Inter-American Summer Program in Guatemala
May 25, 2013 – June 15, 2013
The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is proud to offer its first summer study-abroad program through the Lawyering in Spanish Program. In partnership with the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and in affiliation with Gonzaga University School of Law, DU Law will offer the innovative 2013 Inter-American Summer Program in Guatemala.
Study-abroad programs offered by U.S. law schools, including those in Latin America, commonly teach courses in English that could have been offered in the United States. In contrast, the Inter-American Summer program in Guatemala will provide students with the equivalent of at least two years of Spanish the opportunity to take law classes in a bilingual and inter-cultural environment. The program will offer substantive law classes about Latin America taught in Spanish as well as Spanish-language externship placements. It will also allow students the opportunity to study with Latin American students and to take courses taught by Guatemalan law professors. Program participants will gain professional legal and inter-cultural competence to practice law in Latin America or to work with Latino issues and clients in the United States.
Students who have had at least two years of Spanish during their college years (or the equivalent) may enroll in “Comparative Criminal Procedure in the Americas,” a course that will be taught in English, and in “Legal Spanish for Lawyers.” Students with intermediate or high proficiency in Spanish may enroll in “Commercial Law for Foreign Investors in Guatemala,” and in “Comparative Law Perspectives,” each of which will be taught in Spanish. Each course is a 2-credit course.
The classroom portion of the Guatemala summer program will take place over three weeks, from May 25, 2013 through June 15, 2013. Students must enroll in two courses, and will earn four semester units of credit.
Professor Juárez will schedule an interview with each applicant to the program. Part of the interview will be conducted in Spanish and will be used to determine whether the applicant will enroll in “Comparative Criminal Procedure in the Americas” (taught in English) and “Legal Spanish for Lawyers,” or in “Commercial Law for Foreign Investors in Guatemala” and “Comparative Law Perspective.”
Below are the course descriptions:
Comparative Law Perspectives (2 units) (taught in Spanish) – This course offers students a unique bilingual, inter-cultural, and inter-disciplinary approach to the study of comparative law in the Americas. Students will be introduced through a series of hot topics to some of Latin America’s pressing issues that require engagement with transnational or international actors, norms, and legal institutions. These topics will include the regulation of the environment in the context of trade, comparative perspective on commercial norms to accommodate foreign investment in the region, and issues of transitional justice and post-conflict democratization in the region. Taught by Professor Raquel Aldana (Pacific McGeorge) with guest lectures by Mario Mancilla (Legal Advisor to the Secretariat for Environmental Affairs, CAFTA-DR); Enrique Sánchez Usera (Universidad Rafael Landívar); and Manuel Vásquez (Chief Prosecutor for the department of Sacatepéquez, Antigua, Guatemala).
Commercial Law for Foreign Investors in Guatemala (2 units) (taught in Spanish) – This course will use the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to examine the legal framework regulating foreign investment in Central America and Mexico. With ratification of CAFTA-DR, Guatemala opened its doors not only to trade but also to foreign investment, including from U.S. companies looking to do business in Guatemala. While the CAFTA-DR includes norms that govern the relationship between foreign investors and Member States, the domestic laws of each Member State continue to provide the central regulatory structure that governs relations among the parties, including in the areas of commerce, intellectual property, labor and the environment. This introductory course examines the principal commercial norms that apply to foreign investors in Guatemala, with special emphasis on the law of contracts. The course will examine the comparable norms applicable under NAFTA, and will also discuss how CAFTA’s ratification has promoted rule of law reforms in Guatemala in the areas of commerce, intellectual property, labor and the environment. Taught by Professor José Roberto (Beto) Juárez, Jr. (University of Denver).
Comparative Criminal Procedure in the Americas (2 units) (taught in English) – This course will examine Latin America’s transition from inquisitorial to adversarial system of criminal justice, with a specific focus on the right to counsel and the right to trial. We will engage in comparative study and analysis of these rights as currently configured in Latin America and the analogous constitutional rights that exist in the United States’ criminal justice system. We will consider the historical, political, and cultural influences behind both similarities and differences. Through out our study and discussion, we wil assess these rights on both theoretical and practical (real world) levels, placing particular emphasis on the circumstances of Guatemala. Taught by Professor Emily García Uhrig (Pacific McGeorge).
