Study Away in Germany

Program Description

Seattle University School of Law has established a semester exchange program with Bucerius Law School (“Bucerius”) under which up to two Seattle U Law students may spend the fall 3L or 4L semester in Hamburg acquiring up to 12 credits toward the J.D. degree. Established in 2000, Bucerius is the first private law school in Germany, with a mission to prepare students for an increasingly international legal environment. The semester exchange with Seattle University School of Law is an English language program with a curriculum focusing on international and business law and includes courses such as a survey course on Aspects of German Business Law, Banking Regulations from a Comparative Perspective and Law of the WTO. Those students who speak German will be able to select additional law courses from the German language curriculum.


The Bucerius campus is located in the center of Hamburg, in the Old Botanical Garden next to the Hamburg State Courts. The school is small, modern and well-equipped. Approximately 100 students are admitted per year. (Bucerius Law School facilities, excluding the library cupola, are accessible to individuals with disabilities.)


The program is available to 3Ls or 4Ls in the fall semester only who are in good academic standing. At Bucerius, the fall semester runs for 12 weeks from late August to mid-December.

Each year, two Seattle University law students will be selected to study at Bucerius for one semester and an equal number of students from Bucerius will study at Seattle University School of Law. In order to apply, Seattle University law students should submit the following materials:

  • Statement of Educational Objectives
  • Seattle University School of Law transcript (unofficial)
  • Resume
  • Faculty Recommendation

The deadline for applications is March 20. Students will be notified in early April whether they have been accepted. Final acceptance to the program is subject to Bucerius approval; selected students will be asked to submit a Bucerius application by the end of April.

Description of Courses & Credit Hours

Course descriptions and a schedule of classes are available from the Bucerius Law School Web site at

The Bucerius program is divided into two six-week sessions, each followed by a one-week exam period. Orientation begins in late August. The first session is from September to October with exams at the end of October; and the second session is November to December, with exams in mid-December. Each session offers about five courses. During the week between the two sessions, exchange students go as a group on a week-long study trip to Berlin (optional).

In order to satisfy residency requirements, the American Bar Association prescribes that a minimum of 11 CLS credits be taken at a foreign institution. Most courses at Bucerius are worth 2 credits, so students should take approximately 3 courses per session to total 12 credits. It is important that students confirm the number of credits they will be getting from Seattle University School of Law at the time of their registration at the foreign school.

Students earn credit only for those courses which are offered through the faculty of law.

Requirements for Student Performance and Grading Methods

Exchange students are evaluated by the same standards applied to other students, which may include any combination of attendance, classroom participation, oral presentation, papers and written exams. Each course will end with an examination. Seattle University School of Law will accept credit for only those courses passed with a C or above. Acceptance of any grade for any course taken in the program is subject to the determination by Seattle University School of Law.

In addition, students must submit written monthly summaries of their course work, which will be reviewed by Professor Ron Slye, International & Comparative Law Director. Reports can be brief (one page in length per course) and can be e-mailed to Professor Slye. Students who fail to comply with this requirement will not receive credit regardless of their grades at Bucerius.

Grades awarded by Bucerius will appear on the transcript provided by Bucerius. Grades for courses taken at Bucerius will not be included the computation of the law school grade point average. Students’ Seattle University transcripts will reflect credit only for classes passed with a C or better.

Students should be aware that foreign grading systems may differ significantly from those employed in the United States. Unlike at Seattle, students at foreign law schools often fail courses the first time they take the examinations. While this is not common among Seattle students studying abroad, it has happened. Since Seattle gives credit only for those courses passed with a C or above, students studying abroad may wish to take extra courses in order to ensure they receive the necessary number of credits.


Seattle University law students continue to pay Seattle University School of Law tuition. To obtain a German residence permit, students need to have health insurance covering them in Germany. Students should also be covered in other nations they wish to visit. To rent the room or apartment of a German Bucerius Law School student, students need liability insurance covering them in Germany. If students do not have German insurance coverage, it can be purchased through Bucerius Law School at cost. Although students in the exchange program do not pay tuition to Bucerius Law School, there are small fees to defray some of the cost.

Financial Aid

Participation in the Bucerius Law School Exchange program should have no effect on a student’s eligibility for financial aid scholarships or loans. Specific questions should be directed to the Seattle University School of Law Financial Aid Office.


Bucerius Law School reserves the right to cancel any course for reasons of insufficient student registration. If changes are announced prior to a student’s departure from the U.S., and the student is unable to identify satisfactory substitute courses, the student may choose to withdraw from the program. If cancellation occurs after the student has arrived in Germany, substitute courses must be selected and submitted for approval to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Seattle University School of Law.

Contact Individuals & Application

Donna Claxton Deming
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Seattle University School of Law
Phone: (206) 398.4307

Bucerius Law School
Hochschule fur Rechtswissenschaft gGmbH JunguisstraBe 6
D-20355 Hamburg, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 40 3 07 06 – 113
Web site:

Students on Court Level