Admissions, Course Requirements, Credits and Fees
The Inter-American Program is open to:
- U.S. and LL.M. students of ABA-approved or state-accredited law schools
- Undergraduate or graduate law students of fully-accredited foreign law schools in Latin America or Spain
- U.S. and Latin American lawyers interested in cross-cultural and bilingual legal competence
Admissions for U.S. Law Students
U.S. and LL.M. students of ABA-approved or state-accredited law schools must be in good academic standing at their respective schools. This type of summer program requires serious engagement by students who enroll in it. Prior study in the areas covered by each course may be helpful, but is not required.
To enroll in either of the two substantive law courses taught in Spanish, students must have intermediate proficiency in the Spanish language, such as having grown up in a Spanish-speaking environment or having completed the equivalent of three (3) or more years of formal Spanish language instruction.
Students with only basic proficiency in the Spanish language, but who have taken at least two years of college-level Spanish instruction, may take the substantive law course taught in English as well as the Spanish Immersion — Legal Spanish for U.S. Lawyers course. Both courses receive law school credit.
Students who wish to participate in an optional field placement with a international or domestic legal institutions in Guatemala or other parts of Latin America following the end of the classroom portion of the program must possess an even higher level of proficiency in Spanish and are required to enroll in the two courses offered in Spanish during the summer program in order to gain familiarity with Spanish legal terminology. Participants of the Inter-American Program in a previous year who are proficient in Spanish may also enroll in the field placement without repeating the Summer Program.
Students must be willing to participate for an additional eight weeks following the classroom program in order to complete the field placement. The dates for the field placements are from June 17 to Aug. 9, 2013. Students are expected to complete 40 hours of week at their place of work.
While the application form asks for a self-assessment of level of competence in Spanish, students wishing to enroll in one or more of the courses taught in Spanish may be asked to have a personal assessment of their level of Spanish ability made by Professor Raquel Aldana, Program Director. Students wishing to enroll in one of the optional field placement will be interviewed in Spanish by Professor Aldana and will be asked to submit a brief essay of interest and a resume, both written in Spanish. Students should select in their essay up to three field placement options and explain the reasons for their interest and their qualifications. In order to be selected for a particular field placement, students must have some familiarity with or particular interest in the work of the organization where they will be placed. Learn more about the field placements.
Final Exam and Other Course or Field Placement Requirements
Any final exam will be given June 14, 2013, which is the last day of the program.
The due dates for any other class project will be specified in the course syllabus. Some research-based assignments may become due after the completion of classes.
During the first week of the field placements, students will participate in an orientation in the events offered by the Program Director Professor Raquel Aldana and Luis Mogollón that will prepare them for the field placement experience. Students enrolled in the field placements are required to participate in a day-long post-placement workshop to be held Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 at the Pacific McGeorge campus. In special cases with good cause shown and prior approval, in lieu of attending the post-placement workshop, students may either prepare a paper reflecting on and analyzing the topics for the workshop or, if available, attend through technology such as video-conferencing.
Guatemalan and Other Latin American Law Students or Lawyers
The Inter-American Program in Guatemala is open to any Guatemalan or Latin American law student or lawyer. Undergraduate law students must be in their final two years of law studies. Preference is given to students and lawyers who are bilingual in English and Spanish and who have a strong academic record or a notable professional career. Monolingual students may also apply.
Recent U.S. Law Graduates
The Inter-American Program in Guatemala is open to any U.S. recent law graduate or practicing attorney interested in learning Legal Spanish and cross-cultural legal competence.
Law School Credit Information
U.S. Law Students
Law School Credit: The Inter-American Summer Program in Guatemala has been fully approved by the American Bar Association and is on the approved list of programs.
Students enrolled in law schools other than Pacific McGeorge should check with their appropriate school official regarding procedures to follow for transfer of credit earned from participation in either classroom courses or externships toward fulfilling degree requirements. Acceptance of any credit or grade for any course taken in the program, is subject to determination by the student's home law school.
Participation in a foreign summer program may not meet requirements to accelerate graduation. Students should consult their home institutions for advice about residency requirements under relevant ABA standards if they seek to accelerate their graduation. U.S. law students must enroll in four (4) semester units of credit by taking two of the courses offered in the Summer Program in Guatemala. Additionally, U.S. law students may earn four (4) additional units of credit by participating in one of the optional eight-week field placements. Three (3) units of the placement are pass/fail and one (1) unit is graded.
Guatemalan and Other Latin American Law Students and Lawyers
Guatemalan or other Latin American law students and lawyers admitted into the program must enroll in at least two courses offered in the Guatemala Summer Program. This is a full-time commitment. Students may work only part-time and ideally not work at all during the duration of the program. Bilingual student must enroll in the course offered in English.
Guatemalan and other Latin American law students and lawyers, may, upon successful completion of the courses with at least a B average and admissions into one of Pacific McGeorge's L.LM programs, transfer up to (4) units earned in the program toward an L.LM degree at Pacific McGeorge. For more information about Pacific McGeorge's L.LM programs, please click here.
Recent U.S. law school graduates may enroll in the Legal Spanish and Legal Immersion component of the program. The program will include up to five hours of one-on-one Spanish immersion instruction, in addition to participation in the Legal Spanish for U.S. Lawyers course and all organized lectures and educational or cultural field trips.
Tuition & Mandatory Fees
Classroom (U.S. Law Students)
The classroom tuition and fees are as follows:
- Four (4) semester units — $3,600
- Mandatory program fee — $1,300
- Accompanying Person fee (during the three-week program) — $1,300
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 or any additional recreational fee 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.