Legal Spanish for U.S. Lawyers (2 units) (taught in Spanish) – This course will prepare students with basic Spanish proficiency to represent Spanish-speaking clients in the U.S. legal system or to work in Spanish on transnational matters involving Latin America. It will combine one-on-one Spanish immersion instruction with a structured classroom component. The Spanish immersion component will introduce and build on each student’s legal Spanish vocabulary in areas of law likely to require lawyering in Spanish or in areas identified as priorities by the student. The structured classroom component will allow students to practice skills in Spanish, such as client interviewing, intake, and client counseling, through simulations and group exercises. Taught by Professors Raquel Aldana (Pacific McGeorge) and Luis Mogollón (Pacific McGeorge), with one-on-one immersion instruction by Guatemalan Spanish-language instructors.
Because these courses are University of Denver courses, DU Law students admitted to the program do NOT need to request permission to enroll in the program; you should not submit the “Request to Study Abroad” form from Student Affairs.
The courses will be graded like all DU Law courses, and the grade received in the course will automatically appear on each student’s DU transcript and will be included in the calculation of each student’s grade point average.
The course schedule is:
Comparative Law Perspectives – 9 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. (M,T,TH,F)
Commercial Law for Foreign Investors in Guatemala – 10:50 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. (M,T,TH,F)
Comparative Criminal Procedure in the Americas – 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (M,T,Th,F)
Legal Spanish for U.S. Lawyers
One-on-one Spanish immersion instruction – 9 a.m. to noon (M,T,Th,F), OR 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (M,F) and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (T,Th).
Class – 3:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (T,Th).
Any final examinations will be given on Friday, June 14, 2013.
Students with high proficiency in Spanish may enroll in optional externships following the classroom program and earn four additional semester units of credit over an 8-week period. Students participating in an externship will remain in Guatemala from June 17, 2013 to August 9, 2013.
Students placed in an externship are required to enroll in the two substantive law courses taught in Spanish over the first three weeks of the program plus a preparatory course taught in Spanish during the beginning of the externship. Externship students will earn eight semester units of credit by the completion of the program.
The agencies and organizations in which externships will be offered work in the fields of environmental justice, commerce and trade, human rights, economic development, immigration and labor relations. Among the organizations with which externship placements may be available are:
Abogados sin Fronteras, Guatemala (Lawyers without Borders Guatemala)
The Canadian-based NGO, Lawyers without Borders, was founded in 2002 by a group of lawyers from Québec, whose mission it is to provide support to vulnerable populations and legal activists who are seeking justice through legal mechanisms. In Guatemala, Lawyers without Borders Canada is supporting the work of key human rights organizations working on emblematic wartime cases with the goal of ending impunity for the gross human rights violations committed in the country during its 36-year civil war. The organization provides technical legal support and accompaniment to the victim survivors and their representatives, and training to Guatemalan human rights lawyers; promotes best practices and strategies for documenting and successfully litigating human rights cases; and creates a network of support for human rights activists.
Asociación de Investigación y Estudios Sociales (Association for Investigation & Social Science (ASÍES)
ASÍES is comprised of members, including prominent human rights figures in Guatemala, who come from a variety of backgrounds and professions and who have come together to promote the development of a democratic society dedicated to concepts of justice, liberty, peace and solidarity.
ASÍES functions like a think-tank in the U.S. and publishes studies on a variety of subjects. It also creates legislative proposals to be considered for passage by the Guatemalan National Congress. Externs are assigned to work on specific projects under the direction of an in-house attorney.
Asociación Guatemalteca de Exportadores (Guatemalan Exporters Association)
AGEXPORT is a private non-profit entity that represents, promotes and develops non-traditional exports from Guatemalan companies. It provides high-level assistance services to the exporters, serving the business community at-large in international trade activities and investments.
In addition, AGEXPORT participates in trade negotiations and designs strategies and action plans related to taxes, labor and environmental issues affecting its members. Externs are assigned to work on specific projects under the direction of an in-house attorney.
Instituto Centro Americano de Estudios Sociales y Desarollo (INCEDES) (Central American Institute on Social Sciences and Development)
This entity was formed when a group of Guatemalan professionals decided in 2005 to come together to conduct research in the area of migration and development in the Central America and Mexico region. INCEDES publishes studies and collaborates with regional organizations to promote policies that favor a more humane treatment of immigrants and transmigrants.
MadreSelva is a membership-based organization established in 1996 to safeguard environmental rights in Guatemala. They work in the following areas: the protection of forests and natural resources, the right to water, oversight over mining and hydroelectric plants, defense of territorial sovereignty, protection of endangered species, and the right to a safe and healthy living. They conduct their work though strategic litigation, policy reform, and community organizing.
