Center for Social Justice Initiatives

The Center for Social Justice (CSJ) and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) released a report, Discharge, Deportation, and Dangerous Journeys: A Study on the Practice of Medical Repatriation, documenting an alarming number of cases in which U.S. hospitals have forcibly repatriated vulnerable undocumented patients, who are ineligible for public insurance as a result of their immigration status, in an effort to cut costs.


More News

Programs and
Research Centers

Home  »  Programs & Centers  »  Public Interest and Government Service  »  Center for Social Justice  »  Guatemala Rule of Law Program  

Guatemala Rule of Law Program

Fall 2014 |

Program Description>>  |  Application Requirements>>  |  Costs>>

Students who have completed the Persuasion and Advocacy Course are invited to apply to the Transnational Lawyering Skills: Rule of Law in Guatemala course (2 credits). The deadline for applications is Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 5 p.m. More details about the program, application requirements, and costs are listed below. You may also contact Professor Lori Nessel at


Transnational Lawyering Skills: The Rule of Law in Guatemala

Fall 2014 - 2 Credits

Course Description

(See Academic Description here)

This course will focus on developing lawyering skills through the study of human rights and the rule of law in Guatemala. The course will combine classes at Seton Hall with field work in Guatemala. Topics explored include documenting human rights violations; sexual trafficking and gender-based violence; the impact of U.S. immigration policy on Guatemala; and access to basic legal services. Each subject area will provide an opportunity for skills-based instruction on interviewing techniques, legal research and writing, fact-development and investigation methods, cross cultural competency, and exposure to alternative lawyering strategies, including use of the media and public education. Students will travel to Guatemala over the fall break so they have the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom through on-the-ground experience and engagement with local partners. The remainder of the semester will focus on the completion of discrete projects initiated during the trip, accompanied by additional skills-focused instruction.

Application Process

To apply, please send a short statement of interest (approx. 2-3 paragraphs), resume, and transcript to Professor Lori A. Nessel, at Applications for the Fall 2014 program will be accepted through April 23, 2014, 5 p.m.


Students are expected to pay a program fee, which will cover the majority of expenses associated with the trip to Guatemala including airfare, lodging, food, and private ground transportation in Guatemala. The program fee will range from $1000 to $1200, depending on the cost of airfare and the number of students on the trip.

Additional Information

In 2011 and 2012, the Seton Hall Guatemala Rule of Law program provided students the opportunity to travel to Guatemala during the fall break to learn about human rights and access to justice issues in Guatemala. In 2013, the program was run as part of the course, and it will run as part of the course again this year. During the trip to Guatemala over fall break, we expect to be based in Antigua for activities in nearby Guatemala City and in Quetzaltenango for activities with Rafael Landívar University, a partner school. Below is an anticipated list of field-work activities in Guatemala based on prior experiences.


Casa Alianza

Casa Alianza is a leading non-government organization that provides food, shelter, and essential services to homeless, trafficked, and exploited youth in Guatemala. The focus will be on developing and presenting a know-your-rights training on trafficking and on cross cultural competency.


Human Rights Office of the Archbishop of Guatemala (ODHAG)

ODHAG is a prominent human rights organization in Guatemala that is seeking justice for victims of genocide, extrajudicial killing, and other human rights abuses during Guatemala’s armed conflict. The focus will be on interviewing skills and the enforcement of human rights violations. Particular attention will be given to the challenges of interviewing victims of and witnesses to human rights abuses.


Rafael Landívar University and Rural Legal Clinics.

This is a Jesuit University, which has a satellite campus in Quetzaltenango, to which we will travel from Antigua. We will visit the several rural legal clinics that Landívar has established, which focus primarily on family law, employment law, and civil cases, and serve a largely indigenous population. The focus will be on interviewing, working with interpreters, and cross cultural competency.


Historical Archive of the National Police of Guatemala

The archive contains millions of documents recovered from the Guatemalan police from the period of Guatemala’s civil war, during which the government committed widespread human rights abuses. The focus will be on documenting and investigating human rights violations.

Prior Student Evaluations / Testimonials

  1. CSJ professors and students travel to Guatemala for fact-finding mission on current human rights violations - 2012 Program
  2. Center for Social Justice launches new program, Guatemala Rule of Law