Field Placement (U.S. Law Students)
In general, the field placement tuition and fees are as follows:
- Four (4)-unit Externship — $3,600
- Mandatory externship housing and transportation fee — $1,800
- Accompanying Person fee (during the externship period) — $1,000
The mandatory program fee for the field placement reflects different costs depending on the location of the field placement. The variations in fees reflect a realistic assessment in the differences in cost of living or additional expenses (such as in-country transportation) among the various countries.
- Guatemala — The mandatory fee covers the costs of transfers between Antigua and the location of the field placement, housing, and the cost the cost of daily transportation (for the student completing the field placement only) by private car to and from the field placement and housing.
- Costa Rica — The mandatory fee covers the costs of transfer to the Guatemalan airport from Antigua, a one-way flight between Guatemala and Costa Rica, and housing.
- Chile and Uruguay — The mandatory fee covers transfer to the Guatemalan airport from Antigua and housing only. Students and accompanying persons must pay for their own airfare and travel within Chile or Uruguay.
A daily budget of $50 should be sufficient to cover meals and incidentals not included in the program fee.
Guatemalan and other Latin American Law Students and Lawyers
Guatemalan and other Latin American Law Students and lawyers who are admitted receive a scholarship that covers tuition and must pay only a mandatory fee of $500 to participate in the program.
The mandatory program fee for the classroom component includes 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, and housing and transportation costs for field trips that include a hike to a volcano, and weekend trips to the beach and to Panajachel. Students requiring housing in Antigua provided by the program will need to pay an additional USD $900 to cover housing and daily breakfast.
Recent U.S. Law School Graduates and U.S. Lawyers
Recent U.S. law school graduates must pay $1,700 tuition and an additional mandatory $1,300 program fee.
The mandatory program fee 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, 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 SSololá, special lectures by leaders in the field of human rights in Guatemala, opening and closing dinners, 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 costs for airfare to Guatemala, in-country transporation, and meals other than those mentioned above or any additional recreational fee 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.
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.
Grading will comport with Pacific McGeorge's grading practices. Students attending from other law schools should seek guidance from their home institution as to whether course units will credited and how grades will be reported on their official transcripts.
Class Attendance, Preparation, Participation & Performance
Regular and punctual class attendance is mandatory and required by the American Bar Association. The faculty expects that you will be fully prepared and that you will actively participate in class. The faculty is required to take class attendance, preparation, participation, and performance into consideration in grading. Your attendance and active involvement in class discussion form a central part of the learning process in law school for you and your classmates. Failure to meet the minimum standards set by your professors may result in a lower grade, or exclusion from taking the final examination, resulting in a failing grade.
Disclosures — Cancellation or Withdrawal
If the Program is canceled, all deposits paid by students will be refunded. Additionally, we will undertake to assist students to enroll in other ABA approved summer programs, if they wish.
If a student withdraws prior to the commencement of the program, the student will receive a refund of all monies advanced except for the initial deposit. If the program is cancelled, students will receive a full refund of all monies advanced, including the initial deposit.
If a student withdraws during the course of the program, or if the program is terminated, the student will be refunded fees paid except for administrative fees (course materials, housing costs, etc.) committed (such as housing deposit paid to the host) prior to the notice of termination or withdrawal.
All refunds will be made within twenty (20) days after the cancellation or withdrawal.
Pacific McGeorge students should discuss availability of Financial Aid with the school's Financial Aid Office. Students from other law schools should contact the financial aid office of their home institution.
Important — If you expect to have funds from your financial aid office deposited to your bank account after you arrive in Guatemala, be sure to bring enough money to cover your expenses for several days. The program sponsors cannot cash personal checks in Guatemala.
During the classroom portion of the program, students will be housed in privately run guest houses in Antigua, in rooms with en suite facilities, where daily breakfast will be served. The cost of lodging is covered by the separate Program Fee.
During the externships, students will be housed in privately run apartments or houses in Guatemala City or in Quetzaltenango. In Guatemala City, the program will also provide in-country transportation to and from work. The cost of lodging and transportation is covered by the separate Externship Program Fee.
A passport is a document issued by your government allowing you to travel abroad. A visa is a permit issued by the government you are planning to visit allowing you to enter that country. Passports and visas are the responsibility of the student.
United States citizens can obtain a passport application from the nearest U.S. Department of State Passport Office or from certain State and Federal courts and post offices. If you lose your passport while in Guatemala, contact the nearest U.S. embassy immediately. To avoid any delay in obtaining your visa or passport, be sure to apply as early as possible.
Medical & Travel Insurance
Medical and travel insurance is required to participate in the Salzburg program. If you are a student at McGeorge and have student medical plan, you are covered while abroad, including travel assistance with evacuation benefits that meet most Visa requirements. Students who have other private medical or travel insurance should check their insurance plans to ascertain if the plan extends while away abroad.
If your plan does not cover illness or emergencies while traveling outside of your country, you are strongly encouraged to purchase temporary medical insurance for non-emergency and emergency medical expenses, including coverage for emergency air transportation, which is usually quite costly.
Students who enroll in the Summer Program will be required to provide a proof of medical insurance. We will retain these materials only for the duration of the program. To request more information about student medical insurance policies, contact Graduate and International Programs.
Contact Pauline Rodriguez, Summer Abroad Programs, Graduate & International Programs
Pacific McGeorge School of Law
3200 Fifth Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95817
Email | 916.739.7021