Mesa Nacional para las Migraciones en Guatemala (MENAMIG) (National Roundtable for Migration in Guatemala)
MENAMIG promotes the rights of migrants residing in Guatemala. MENAMIG produces studies on the phenomena of inbound and outbound migration affecting the country, and it lobbies for the promotion of better policies toward migrants and repatriates in the country. Externs are assigned to work on specific projects under the direction of an in-house attorney either with MENAMIG or one of its partner institutions.
Secretaría de Acceso a la Información (Human Rights Ombudsman, Access to Information Unit)
The Human Rights Ombudsman is an independent government entity whose function is to oversee governmental compliance with human rights norms. In 2008, the Government of Guatemala enacted its first access to information law and charged the Human Rights Ombudsman with its implementation. The Access to Information Unit oversees compliance with the legislation by various governmental organs and conducts training.
Secretaría de Asuntos Ambientales, CAFTA-DR (CAFTA-DR Environmental Issues Secretariat)
The Secretariat for Environmental Matters (SEM) is an international organization that was created within the framework of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) where, for the first time in the region, a free trade agreement included a chapter on the environment (Chapter 17). In this regard, the SEM was established to take charge of the functions set forth in CAFTA-DR articles 17.7 and 17.8. Specifically, the Secretariat receives and processes complaints from civil society involving non-compliance with its domestic environmental laws in the context of trade and foreign investment. To date, the Secretariat is handling seven complaints, including two from Guatemala involving violations to protected forests and parks of Guatemala.
Secretaría de Integración Económica Centroamericana (Secretariat of Economic Integration of Central America)
The SIECA is a regional body whose main responsibility is to provide technical and administrative support to the Central American economic integration process known as the Central American Integration System. The SIECA’s mission is the integration of the Central American region into a worldwide economy and trade. The SIECA focuses its efforts on the implementation of legal instruments and resolutions pertaining to economic integration, the preparation of technical analysis and studies required by the different economic forums to identify best practices of operation, and to be a liaison among organizations involved in the regional integration process. The SIECA is under the management of the Secretary General, who is appointed by the Council of Ministers of Economic Integration.
NOTE: The only externships approved for DU Law students are those in Guatemala. The University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law has added additional externship opportunities in other Latin American countries; if you are interested in one of these externships, you must speak with Professor Juárez regarding permission to participate in externships outside Guatemala. Information regarding DU externships in other Spanish-speaking countries is available here.
Fees and Costs
Classroom Component (May 25, 2013 to June 15, 2013)
The classroom tuition and fees are as follows:
Four (4) semester units — $5,220; with scholarship, net cost of $3,600
Mandatory program fee — $1,300
Accompanying person fee (during the three-week program) — $1,300
Please note that all DU Law students admitted to the program will automatically receive a scholarship, resulting in a net cost for tuition of $3,600 for the classroom component of the program. The tuition charge for four (4) semester units covers course costs only.
The mandatory program fee for the classroom component includes transfers between the airport in Guatemala City and the program site in Antigua; housing and daily breakfast for the duration of the classroom program; all course materials for students enrolled in the courses; the cost of guided field trips to the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala, the Constitutional Court of Guatemala, and the Mayan Indigenous Local Council of Sololá; special lectures by leaders in the field of human rights in Guatemala; opening and closing dinners; sponsored lunches and receptions; and housing and transportation costs for field trips that include a hike to a volcano, and weekend trips to the beach and to Panajachel.
The personal costs for airfare to Guatemala, in-country transportation, and meals other than those mentioned above, as well as any additional recreational fees are not included in the mandatory fees and must be paid directly by each student. A daily budget of $35 should be sufficient to cover meals and incidentals not included in the program fee.
Externship Component (June 17, 2013 to August 9, 2013)
Tuition and fees for the externship course are:
Four (4) semester units – $5,200; with scholarship, net cost of $3,600
Mandatory externship housing and transportation fee — $1,800
Accompanying person fee (during the externship period) — $1,000
Please note that all DU Law students admitted to the program will automatically receive a scholarship, resulting in a net cost for tuition of $3,600 for the externship component of the program.
For the externships in Guatemala, the mandatory fee covers the costs of transfers between Antigua and the location of the field placement, housing, and the cost of daily transportation (for the student completing the field placement only) by private car to and from the field placement and housing.
