Combining one’s legal education with studying abroad greatly enhances the law school experience. I experienced this first hand while studying abroad in Mexico. During my time there, I saw firsthand the impact of international trade laws, which I had studied the prior semester. Moreover, I learned about the differences between Mexican law and American law in areas such as finance, banking, property, and elections. Further, I learned about traveling abroad, and how to adapt to different surroundings. At a more basic level, the experience showcased the common elements of humanity that exist despite the stark cultural and linguistic differences which we share. Overall, studying abroad helps to make one’s legal education more complete and worthwhile. — Imad Matini, Class of 2014, Associate, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, Washington, DC
The Geneva Study Abroad Program focuses on international trade and international human rights law. These two fields are more intertwined than the law typically recognizes: The rules of the WTO impact ordinary people’s lives in ways that can either advance or derogate human rights, and businesses, rather than states, can be central actors in the protection or violation of human rights norms. Lawyers need to understand how these international rules intersect. Geneva, home to both the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, is the perfect place to study this area of law.
The Mexico Study Abroad Program focuses on immigration and migration law. The legal relationship between the United States and its southern neighbor brings up questions about NAFTA, cross-border investment by multinational companies, border security, and rights of migrants and non-citizens in both countries. The Mexico Study Abroad Program takes place in beautiful Guanajuato, Mexico, a town with a deep mining history and the sister city of Morgantown, West Virginia, to study these questions at the University of Guanajuato.
The Brazil Study Abroad Program focuses on sustainable development. The program begins in the Amazon: Students read about and discuss legal issues related to climate change, deforestation, and biodiversity, while interacting with Amazon wildlife and sleeping under the stars on a riverboat. The program then travels to the University of Vila Velha, located in a small city on the southern coast of Brazil, for university classes on comparative U.S.-Brazilian law and home stays with Brazilian students. Finally, the program stops in Rio de Janeiro, where closes focus on issues of urban development, class and race in Brazilian society.