July 13, 2022

On the weekend of June 24-25, 2022, Catholic Law and the Jagiellonian University (JU) celebrated the 30th anniversary of the International Business and Trade Summer Law Program (IBTSLP), a joint venture between the two universities, in Kraków, Poland. The weekend also included a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Catholic Law-JU American Law Program after marking that anniversary had been delayed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 30th anniversary will also be celebrated at Catholic Law's Reunion Weekend, September 30-October 2. All IBTSLP U.S. and international alumni will be most welcome in Washington, D.C., then!

Rett receiving awardOn Friday, June 24, JU awarded Professor Rett Ludwikowski with the Zasluzony dla UJ medal. The recognition is given to people in appreciation for their activities and achievements for the benefit of the academic community as well as exceptional involvement in the matters of the Jagiellonian University. Professor Ludwikowski, the founder of IBTSLP, was honored in particular for creating this cooperation between Catholic Law and the Faculty of Law and Administration of JU, for many years of exceptional service for the creative development of joint curricula, and for the education of several generations of lawyers on both sides of the Atlantic. The ceremony was held in the auditorium of Collegium Novum of the Jagiellonian University and was conducted by prof. Dorota Malec, Vice-Rector of the Jagiellonian University for International Cooperation.

Monic RohnerFollowing the award ceremony, there was also a posthumous recognition of Ralph J. Rohner, who was dean at the founding of Catholic Law and JU’s cooperation and who played an integral role in building the program. Monica Rohner, Dean Rohner's wife, along with eight other Rohner family members were in attendance to receive the honor.


panel discussionSaturday morning began with an alumni panel, “Looking Back and Forward.” The panel included Tomasz Chmal (IBTSLP 1997), Partner & Co-Founder of Trzeciak Chmal, Warsaw, Poland; Wojciech Jarosiński (LL.M. 2011, IBTSLP 2009, ALP 2009-10), Partner at Maruta Wachta, Warsaw, Poland; Rafał Kos, Ph.D. (LL.M., 2010, IBTSLP 2009, ALP 2009-10), Partner at Kubas Kos Galkowski, Kraków, Poland; Joanna Śliwa (LL.M. 2018, IBTSLP 2017, ALP 2007-08), Partner at Miśkowicz Pach, Kraków, Poland; Katarzyna Stryjniak (LL.M. 2012, IBTSLP 2010, ALP 2010-11), Head of Sector of the Health & Digital Executive Agency Operational Finance Unit, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium; and Cezary Żelaźnicki (IBTSLP 1998), Managing Partner of PwC Legal Poland, Warsaw, Poland. Panelists discussed their reflections on the program’s impact on their careers and provided advice to current IBTSLP students. Click here to view the panel on the Catholic Law YouTube Channel.

alumni talking at a barbecueFollowing the panel, alumni and students were invited to a barbecue honoring IBTSLP’s 30th anniversary, Professor Ludwikowski, and Dean Rohner. After the BBQ, some celebration attendees joined Dean Stephen Payne for a walking tour, In the Steps of John Paul II, marking some places in Kraków significant to Pope John Paul’s life. In the evening, LL.M. students, graduates, and guests gathered for dinner. Guests and alumni attending the celebrations included law professors at several universities, senior partners at both Polish and global law firms, legal officers from major corporations, and leaders of Polish government agencies, providing the current Catholic Law J.D. students in the IBTSLP with an opportunity to learn a great deal.