Students interested in externships outside Guatemala through the University of Pacific McGeorge School of Law should contact Professor Juárez. If permitted to enroll in an externship outside Guatemala, the items covered by the program fee will vary from those covered in Guatemala.
A daily budget of $50 should be sufficient to cover meals and incidentals not included in the program fee.
DU Law students participating in the Guatemala program are eligible for financial aid, on the same basis as they would be if enrolled in summer courses at the Denver campus. Students admitted to the program will be provided additional information regarding financial aid procedures.
Latin American Students
In addition to students from DU Law and other U.S. law schools, students in the Inter-American Summer Program in Guatemala will include law students and lawyers from Guatemala and other Latin American countries. This provides a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about the legal systems of Latin America.
La Antigua Guatemala (commonly referred to as just Antigua or La Antigua) is a city in the central highlands of Guatemala famous for its well-preserved Spanish Mudéjar-influenced Baroque architecture as well as a number of spectacular ruins of colonial churches. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. La Antigua Guatemala means “Old Guatemala” and is a growing tourist destination in Guatemala. More information regarding Antigua is available here. A video with highlights of Antigua is here.
PLEASE NOTE: DU Law students must follow the instructions below. DU Law students, please do NOT follow the instructions for non-DU Law students at the link below. If you are not a student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, you should follow the instructions at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law website here.
Students interested in participating in the Inter-American Summer Program in Guatemala should apply as soon as possible. Priority will be given to applications received by February 15, 2013. Other applications received by March 1, 2013 will then be considered.
Applicants must complete the online application available here. (DU Law students should ONLY complete the online application at this link; do not follow any of the other instructions on this page.) DU Law applicants should also submit the following to Professor Juárez:
1) 1) CV. The CV may be in English, unless you are applying for one of the externships. If you are applying for one of the externships, you must provide a CV in Spanish. (Professor Juárez will work with you on your CV in Spanish before submitting it to any of the externship organizations.) You may submit the CV as part of the online application or send it by email to Professor Juárez.
2) An unofficial copy of your transcript.
3) A 2-page essay explaining your background in Spanish and your interest in the program. If you are applying for the Legal Spanish for Lawyers course, your essay may be in English. All other applicants should submit the essay in Spanish. If you are applying for an externship, your essay should identify those externships you are interested in. You may submit the essay as part of the online application or send it by email to Professor Juárez.
4) A $250 deposit. Checks should be made out to “University of Denver.”
You may send these items electronically to Professor Juárez at email@example.com. The deposit check may be submitted to Karlyn Shorb, Administrative Director of the Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law, in Room 465C. If you prefer, you may submit your complete application materials in hard copy to Ms. Shorb.
Once you have submitted your application, Professor Juárez will contact you to schedule a brief interview. Part of this interview will be conducted in Spanish to determine which courses you should be placed in.
If you are admitted to the program, there will be additional forms from the University of Denver and the University of Pacific you will be required to complete by April 1, 2013. You will also be required to submit a copy of the page from your passport with your photo.
Below is the schedule of program deadlines:
March 15, 2013 – Admissions decisions will be made by this date.
April 1, 2013 – Students admitted to an externship must submit a non-refundable $500 deposit. Application fees are refundable for students withdrawing prior to this date.
April 15, 2013 – Unit fees and program fees are due. If you are applying for financial aid and have not yet received that aid by this date (as is likely), please let Professor Juárez know so that he can waive this deadline. Failure to meet the payment deadlines specified results in automatic forfeiture of your place in the program as well as forfeiture of fees and deposits paid. The student will also forfeit any program fee paid for an accompanying person.
All fees will be returned if the program is cancelled.
If an applicant withdraws from enrollment prior to the first date of the program (May 24, 2013) but after April 15, 2013, the applicant will be refunded tuition, but will forfeit application fees, deposits, and mandatory program fees.
If students withdraw prior to the commencement of the program, or if a program is canceled, students will receive a full refund of all monies advanced within 20 days after the cancellation or withdrawal.
If students withdraw during the course of the program, or if the program is terminated, students will be refunded fees paid except for administrative fees (course materials, housing costs, etc.) already committed (such as housing deposit paid to the host) prior to the notice of termination or withdrawal.
The following program flyers can be downloaded here:
Please direct any questions to Professor Juárez at firstname.lastname@example.org. Professor Juárez is on teaching leave during the Spring 2013 semester and will be away from campus for most of the semester; you are welcome to speak with him whenever you find him in his office.