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The Introduction to the U.S. Legal System offered by the Lawyering in Spanish program at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law is designed to provide Latin American students with the theoretical and practical knowledge required to understand the practice of law in the United States. The aim is to expose foreign law students to the U.S. legal system, and to stimulate interaction between Latin American law students and students, faculty and legal professionals from the United States.

The implementation the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the “Mercosur” common market, the negotiation and conclusion of numerous regional trade agreements by the United States and other nations, and a significant increase in transnational legal disputes demonstrate a need for hands-on legal training to prepare future civil law professionals for academic and professional work involving U.S. laws and regulations. So additionally, participants will have an opportunity to improve their English language skills and develop a social and professional network in the U.S.

The Lawyering in Spanish Program will arrange and oversee the group’s interactions with faculty and students at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. This group of foreign law students is invited primarily because of shared research projects with the Lawyering in Spanish faculty members. All students attending this seminar will participate in a video production project featuring presentations in Spanish on relevant legal topics related to the Civil Law System System. The videos produced by visiting law students will be used as reference materials in the following courses offered by the Lawyering in Spanish program: International Business Transactions in Spanish, Labor Law in Spanish, Immigration Law in Spanish and Counseling and Negotiation in Spanish.

Short Term Visiting Scholars Committee
The Visiting Scholars Program will be overseen by Valeria Elliott, Lecturer at Law and Director of the Lawyering in Spanish Program at the Sturm College of Law, in conjunction with Lucy Daberkow, Graduate Programs Coordinator. Questions about the information provided here or about any other aspect of the Short Term Visiting Scholars Program with the SCOL may be directed to any of these individuals.

Valeria Elliott (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 303.871.6169)
Lucy Daberkow (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 303.871.6324)

International Partners

  • Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (several campuses throughout Mexico)
  • Universidad de Chile
  • Universidad Católica de Argentina
  • Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey
  • Universidad de Montevideo
  • Universidad Católica del Uruguay
  • Universidad de Barcelona


“From day one, you could see that everyone was willing to help us. First of all, we learned a lot. Not only did we improve our English skills but we learned a lot about the US Legal System (how courts work, who’s in charge of what, and military laws). We also learned a lot about how to brief a case, how to relate to your clients, some other things about networking, and how to research.

Also, the moment I got to Denver, I fell in love with the mountains and the city.”

- Maria del Rosario Yaquian Luna, Student

“Es un curso muy completo que nos permite no tan solo aprender acerca del sistema legal de los Estados Unidos sino también tener la oportunidad de reuniones personales con abogados que ejercen en ese sistema. Pude asistir de observadora a una corte y esto fortaleció mi conocimiento. Pienso que para abogados de mi país sería de mucha ayuda poder asistir a uno de los cursos más completos que brinda la Universidad de Denver, porque esto les permitirá ser muy competitivos.”

- Coralia Montenegro Arauz, Student

“I gave two presentations this summer for the intro to U.S. Legal System seminar at DU College of Law. The presentations were a comparative study between the U.S. Military Criminal Justice System and the U.S. Civilian Criminal Justice System. I was a little skeptical about the presentations because I did not think the law students from other countries would be very interested in the U.S. Military Justice System. I was, however, surprisingly wrong. The students were very interactive during the lectures and seemed to be very curious about the inter-workings of a very historic and often misunderstood system of discipline – especially during times of war. This led to several interesting discussions regarding law, war, and morality. I highly recommend the program.”

- Roberto Ramirez, Lecturer, City of Arvada Senior Assistant City Attorney

“I’m working at a law firm in Mexico City, and the summer course I took was a “plus” when I was being interviewed… now that I am working I notice that it is really important to have an English law vocabulary, since most of the time we deal with legal departments of U.S. based companies.”

- Guillermo Moreno, Student