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Russian law students learn about U.S. justice system in Louisville

by Janene Zaccone, communications and marketing last modified Jul 24, 2013 12:20 PM

Law students from Perm State University in Perm, Russia, have spent much of July learning about the U.S. justice system by watching civil, criminal and family court proceedings and talking to judges and attorneys in Louisville.

Russian law students learn about U.S. justice system in Louisville

L-R: Yekaterina Iugova, Anna Migaleva, Anna Sobyanina, Kseniia Kuznetcova, Nika Krasilnikova, Elena Abrosimova, UofL alumna Marissa Watters, Pavel Pastukhov.

Four undergraduate and two graduate students and their professor are in town on internships through the Department of Justice Administration and in conjunction with Louisville’s Sister Cities program. They spend mornings at the Hall of Justice and meet periodically with Michael Losavio, justice administration instructor, and other University of Louisville faculty members to discuss what they’ve seen.

Anna Migaleva, a fourth-year student, hopes to find some unique information for further research. Master’s student Nika Krasilnikova sees the trip as a way to benefit both her academic and professional development by broadening her outlook and getting to know a legal system which differs greatly from the system which she has studied and researched.

Ask them about their experiences and group members mention the differences they have seen between the U.S. and Russian legal systems, but the cultural differences—especially some of the less formal characteristics of U.S. courts—are just as striking to them.

“I was surprised by people wearing jeans and T-shirts in court,” rather than business dress in some court situations, said Elena Abrosimova, an undergraduate who plans to be a lawyer.

“People are really open,” said Kseniia Kuznetcova, whose interest is international law, especially as it relates to adoptions. “They let us ask any question we want. I don’t know in Russia if it would be the same situation.” One of the highlights of her trip, she said, was talking with a judge about his adoption of a child from Russia.

The trip has been beneficial to assistant professor Pavel Pastukhov, who accompanied the students.

“Earlier I read a book (about the U.S. legal system), but I couldn’t understand” some of the details. The internship, he said, has allowed him to get explanations from judges and attorneys so he will be able to take a better understanding of the subject back to the classroom.

“We are thankful” to everyone involved for this opportunity, Migaleva said.

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