A federal constitutional republic located at the southern border of the United States, Mexico is one of the largest independent countries in the world and home to nearly 115 million people. The World Bank considers Mexico to have an upper-middle income due to its vast oil and silver reserves and an impressive gross domestic product output propelled by a recently industrialized economy that is strongly associated with NAFTA. Mexico also has a thriving tourist industry and is ranked first among North and South American countries on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Goldman Sachs predicts Mexico will become one of the world's biggest economies within 30 years based on the continued growth of its tourism and oil/metal industries.
Mexico's government resembles the federal government structure of the U.S and consists of judicial, executive and legislative branches that control 31 separate states and a Federal District. The President of Mexico is democratically elected and is the head of government and state. Functioning of the federal government is dictated by guidelines adopted in 1917 with the creation and establishment of the Political Constitution of the United Mexico States.
Mexico's Legal System
Mexico's legal system operates under a civil law code derived from Roman law statutes and codes (Corpus Juris Civilis) originally developed by Emperor Justinian and later amended by the Napoleonic (French) Code of 1804. Mexico's Civil Code is heavily influenced by the country's social norms and incorporates property, personal, family and contractual law regulations. Divided into four parts, the Civil Code contains "Books" called: "The Book of Obligations" (contractual law); "The Book of Individuals" (marriage, divorce, paternity); "The Book of Assets" (personal and real estate property) and "The Book of Descendant's Estates" (wills, testaments and intestate issues).
Study Law in Mexico
Becoming a Lawyer in Mexico
Mexico's higher education system closely models the system followed in the U.S., with students required to earn a bachelor's degree law (LLB) before progressing onto a graduate law degree (LLM). A Mexican bachelor's degree is called a "Licenciatura", while a master's degree is called a "Maestria". Licensed lawyers in Mexico have completed a four or five year professional law program at an accredited law school or university (called "Facultad de Derecho").
Law students are instructed in core areas of the Mexican Civil Code as well as constitutional and criminal law. Students wishing to specialize in a particular area of Mexican law will have no problem finding their desired law program as Mexico City alone has over 35 law schools, with the cities of Monterrey and Guadalajara offering additional law universities from which to choose.
Fees may vary from one institution to the other. Scholarships and financial aid may be available, depending on the university's policies.
Employment Opportunities for Lawyers in Mexico
Lawyers are constantly in demand due to Mexico's increasing economy, burgeoning population and changing social structure.