Texas A&M University School of Law Associate Dean and Professor Stephen Alton coordinated and directed the inaugural Borderlands Law course at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) in Laredo this summer.
From May 23 to June 3, 12 students, five from the law school and seven from Texas A&M International University, took the intensive three-credit course that met daily for the two weeks. In addition to their work in the classroom, the students took three class field trips, touring bridges crossing the Rio Grande between the U.S. and Mexico and visiting the offices of the largest law firm in Laredo.
Guest lecturers discussed subjects relating to international law (more specifically, legal issues affecting the U.S.-Mexico border):
- background on Mexican history and culture
- legal reform in Mexico
- border security
- international business transactions
- international sales of goods
- international secured transactions
- international water law
Texas A&M University School of Law professors Angela Morrison, Bill Henning, Gabriel Eckstein and William Magnuson were among the speakers.
Other speakers included Representative Richard Raymond of Laredo, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ruben Perez, U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar and more.
When the course ended, three of the five law students pursued three-credit, five-week intensive externships in Laredo. 2L Kelsey Fahler was placed with a state district judge; 2L Meighan Arce was placed with a leading immigration attorney; and 2L Katie Hawkins was placed with the local office of Legal Aid of the Rio Grande Valley.
Alton said in all, the Borderlands course seems to have been a resounding success for its first time. Both law and TAMIU students benefited from getting to know each other and studying together for two weeks.
He also said the students enjoyed exploring Laredo and discovering its culture and history.
"We are grateful to TAMIU for its cooperation in establishing this course, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with our friends at TAMIU both on Borderlands Law and other projects of mutual interest,” he said.
- Article by Jennifer Nassar, Communications Specialist, Texas A&M University School of Law