Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Argentina Externship

Externships in Buenos Aires, Argentina
May 29 - July 12, 2016

As an alternative to the regular course offerings, a limited number of full-time externships are available to qualified students fluent in Spanish. Externs receive three units of credit for 200 hours of field placement and two units for an accompanying course titled Argentine Legal Institutions. Externs are placed in Argentine appellate courts, the public defender's office before the supreme court, criminal courts, federal courts of first instance and private law firms.

The objectives of the externship program is to:

  • Learn about the Civil Law System in general, and particularly Argentina Judicial System, Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure and Criminal Procedure;
  • Experience how the Argentine legal system works from within the judiciary or private practice;
  • Gain experience working in a multicultural legal environment;
  • Learn professional skills for the international job market;
  • Reflect on values and responsibilities of the legal profession;
  • Reflect on the value of human and professional exchange with diverse people from other countries.

The externship program begins May 29 with a five-day segment of Argentine Legal Institutions, which offers students an overview of Argentine judicial procedures and analysis of discrete areas of Argentine law. Students then work at their externships full-time for five weeks from June 6 through July 12 and complete a research paper that serves as the basis of their grade for the classroom component.

Students will receive a letter grade for the two-unit Argentine Legal Institutions course. The three-unit externship itself is graded as "Credit/No Credit." The grade of "Credit" is a passing grade. Only a notation of "Credit" or "No Credit" will be recorded on the student transcript. Southwestern cannot indicate a letter grade for the externship, nor can Southwestern certify that work which receives a "Credit" is equivalent to any particular letter grade. Students should contact their home school to ascertain whether transfer units will be awarded for courses designated as "Credit" before applying to the externship program.

All externships are supervised through weekly meetings with Southwestern faculty. The accompanying Argentine Legal Institutions course is taught in Spanish by Professor Mariano Heller: Abogado, UBA; M.P.A., American University, Fulbright Scholar. Mariano Heller is the Secretary of Coordination of the Judicial Council of the City of Buenos Aires, and teaches Constitutional Law, Latin American Law and a course on Landmark Cases of the Supreme Court of the United States at UBA. He has held positions as the director of international programs at UBA, advisor to members of the Legislature of the City of Buenos Aires and Chief advisor to members of the Buenos Aires Judicial Council. Professor Heller was the Deputy Director of the "Jusicia Porteña" magazine of the Association of Judges and Judicial Officers of the City Buenos Aires; senior editor of "Articles and Essays: Analyzing Criminal Responsibilities of Individuals in International Law", American University Washington College of Law; and has written articles on various legal and political topics.

To be eligible to participate in the Externship program in Argentina, students must be fluent in Spanish and have completed at least 28 units towards their JD degree. Applicants to the program must submit a completed program application form; a law school transcript; a current resumé; and a letter describing their level of Spanish fluency, how that fluency was acquired, and the reasons for their interest in an externship in Argentina (resumé and letter should be written in both Spanish and English). Each student will be interviewed in person or by telephone prior to acceptance. While students may apply for externship positions up to April 1, the program will begin to fill placements starting March 1. Placements are assigned in mid-April.

Read students' perspectives on externships in Argentina.