News

Maine Law professor makes teaching trip to Hong Kong

March 1, 2012

PORTLAND, Maine – Going global is nothing new to Charles Norchi.

A Maine Law professor since 2007, Charles Norchi worked as a foreign correspondent in the 1980s, covering the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. As a human rights lawyer and consultant to the United Nations and others, his travels took him to more than two dozen countries, from the Indian subcontinent to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And as a professor, Norchi has developed strategic relationships and close friendships around the world.

In the past few years, many of those relationships have been forged in Hong Kong, the global seaport that is a maritime gateway to China. Norchi, the Director of Maine Law’s Center for Oceans and Coastal Law, embarked on his latest trip to Hong Kong early on the morning of Feb. 26. This spring, Norchi is teaching a maritime law course that’s offered jointly to students at Maine Law and at The Hong Kong Centre for Maritime and Transportation Law, part of the City University of Hong Kong. The course is made possible by the use of a Polycom teleconferencing system, which links the two universities in real time with streaming voice and video.

Since the beginning of this semester, Norchi has taught the course from the Maine Law building in Portland. The plan for his trip to Hong Kong included five class sessions and meetings with leaders at the Centre for Maritime and Transportation Law.

“It’s great to spend time with the students over there, to engage with them in person,” Norchi said prior to his departure. “It’s an incredible, vibrant place. There’s so much potential in the relationships between Maine and Hong Kong.”

The City University of Hong Kong is one of eight institutions overseas with which Maine Law offers student exchange programs, including three schools in France, two in Canada and one each in England and Ireland.

While in Asia, Norchi also will promote Maine Law’s new LL.M. (Master of Laws), a post-professional degree program, and to connect with potential applicants for the program’s inaugural year, which begins this fall. The University of Maine System Board of Trustees approved this new degree last month, and American Bar Association acquiescence is anticipated in April.

The LL.M. program is intended primarily for foreign students and practitioners who have earned a law degree outside the U.S. Students will learn the fundaments of the American legal system, while designing their own curriculum to match their professional interests. Examples of areas of concentration are Maritime and Oceans Law, Intellectual Property Law and Business Law.

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Media contact: Trevor Maxwell, communications director at Maine Law
Office: 207-228-8037/Cell: 207-286-4431/ email: tmaxwell@usm.maine.edu