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 the country of their externship through August 7, 2016.

Students placed in an externship are required to enroll in “Central American Migration Corridor, 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.

Externships will be offered with agencies and organizations that 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:

Externships in Chile

Defensoría Penal Pública (DPP) (National Public Defender’s Office)

The DPP in Chile was created in 2001 under the framework of the criminal procedure reform to provide criminal defense to those accused or charged with a crime, ensuring the right to defense by counsel and due process in the criminal trial. Through the DPP the government guarantees the right of the accused to have a defense lawyer to represent them in criminal proceedings.

Fiscalía de Chile/Ministerio Público (Attorney General)

The Attorney General’s office is the entity charged with the investigation and prosecution of crimes, and the protection of victims and witnesses. The national or central office is the administrative arm of the prosecutor function and establishes policies and institutional priorities in the area of criminal prosecution as well as allocates resources throughout the regional prosecutor’s offices of Chile.

Externships in Costa Rica

Corte Suprema de Justicia (Supreme Court of Costa Rica)

The Supreme Court of Costa Rica is charged with resolving all appeals and all complaints against judges of the lower courts in Costa Rica. The Court is divided into four chambers — the First Chamber handles all civil, administrative, property and commercial matters; the Second Chamber handles all matters related to family and labor and employment; the Third Chamber handles all criminal cases; and the Constitutional Chamber handles all constitutional rights and any rights that flow from Costa Rica’s international conventions.

Externships in Guatemala

Abogados sin Fronteras, Guatemala (Lawyers without Borders Guatemal)

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 (ASÍES) (Association for Investigation & Social Science

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 (AGEXPORT) (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)

A group of Guatemalan professionals established INCEDES in 2005 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 (MotherJungle)

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

Ministerio Público de Guatemala (Attorney General of Guatemala)

In 1993, the State of Guatemala restructured its criminal justice system, dividing the functions of investigation, prosecution and adjudication into three different government entities and switching from the inquisitorial to an adversarial model of criminal justice. The Attorney General became an independent agency in charge of prosecuting criminal cases. The Criminal Procedural Code adopted in 1993 makes the Attorney General responsible for the pre-trial investigation, prosecution, and trial against the accused. The work of the Attorney General is divided into several specialized groups that include crimes against life, narcotrafficking, violence against children, human rights cases, and femicide.

Procuraduría de los Derechos Humanos (Human Rights Ombudsman)

The Human Rights Ombudsman is an independent government agency charged with overseeing compliance with human rights and laws by all other Guatemalan government entities. The Ombudsman investigates complaints by citizens involving state abuse of its functions and also conducts independent investigations on pressing issues in the country. The work of the Ombudsman is divided topically into several areas including environmental rights, the rights of children, and women.

Secretaría de Asuntos Ambientales CAFTA-DR (CAFTA-DR Secretariat for Environmental Matters)

The Secretariat for Environmental Matters (SEM) is an international organization created within the framework of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) the first free trade agreement in the region to include a chapter on the environment (Chapter 17).The SEM receives and processes complaints from civil society involving non-compliance with its domestic environmental laws in the context of trade and foreign investment. The Secretariat is handling seven complaints, including two from Guatemala involving violations to protected forests and parks of Guatemala.

Secretaría de Integración Económica Centroamericana (SIECA) (Secretariat of Economic Integration of Central America)

The SIECA is a regional body that provides 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, and the preparation of technical analysis and studies required by different economic forums to identify best practices of operation, and serves as 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.

Externships in Uruguay

Guyer & Regules

Guyer & Regules is a top private firm handling international and domestic legal, accounting and tax work. The main international areas of practice include banking and finance, corporate mergers and acquisitions, accounting and tax, real estate, litigation, labor, telecommunications, energy, aviation, and insurance.

Hughes & Hughes

With more than 113 years of experience, Hughes & Hughes is one of the most reputable and respected private law firms in Uruguay. The firm handles cases for domestic and foreign corporate clients in nearly twenty different areas of legal practice, including corporate and commercial, banking and finance, labor and employment, immigration, taxation, environmental law, and trade.

Information regarding DU externships in other Spanish-speaking countries is available here. Students may choose to participate in one of these externships after completing the classroom courses in Guatemala.