Students learn how lawyers in Latin America are educated, the political and legal structures in which they operate, and the conceptual framework with which they approach legal issues.
Most US lawyers will eventually represent clients with interests outside the US and will encounter lawyers who are products of the civil law tradition. For that reason, it is necessary to know how these lawyers are educated, in what political and legal structures they operate, and what conceptual framework they use to approach legal issues.
As the US edges toward greater involvement with its hemispheric neighbors, US lawyers need to be familiar with the legal systems that prevail throughout Latin America. Chile is an ideal focus of this study, given its legal and constitutional structures and its dynamic economy.
Comparative Law Seminar: Legal Systems in the Americas is a seminar studying legal systems in Spanish-speaking South America, with particular (but not exclusive) emphasis on Chile. The seminar concentrates primarily on 3 areas of law: business-related matters, child and family law, and criminal law and procedure.
A unique feature of the seminar is the opportunity for students to travel to Chile over the spring break for on-site study and research. In Santiago, participants meet with faculty and students at the Law Faculty of Universidad Alberto Hurtado, a Jesuit law school and our local hosts, as well as with a variety of lawyers, judges and business people.