Professor Gerald Dixon holds a lecture to 10th graders

On October 15, 2012, the 10th graders from Zlatarski International School had the honour and privilege to meet Professor Gerald Dixon, a visiting professor in American Law at University of National and World Economy, Sofia. Gerald Dixon, an attorney for 31 years in Albuquerque, New Mexico, attended Texas Tech University and received a Juris Doctorate in 1981. He is a partner at Dixon Scholl & Bailey, a law firm of 8 attorneys, and primarily represents lawyers, architects, engineers and accountants in professional malpractice claims.

The 10th graders learned about the American legal system and the structure of the American government and the system of checks and balances of the Federal branches of government: the Executive, the Legislative and Judicial branches. Professor Dickson provided a number of examples to facilitate the understanding of this complicated topic. All students were listening to the explanations with attention as in their classes of Ethics and Law, they are to study the governmental and legal structure of their own country and compare it with the ones of other European countries and the USA.

The second part of the meeting referred to professional ethics. Gerald Dixon divided the students in four groups whose task was to discuss various scenarios and decide whether they violate the Honor Code or otherwise constitute unprofessional conduct, and if so, what sanction they think would be appropriate. The cases were quite similar to typical situations treated by the IB program as malpractice (plagiarism, undue copying or use of unauthorized materials during examinations or study projects).

Inspired by the lecture and interactive activities, the students continued asking questions long after the meeting was over, demonstrating fluent English, keen interest in the American Common and Case law, and seeking advice for their future educational aspirations and professional careers.