1. What is the length of a student exchange?
Most exchanges will be for one semester, although shorter periods may be possible as NACLE becomes fully operational. Any student who is enrolled at a NACLE member school and who is in the final or penultimate year of study for a law degree is eligible to participate in a NACLE semester-long exchange. In addition to candidates for the first degree in law, candidates for Master of Laws and Doctoral Law students are eligible as well.
2. Can I go to a school in my home country?
Presently all NACLE exchanges must be international. However, students may apply to attend U.S. members of NACLE as transient students, and if accepted, will pay out-of-state tuition to the host school.
3. How much will it cost?
NACLE student exchanges are facilitated by a home tuition rule: A student who is accepted for a NACLE exchange will pay tuition for the NACLE exchange to his or her home school, at the same rate at which the student would pay tuition at home. (NOTE: certain additional fees might be required, such as a fee for processing a visa application, or insurance coverage, as noted below.) You will be responsible for your own travel costs and living expenses.
While it’s probably true that the cost of living in the cities of some NACLE schools is more expensive than in others, a student’s cost of education will remain essentially unchanged. In most instances, students are able to apply for financial assistance (loans and grants) to help with the expenses of a NACLE exchange semester.
4. Will I need health insurance and immunizations?
Obviously, it is important to have health insurance. In many instances, having health insurance is a mandated by the host university’s government. The cost of the insurance ranges from approximately $200 to $600 a semester. Additionally, each country has immunization requirements. If you are selected to be a NACLE exchange student, you will need to verify the insurance and immunization requirements with your host university.
5. How many years of law school must I have completed to be NACLE exchange student?
All law students must be in their last or next to last year of legal studies.
6. Must I speak a foreign language?
Fluency in the language used to conduct the courses is required. Your home university will make the initial determination regarding whether you are sufficiently fluent. The final decision on your fluency will be made by the host university and you may be required to take a language test. Contact the host institution for specific language requirements.
7. Can students take courses at the Instituto de Investigaciones Juridicas at UNAM?
The Instituto is the premiere research center in law in Latin America and has the most complete law library in Latin America. Unfortunately, the Instituto does not offer law courses per se, but has a large corps of research fellows, including many of the most distinguished law professors in Mexico. The Instituto will participate in NACLE as a center for cooperative research. For instance, students studying at the Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City may take advantage of this opportunity.
8. What is the application deadline?
Currently, each member university sets its own application deadline for incoming students. Please contact the host university for more information.
9. What are the admissions requirements? Is acceptance automatic?
First, you must make application with your home university. If your application is approved by your home university, you will then make application to the host university. Each member university has set its own exchange and admissions requirements.
NACLE schools are bound by the ABA guidelines on foreign study programs; they are not obligated to accept or to send a certain number of students. (ABA guidelines on foreign study programs prevent NACLE members from sending or receiving more than two students from the same foreign law school in any one semester; conversely, NACLE members may send or receive more than two students per semester, so long as the previous rule is not breached.) NACLE members attempt to achieve a balance in sending and receiving students from each country and school in order to best facilitate the consortium’s goals. As such, availability may be limited where a school has already committed to receive or to send students. For this reason, it is important for students to plan ahead, and to be flexible concerning the foreign law school they wish to attend and the semester in which they plan to do the exchange.
10. What grade point average must I have?
Again, each law school sets its own standards. The home law school will screen applicants and take into account academic considerations (GPA, etc.), as well as experience, career plans, etc.
11. Is there a limit on the number of exchanges any one university will accept?
The American Bar Association accreditation requirements do not permit a U.S. Institution to send more than four students per semester to each foreign member school. Additionally, each host university may set limitation on the number of students it will accept in any one year.
12. Will I receive credit for the courses I take?
Yes, you will receive credit for the courses you take. The courses will be graded by the host university and those grades will be transmitted to the home university. The grades will be recorded at the home university as either pass or fail and will not be computed into your grade point average.
13. Can I work while I am attending the host university?
Depending on the type of visa you obtain, you may be eligible to work. Generally, the jobs will be on campus. You are cautioned that such positions are of limited availability and should not be relied upon as a means of financial support. Additionally, a variety of non-paying internships will be available to acquaint you further with the culture and business climate of your host country. You are encouraged to participate in an internship program while studying at the host university
14. What are the visa requirements?
The host university can supply you with the visa requirements for its country. For Canadian students wishing to study in the U.S., no student visa is required.
15. Will I have a faculty advisor?
Each NACLE exchange student will be assigned a faculty advisor by the host university to offer counseling on course selection. Additionally, you will be assigned a peer mentor to assist you in acclimating to your new environment.
16. Is housing available?
Your host university can assist you in locating housing, but the responsibility for finding housing is ultimately yours. Some universities have limited housing available on or near the campus.
17. How can I find out more about the member universities?
Please see the NACLE Campuses section of this website for information specific to each university. If you have further questions about an individual university contact the NACLE representative located on that university’s respective NACLE Campuses page.
18. What is the Student Paper Competition?
In addition to semester-long exchanges, NACLE offers an annual student paper competition that brings together student authors of outstanding research papers. The winners of the Student Paper Competition have the opportunity to receive paid travel to NACLE’s annual workshop in order to present their paper to the NACLE community. We also seek other opportunities for student interaction. Consult this web site for news on such opportunities.
19. What are the rules and requirements of the Paper Competition?
You must be enrolled in a law school that is a member of NACLE.
Canada: Dalhousie University, McGill University, University of Ottawa, University of British Columbia.
Mexico: Universidad Panamericana, UNAM, ITESM, CIDE.
United States: University of Houston, University of Arizona, George Washington University.
- The paper must address a comparative aspect of North American law or NAFTA.
- The research paper must be unpublished.
- The paper must be written during the current academic year for either course credit or independent study credit at a NACLE school.
- The paper may be written either by a candidate for either the initial law degree, or a candidate for a Master of Laws degree.
- The paper may be written in English, French or Spanish.
- The winning paper from each of the eleven NACLE law schools will be presented at the conference. It is strongly preferred that presentations be in English.