. This fee includes:

  • Nine (9) nights of accommodations (double occupancy)
  • Breakfast for all days and other meals (but students will have the opportunity to dine on their own a few of the days)
  • Lectures and visits to places of legal interest around Madrid
  • Transportation around Madrid (via Metro)
  • Guided visit to the Prado
  • Travel insurance

Students will be responsible for their own airfare, transportation to and from the airports in Boston and in Madrid, as well as for some meals and other incidentals.

Course Requirements and Grading

Requirements for the course will include: regular class attendance, preparation, and participation; preparing an independent research paper of approximately 25 pages in length; and making a class presentation about the research. Students are expected to choose a research subject in which they have a particular interest and to conduct their research throughout the semester. The topics may be any that are reasonably related to the course content: Spanish and European Union law, intellectual property law, privacy law, and health and social insurance law in the EU, Spanish, and United States contexts.  Students are required to meet early in the semester with one of the faculty members to identify an appropriate topic. The faculty members will provide deadlines for outlines, introduction, initial draft, and final paper. This paper may be used to satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement.

Final course grades and the assessment of performance will be based on the quality of the presentation, the final research paper, and satisfactory engagement with the course discussions throughout the semester.