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Legal and Cultural Spring Break in Mexico

St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio and the University of Guadalajara invite Doctorate of Jurisprudence (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Master of Jurisprudence (M.Jur.) students and alumni to participate in a spring break study abroad program in March.

The Legal and Cultural Spring Break in Mexico will resume in Spring 2023.

Study Law Abroad – in Mexico

The program, which is taught in Spanish, focuses on the law and relationship between the United States and the Mexican legal system. Students earn 1 credit hour and receive an internationally recognized diploma from the University of Guadalajara.

Dates, Tuition and Housing

Students participating in the program will depart San Antonio on Sunday, March 8, 2020, and return from Guadalajara on Thursday, March 12, 2020. The cost of tuition is $390, and includes costs for academic and cultural activities, housing, meals and ground transportation.

During their stay students will be housed at the historic Hotel Malibu. Airfare and medical insurance are not included in the cost of tuition and must be purchased independently by the student.


All students will travel to Guadalajara together via Interjet Airlines. Each student is expected to make his or her own reservation on or before Feb. 10, 2020. Prior to booking a flight, participants are encouraged to reach out to St. Mary’s Research Professor of Law Roberto Rosas regarding discounted student airfare that has been obtained for the group.

The University of Guadalajara

The University of Guadalajara, founded in 1792, is a public university centrally located in Guadalajara, Mexico. Today, the university serves the metropolitan area of Guadalajara, eight regions of Jalisco, Mexico.

As the second-largest university in Mexico, the University of Guadalajara has a student body composed 209,466 students enrolled in one of 422 vocational, high school, undergraduate and graduate academic programs offered by the university.

The university is widely regarded as a fundamental institution for regional and national development of highly educated human resources and the production of cultural, legal, scientific and technological advancements that support the development of the country.

Course Information

The course is taught in Spanish. Students must understand Spanish to attend.

The Legal and Cultural Spring Break Program includes 14 classroom hours and 7 hours in field visits including:

  • observation of a Mexican trial
  • participation in a mock trial exercise
  • attendance to a full session of State Congress.
Many of the classes include international and practical components. Students receive 1 credit hour for their participation in the program.

The program material supplements two law courses: Doing Business with Mexico, and Legal Spanish and the Mexican Legal System. It is recommended that students enroll in one of these courses prior to applying to the spring break program.

The program faculty is comprised of seven professors of law from the University of Guadalajara, including: judges, public defenders, human rights activists, and practicing attorneys from an international law firm. The faculty will use their professional expertise, personal experience and real cases to lead the classroom discussion.

Professor evaluate students orally on a pass/fail basis. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive an internationally recognized diploma from the University of Guadalajara.

This year’s Distinguished Visiting Jurist is the Honorable Alberto Pérez Dayán, Associate Justice of the Mexico Supreme Court, who will lecture on relevant current judicial topics.

Participants, topics and times are subject to change.


Students who have attended and completed the program are able to participate in the program for a second year through an internship with international attorneys or human rights lawyers. The internships will take place on Monday, March 9, 2020 through Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

Students will compete for available internships with Mexican law firms. Students must have registered for the Guadalajara program before being considered for the internships.

Passports and Visas

Students who wish to participate in the Legal and Cultural Spring Break Program must have or be able to obtain a valid passport in order to travel to Mexico.

Medical Insurance

Medical insurance is mandatory and may be acquired for a cost of $15 per week from St. Mary’s University. All forms and payment information required will be provided to prospective students upon their submission of a request for application.

Questions concerning required medical insurance (Blanket Student Accident and Sickness Insurance) and required forms (Student Contact Form, Release, Indemnification, and Arbitration Agreement, and Student Agreement for Participation in a Study Abroad Program) should be directed to Ofilia Rodarte at

Request Information

For questions or more information, contact Roberto Rosas.

Apply to the Mexico Program

Students who wish to participate in the program may do so by submitting a request to participate to Research Professor of Law Roberto Rosas no later than Feb. 3, 2020. Upon receipt of the request, medical insurance forms and flight information will be forwarded to the participant. Students who wish to participate in the program must submit the following forms and payments on or before Feb. 10, 2020:

  • A copy of a valid passport
  • Medical insurance forms and accompanying payment
  • Proof of flight reservation
  • A cash payment of $390 to Research Professor of Law Roberto Rosas