Posted: October 16th, 2015 | By: Amber Featherstone
It was late 2003 when Edgardo Ricciardiello first met Wake Forest Law Professor Alan Palmiter in Venice, Italy. At the time, Ricciardiello was pursuing his doctorate in company law and securities regulation at the University of Bologna. Professor Palmiter suggested that Ricciardiello consider coming to Wake Forest Law for a semester to study on campus so he could utilize the law school’s resources for his research and have a cultural exchange experience. That suggestion led to the birth of what would become Wake Forest Law’s Visiting International Researcher (VIR) program with Ricciardiello signing on to be the very first participant.
In January 2004, Ricciardiello packed his bags and traveled to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He found an apartment with two American students and quickly learned that there were many things he needed to learn. “It was a huge change,” he remembers. “But all of the people were friendly and helpful to me. I even met a Wake Forest University student who had studied in Bologna and she helped me buy a car and get settled in North Carolina.”
Ricciardiello spent the semester comparing U.S. and European Union laws, researching various topics and making life-long relationships with the students and faculty of Wake Forest Law. “This experience was very important for me and it helped me grow in my career,” he explains. “Employers paid close attention to this experience when considering me for jobs and promotions.”
Fast-forward 11 years and Ricciardiello found himself curious about returning to Wake Forest Law for a short visit.
“Professor Palmiter had said that there were many changes on the campus,” Ricciardiello recalls. “And with becoming an associate professor, I wanted to do research on an article about crowd funding in bankruptcy situations to understand how it works in the U.S. and how to use that in Italy and throughout Europe.”
And with that, Ricciardiello returned to Winston-Salem for a three-week stay as a VIR at Wake Forest Law. When sharing his impressions of how things have changed, Ricciardiello noted that “the law school has changed a lot. I was really surprised how big the campus had become. I can say that Wake Forest University has really improved.”
He added, however, that at least one thing hadn’t changed. He still “found all of the professors and Dean Suzanne Reynolds (JD ’77) to be very kind and helpful.”
Ricciardiello is passionate about the VIR program and what the experiences have given him both personally and professionally.
“I always advise my students to travel abroad because you can find very helpful people to help you understand how it works in the U.S. and to help you open your mind to a different approach of law and a different legal system,” he explains. “This experience can give you the opportunity to grow up faster and have more perspective to use in your job as a lawyer, judge or professor. When you come back, you can see things through a different lens because you will have a different mentality. It helps you put yourself in the shoes of other people.”
Wake Forest Law’s VIR program allows foreign attorneys and scholars to spend time on the university’s picturesque campus, utilize the vast resources of the law school’s library and staff, among others, and connect with the renown faculty as well as students and alumni. For more information, please visit http://international.law.wfu.edu/researcher/ or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +001-336-758-6116.