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Guatemala Group

Guatemala Courses — May 31 to June 20

U.S. and Latin American law students must enroll in two (2) or four (4) semester units of credit.

Transitional Justice in Latin America — two (2) units, graded

  • Professor Raquel Aldana, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
  • Language — Taught in Spanish

As a region, Latin America has endured violent civil wars and repressive regimes. It has also experimented with different models of transitional justice that include the adoption of general or partial amnesties, truth commissions, and prosecutions. This course will explore important topics of transitional justice as these have played out in several countries of Latin America. These topics include the legal and the political in negotiated justice in the context of peace agreements; victim's rights; the role of certain actors — such as victims and judges — in domestic prosecutions; due process for criminal defendants; and the juxtaposition of the competing goals of criminal justice reforms as between past and current waves of crime affecting the region.

Commercial Law for Foreign Investors in Guatemala — two (2) units, graded

This course uses the 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.

Comparative Perspective on Property Rights in Latin America — two (2) units, graded

  • Professor Megan Ballard, Gonzaga University, School of Law
  • Language — Taught in English

This course will explore a variety of property law issues affecting various Latin American countries, highlighting the relationships between property norms, citizenship and development. Students will study various land tenure regimes and their political economic and social ramifications, as well as the relative merits of state regulated versus free market approaches to property transactions and use.

Lawyering Across Borders — two (2) units, graded

  • Professors Julie Davies and Luis Mogollón and teachers from Academia Antigüeña de Español
  • Language — Taught primarily in Spanish

This course will prepare students with intermediate Spanish proficiency to represent Spanish-speaking clients in the U.S. legal system or to work in Spanish on transnational matters involving Latin America. The class will allow students to practice skills in Spanish, such as client interviewing, intake, and client counseling, through simulations and group exercises.

As part of the class, students will work with their individual language instructors on assignments for the Lawyering Across Borders course. Intensive legal Spanish language instruction will be fully integrated with the rest of the course curriculum.

For Pacific McGeorge students only, this course meets the law school’s professional skills course requirement.

Spanish Language Academy — no law school credit

Students will take three (3) or four (4) hours of Spanish daily at a leading Spanish language school with their own individual teacher. Lessons will correspond with each student's individual goals and proficiency level.


Contact Ly Lee, Summer Abroad Programs Coordinator
Pacific McGeorge School of Law
3200 Fifth Ave.
Sacramento, CA  95817
Email | Phone: 916.739.7021 | Fax: 916.739.7363