BE A BETTER LAWYER:
In this intensive week-long language course, you will gain the confidence to communicate with Spanish speakers by expanding your professional vocabulary while working directly with Central American migrants and current immigration issues. After morning classes we will spend our afternoons volunteering at a migrant shelter, negotiating at markets, or participating in CLE classes.
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Spanish for Lawyers is a one-week professional language learning experience that includes:
Three hours daily of intensive small-group Spanish instruction at your level: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
No prior Spanish language experience necessary. Five days of instruction focus on practical legal vocabulary and representation of immigrants. The emphasis is on confidence and fluency in verbal communication.
Visits to a migrant safe house puts learning to use immediately.
Practice comprehension skills by interviewing Spanish-speaking migrants. Practice speaking skills by giving pro-bono know-your-rights sessions and client consultations.
Cultural and social events reinforce language learning and highlight the issue of migration.
Small class size.
A maximum of 14 participants ensures highly personalized instruction.
2 hours of CLE focused on current immigration issues and vary every course.
Past topics have been introductory immigration law, asylum law and credible fear interviews, and hot topics.
The learning adventure begins with an orientation and walking tour of beautiful San Miguel de Allende.
Class instruction starts Monday morning and ends on Friday. The curriculum, developed by a US immigration attorney with 20 years of experience, takes a practical approach and is designed to build your confidence in oral communication by emphasizing legal terminology useful in your practice. Our highly experienced instructors have been carefully chosen for their expertise, enthusiasm, and creativity.
LOCATION: THE TOWN OF SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE
The “World’s #1 City,” as voted by Travel & Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler readers in 2017 and 2018, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Miguel de Allende is a colonial gem tucked high in Mexico’s central highlands, four hours north of Mexico City.
For 15 years, the San Miguel Writers Conference – the largest and most prestigious co-cultural, bi-lingual literary gathering in the Americas – has attracted thousands of writers and readers from around the world, with distinguished speakers such as Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker, Barbara Kingsolver, Paul Theroux, and former poet laureate Billy Collins.
San Miguel de Allende is world-renowned for its vibrant arts community with an abundance of art studios and galleries, a large artisan market, and an art & design center located in a former textile factory called Fabrica La Aurora.
San Miguel de Allende is a foodie’s haven, attracting chefs from around the globe. Home to more than 350 restaurants helmed by award-winning celebrity chefs, rising stars, and skilled abuelas, you have your pick of chic rooftop bars, intimate courtyard tables, vibrant market stalls or bustling streetside taco stands.
With its dynamic art scene, world-class restaurants, deep history, well-preserved Colonial architecture, eclectic shops, and colorful markets, San Miguel is a city you will fall in love with.
ACCOMMODATIONS & PROGRAM HOUSE
Your accommodations and classes are in a luxury Mexican-style Colonial home on a cobblestone street in the colorful historic center.
Seven well-appointed bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, ensure privacy and a comfortable night’s sleep after long days.
The house has multiple outdoor patios and terraces, two living rooms with fireplaces, and two dining rooms, creating plentiful space for our small-group language classes and ample quiet space for individual study. Our in-house chef will prepare daily breakfasts and lunches (Monday to Friday).
The house has purified water and wifi.
$2550 for a Deluxe Single-Occupancy a full participant
This includes a king bed in a private room
Add $700 for a non-participating partner
$2550 for a Family Room
This includes a king bed in a private room with an
additional sofa bed, sleeps up to 4)
Add $700 for a non-participating partner
Add $250 for each child
$1900 for double-occupancy full participant
This includes a twin or queen bed in a shared room
$1750 for a full participant that does NOT require accommodation
This includes lunch daily
Pay in full and receive a 10% discount!
$500 non-refundable deposit per person, due at time of registration. Full balance due 60 days prior to the course.
THE FOLLOWING IS INCLUDED IN YOUR COURSE FEE
15 hours of intensive Spanish language instruction in small group class (3 hours each morning, Monday to Friday).
Accommodation in your choice of private or shared room with full bath, Saturday – Saturday.
Breakfast and lunch prepared by in-house chef Monday – Friday. Welcome dinner on Saturday.
Transportation to course-related off-site excursions.
Round trip airport transfer from BJX or QRO.
THE FOLLOWING IS NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR COURSE FEE
Airfare. The closest airports to San Miguel de Allende are Queretaro (QRO)(1 hour away), Leon (BJX)(1.5 hours away) and Mexico City (MEX)(4 hours away).
Transportation from any place other than Leon airport (BJX) or Queretaro Airport (QRO).
Daily dinner, snacks, drinks, except those mentioned above.
Mandatory travel insurance.
Any COVID-related tests required for travel.
Who is this course designed for?
Spanish for Lawyers is designed for legal professionals who want to learn or improve their spoken Spanish skills. While many language courses teach you the basics, the focus of this course is on practical vocabulary for the legal professional. The emphasis is on immigration law though the skills you will learn readily translate to a variety of practices, including family law. Through our unique partnership with the Albergue ABBA migrant shelter, you will have multiple opportunities to put your lessons into practice immediately, speaking with Central American migrants making the arduous journey north.
Do I need to be a lawyer to participate?
No. There is no requirement to be a licensed or practicing attorney to participate.
The course is designed for legal professionals with an interest in improving their oral communication skills. We will offer CLE credits during the week. If you choose not to participate in the courses, we encourage you to use the free time to practice the day’s lessons.
What is the migrant shelter and what will we do there?
We have a unique relationship with ABBA A.C., a registered non-profit migrant shelter providing humanitarian assistance in neighboring Celaya. Through this mutually-beneficial partnership, we will provide pro bono advice as we are able to as well as contribute to the shelter’s migrant data collection project. In return, students will gain experience and confidence to put the course lessons into real life practice.
Why do we go to the migrant center in Celaya?
Celaya sits at a strategic crossroads for migrants. Mexico’s two train lines intersect here. Migrants riding “La Bestia” must choose which part of the US they will try to enter: either northwest towards Mexicali, Nogales, or El Paso, or northeast towards Laredo or Brownsville. Thousands of migrants pass through Celaya monthly, and many of them stay at ABBA house to rest, eat, and recover from their arduous journey.
Do I need to already speak some Spanish?
There is no language prerequisite to participate in the language learning adventure. To get the most benefit from the course, we recommend some previous practice in the basics of Spanish. A few weeks playing the fun and free app Duolingo will help.
What CLEs will be offered?
CLE credits in introductory immigration law, asylum law and credible fear interviews, and hot topics in immigration law are pending. When you register, please inform us where you will be seeking credit and we will make all attempts to ensure you get credit in your state.
How do I get to San Miguel de Allende?
The closest airports to San Miguel are Leon (BJX) and Queretaro (QRO), both approximately 1 – 1.5 hours away. United Airlines has multiple daily flights from Houston, American flies from Atlanta, and Delta flies from Los Angeles. Mexico City (MEX) is also well-served by multiple US and Mexican airlines, including Aeromexico and Southwest.
Your program fee includes round trip shuttle transport from BJX and QRO.
There are shuttles, private drivers, and luxury buses available from Mexico City and we can help you coordinate your ground transportation should you fly into there. To search for low-cost airfares, we recommend the following websites: Kayak, Skyscanner, Skiplagged, and budget airlines Southwest Airlines, Volaris, and Interjet.
Is it safe?
San Miguel de Allende is a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors from around the world. But is it safe? US State Department travel warnings and and news reports of crime in Mexico make travelers nervous to consider it as a vacation destination. However, Mexico is a large country and most of the reported crime takes place in cities far from San Miguel de Allende. The State Department’s “Level 2” advisory tells travelers to “exercise increased caution in Mexico” and explicitly requests that U.S citizens avoid the Mexican states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas. San Miguel is located in Guanajuato state and bears no additional travel warnings. Risk in one part of the country shouldn’t preclude travel to another part. San Miguel is home to many foreigners – including families with children – who feel safer here than in the US. That said, there is crime in San Miguel and visitors should use the same common sense safety measures as they would anywhere else in the world.
Can I bring my family?
Adult partners are welcome to share your room and will be charged a nominal fee of $700 for accommodation and meals (breakfasts and lunches, dinners not included). The partner rate also includes cultural activities but does not include language instruction or other professional development activities. We are happy to to arrange separate language instruction or other activities such as cooking classes or local tours to hot springs, markets, or archeological sites. Children are welcome on a case-by-case basis depending on the accommodation availability.
What about the food? Can you accommodate my dietary restrictions?
Breakfast and lunch, prepared by our in-house chef, is included Monday through Friday. Breakfasts will include fresh fruits and juices, bread, yogurt and granola, tea, and coffee. Lunch is the main meal of the day in Mexico and will be substantial, hot, and freshly prepared. Please contact us if you have dietary restrictions so that we can accommodate them.
What free time is there?
Check-in is on Saturday, with a welcome dinner on Saturday evening. You are invited to join a walking orientation tour of our beautiful host city on Sunday morning. The rest of the day is yours. Scheduled activities will occupy much of your time Monday through Friday. Class hours are 9:00 am – 12 pm, followed by formal program activities in the afternoon. Evenings are yours to discover the magic of San Miguel de Allende: watch the sunset on a rooftop bar, dine in one of 350 restaurants, grab a taco from our favorite nighttime taco stand, or simply sit in the central plaza soaking up the ambiance serenaded by the wandering mariachi. (Yes, there really are wandering mariachi.)
Can I really learn Spanish in a week?
No. It takes years of practice to truly learn a new language, so unless you already have a foundation in a romance language, you likely won’t leave our program chattering away fluently in Spanish.
What you will gain though is confidence to speak Spanish as a result of many opportunities to practice. The largest hurdle to speaking Spanish is your own inhibition and fear of failure. We will help you overcome this fear and give you tools to use in your own practice.
I am very interested but can’t attend the offered course dates. Will you have other workshops?
With a minimum of 4 participants, we are able to offer alternate course dates. Please contact us if you are interested in an alternate course date, extending your trip, or join our mailing list to be in the know for future course dates.
I really want to learn Spanish. Can I study longer?
Language learning requires ongoing active practice. If you wish to continue your studies but can’t move to Mexico, we offer online classes via Zoom with our experienced faculty. To learn more about our online classes, click here.