The North American Consortium on Legal Education (NACLE) is comprised of 13 participating law schools in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. It was created in 1998 through grants provided by the participating countries. NACLE sets out to promote and share understanding of the legal systems within North American countries. Enhancing the capability of each member to provide a high quality legal education to students is a central objective of the organization. The professional legal environment in North America is continuously evolving and students must be prepared to meet its demands. Strengthening research, writing, and advocacy skills is at the core of NACLE’s curriculum.
NACLE provides a unique forum for scholars and practitioners to collaborate with member governments to come up with answers to contemporary legal questions concerning North America. Students participate in NACLE mostly through semester-long exchanges and academic competitions that prompt the necessary dialogue that fosters innovative ideas and solutions. More broadly, NACLE hosts annual conferences and panels to bring together the private and public sectors with the legal minds that make up the organization.
- File application with your home university.
- Upon approval, file an application to the host university. Each member university has set its own admissions requirements in regards to grades, experience, and interest level.
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.
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.
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. These grades are recorded as pass/fail and don’t affect GPA.
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. Please contact Bridgett Sandusky for more information. Additionally, a variety of non-paying internships may 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.
You must comply with applicable visa requirements. Please contact Bridgett Sandusky for specific information.
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.
Host universities may assist you in locating housing, but students are responsible for their own living arrangements. Campus is limited for many institutions.
Dalhousie University – Schulich School of Law
- McGill University (Montreal)
- University of British Columbia (Vancouver)
- University of Ottawa (Ottawa) and University of Ottawa
- Centro De Investigacion Y Docencia Economicas, A.C. (Mexico City)
- ITESM (Tecnológico de Monterey) (Monterey)
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico - Instituto De Investigaciones Juridicas
- Universidad Panamericana (Mexico City)
- George Washington University
- Southwestern Law School
- Suffolk University Law School
- University of Arizona – James E. Rogers College Law
- University of Houston – Law Center
Meet the Partners. Delve Deeper.
NACLE assembles a periodic academic development workshop that combines research and professional exchange with social interaction. The three-day agenda is built around a central theme or question that has real-time legal significance for North America. Concurrent workshops and forums are conducted by Canadian, Mexican and U.S. law professors who specialize in particular areas of law and policy.
Additionally, participants exchange ideas and foster relationships though receptions, dinners, and ample opportunities to explore the host city. Superior scholarship is honored through the paper competition where students present their works for faculty and peer review at open sessions. This is yet another chance to meet and interact with many respected members of the legal community. Winners receive compensation for their travel.
Open Doors. Explore Opportunities. Discover Cultures.
Through NACLE’s exchange program, students learn about the legal practices and judicial structure of neighboring countries. This supplants the classroom component, enriching them both personally and professionally. Member law schools are chosen for the quality of education they provide, expertise in areas of law that member countries share an interest in, and the surrounding communities of the institution. The range of cities include: Montreal, Ottawa, Mexico City, Washington, D.C., and Houston. Context and perspective is critical to any education; these exchanges allow students to shift their legal perspective in lively legal environments.
- Duration – Most exchanges will be for one semester.
- Eligibility – Students must be enrolled at a NACLE member school and in the final year of study of their law degree to be eligible. Candidates for a Master of Laws and Doctoral Law students are also eligible.
- Location – All NACLE exchanges must be international. Therefore, as a US student, you are eligible for a NACLE exchange in one of the NACLE schools in Mexico or Canada.
- Cost – Home tuition rule applies, meaning 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.
The cost of living in the cities of some NACLE schools is more expensive than in others, however 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.
- Health Insurance – Typically, health insurance is mandated by the host university’s government. The cost of the insurance ranges from approximately $200 to $600 a semester.
- Immunizations – NACLE exchange students need to verify the insurance and immunization requirements with the host university.
- Language Fluency – This is required for students at their host institution. Please note that some of the Mexican affiliates offer classes in English and may accept students without prior knowledge of Spanish.
Student’s home university will make the initial determination regarding whether you are sufficiently fluent. The host university will be the final arbiter of your fluency level and you may required to take a language test. Contact the host institution for specific language requirements.
Student Paper Competition
NACLE offers a 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 workshop in order to present their paper to the NACLE community. We also seek other opportunities for student interaction.
- You must be enrolled in a law school that is a member of NACLE.
- The paper must address either comparative aspect of North American law or be related to 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.
If you have any questions or would like additional information about undergoing a student exchange, please feel free to email Bridgett Sandusky at firstname.lastname@example.org or your faculty NACLE representative, Ragini Shah at email@example.com.