University of Houston creates research center for cross-border legal services

The state of cross-border legal services and education between the United States and its southern neighbor is the subject of the first research project of the new Center for U.S. and Mexican Law at the University of Houston Law Center, announced the university in a press release.

This intricate economic and cultural relationship between Mexico and the U.S. has given rise to an increase in the need for legal services. But attorneys in one country have much to learn about regulations, limitations, ethical sanctions and other issues applicable on the other side of the border.

The first phase of the research project will include a survey of cross-border legal services; an analysis of regulations dealing with cross-border legal services; a study of the requirements for licensing of foreign lawyers engaged in these services; and an assessment of the adequacy of legal education in preparing law students for practicing across the border. Subsequent phases will examine the impact of trade agreements, establish a database, look at challenges and opportunities, and offer proposals to improve the regulation of cross–border legal services in both countries.

The research is a joint project of the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law and the Centro de Estudios Sobre la Enseñanza y el Aprendizaje del Derecho (CEEAD), a Mexican independent, nonprofit research center dedicated to improving the quality of legal education and legal practice in Mexico.  The bi-national project will be conducted by Mexican and American researchers.

The Center for U.S. and Mexican Law is the first research center in any U.S. law school devoted to the independent, critical study of Mexican law and legal aspects of U.S.–Mexico relations. In 2008, the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law (UDM Law) and Mexico’s Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), created The North American Lawyer Multiple Degree Program, more commonly known as the NAFTA Lawyer Program. It is a joint-degree program, providing students with the educational background necessary to practice law in both the United States with a J.D. degree and an L.E.D degree in Mexico.


About tanialara

Tania Lara has a vast experience working as a journalist in Mexico and the U.S. reporting in-depth about the economic contributions and realities of Mexican immigrants. This summer, she will be covering border issues and elections for the 21st Century Border Initiative blog. Her stories about complex cross border matters have been published in Spanish-language media outlets including CNN México, Expansión, and ¡Ahora Sí!, as well as the English-language newspaper The Austin American-Statesman.
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