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Mexico: Comparative Law in Guanajuato
Guanajuato, Mexico (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Fact Sheet:
Academic College: College of Law Credits Earned: 3
Faculty Leader: Alison Peck, James Friedberg, Jena Martin
Program Description:


Mexico: Comparative Law in Guanajuato
Guanajuato Mex. photoApplications for summer 2017 coming soon!

The Mexico Study Abroad Program is a 2 week, 3 credit hour program that provides WVU students with an introduction to international rule of law issues using a Mexican comparative lens.  Studying these concepts in Guanajuato Mexico will provide students with a unique perspective on how many current national issues (i.e., economic, social, and migration policy) are viewed abroad.  This perspective provides our students with a key cultural and intellectual advantage as they go out into the marketplace and the professional arena.

During the program, students will have the opportunity to live in Guanuajato, Mexico, one of Latin America’s oldest cities and a significant landmark for many historical events that have happened in Mexican history. The city’s rich history as a silver mining town is a beautiful backdrop for your study abroad experience.
During the program students will have the opportunity to visit the federal courts, the state legislatures as well as see some of Latin America’s most beautiful destinations – including a visit to some of the oldest pyramids discovered in the Western Hemisphere.

WVU Law students will be given registration priority for this program, but WVU graduate students from other disciplines are also welcome to participate on a space-available basis.


City: Guanajuato

Country: Mexico

Population: 171,709

Information: Guanajuato, the capital of Guanajuato state, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a charming colonial-era city situated in a picturesque valley surrounded by the Sierra de Guanajuato mountains. Guanajuato is nicknamed “the place of frogs” because the shape of its mountainous terrain is said to have resembled a frog to the city’s early inhabitants. The region is known as the Bajio, or heartland of Mexico.

Founded in 1559, Guanajuato is a former silver mining city and home to the La Valenciana mine. Silver was first discovered in Guanajuato in the mid-1600s. La Valencia was opened a century later and quickly became one of the richest and most productive silver mines in the world. The adjacent Templo de San Cayetano (San Cayetano Church) stands as a monument to the wealth and riches extracted from the mine.

Places of Interest:
The Mummies of Guanajuato
Valenciana Mine
San Cayetano Church


LAW 611, Comparative Law in Mexico (Summer)

Course Description:
This is a 3-credit course that will explore various international and comparative aspects of law of the United States and Mexico.  The course will provide students with a general overview of a variety of substantive legal areas including: corporate governance and human rights; immigration and migration issues; trade with the United States; and democratic governance.
Method of Instruction:
The program will involve a combination of lectures and small group discussions.  The lecturers will be the WVU College of Law faculty directors as well as professors, judges, lawyers, and other government officials from the State of Guanajuato.  In addition to formal instruction, the program will include cultural and educational activities such as visits to Mexican courts, the state legislature, and the U.S. Consulate in San Miguel.  Additional cultural programs will also be planned to take advantage of music, theater, and architecture of Guanajuato. 

Required Readings:
Lynn Foster, A Brief History of Mexico[1]
Course Materials & Selected Topic Readings as provided by Prof. Martin (“Reading Packet”) (Materials on Mexican History, Political Institutions, Legal System, International Human Rights, Immigration Law, and Corporate Governance)[1] Page Numbers for the readings are taken from the 4th Edition.

Goals and Expected Learning Outcomes:
This course will be critical for those students who wish to deepen their knowledge of international and comparative legal issues.   
With this is mind, the goals for the course are to
A.  Teach students to think critically and analyze foreign legal materials.
B.  Introduce students to a wide variety of legal issues from a comparative and international perspective including: corporate governance and human rights; immigration and migration issues; trade with the United States; and democratic governance.
C. Provide students with a forum to assess a foreign legal system through firsthand exposure, classroom discussion, and lively discussion with foreign lecturers.
D. Provide students with a better understanding of particular issues that affect legal jurisprudence under Mexican and international law.
E. Broaden the students’ perspective of the different methods of governance in the legal structures of other nations.


Jena Martin
Associate Dean for Innovation and Global Development
Professor of Law

McGill University B.A. 1994
Howard University School of Law J.D. (cum laude) 1997
University of Texas LL.M. 2006


Professor Martin was appointed associate dean for innovation and global development in June 2015. She teaches in the areas of business and securities regulations. After practicing for a number of years at the litigation firm of Ross, Dixon & Bell, she joined the United States Securities & Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement.

Professor Martin left the SEC in 2005 to obtain her LL.M. at the University of Texas Law School in the area of international law, with a focus on human rights. Upon graduation, Martin returned to the Washington D.C. area where she consulted for Bloomberg L.P. while doing pro bono work for the RFK Memorial Center for Human Rights. Her current scholarship is in the burgeoning academic field of business and human rights issues.

Alison Peck
Professor of Law (2009)
2013-2014 WVU College of Law Significant Scholarship Award

B.A., Butler University (Journalism, Spanish and French) 1992
J.D., Yale Law School, 1995
LL.M., University of Arkansas (Agricultural Law) 2008


Alison Peck teaches and writes in the area of sustainable development, including environmental and trade law, with special focus on agriculture and food law. Professor Peck practiced international arbitration and commercial litigation with Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP in Washington, D.C. She clerked for Judge Jon O. Newman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judge G. Federico Mancini of the Court of Justice for the European Communities. She received a J.D. from Yale Law School and an LL.M. in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

James Friedberg

Hale J. and Roscoe P. Posten Professor of Law (1980)

Central High School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1968
B.A., Temple University, 1972
J.D., Harvard University, 1975
Diplome, Institut International Des Droits De L’Homme, 1989


Total program cost: TBD Does not include airfare
Cost includes:
* 3 WVU credit hours
* Lodging
* Comprehensive Travel and Health Insurance
* Programmatic Activities

Billing for the summer 2017 programs will occur upon registration into the courses associated with the Study Abroad program in STAR. The payment deadlines for the program will be the same as WVU Summer Semester Tuition and Fees. Registration will occur in mid-April, students will receive correspondence from OIP with registration instructions upon acceptance into the program after the application deadline. All payments are due in full before trip departure. Payments can be made through STAR or by contacting the Office of Student Accounts at (304) 293-4006.


Visa Required for US Citizens? No

Useful Links:
How to Apply for a US Passport

Dates / Deadlines: