Student is first to participate in new UDM Law program

First-year law student Margarita Escalante has made the transition from Mexico to Michigan. Escalante is UDM Law's first student to participate in the new J.D./L.E.D. program.

The program offers a joint-degree consisting of the Mexican L.E.D. (licenciado en derecho) and the American J.D. (juris doctor), allowing bilingual graduates to practice law in both countries.

It is a collaboration between UDM Law and the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) in Monterrey, Mexico.

Margarita Escalante spent three years earning her L.E.D. in Mexico, but she knew by the end of her first semester that the second step in her career development would be UDM Law.

Escalante, who attended English-speaking middle and high schools, has always been interested in the political and legal aspect of business. She dreamed of studying abroad like her older brother, a University of Michigan graduate.

When she found out about the program at UDM Law, she knew it would be the perfect way to round out her legal education and open opportunities in both Mexico and the U.S.

Coming to Detroit has been an easy transition for Escalante so far.

She is a little wary of the upcoming winter season, but she seems capable of handling just about anything. She managed to complete a four-and-a-half year L.E.D. program in a mere three years, and has quickly adjusted to a different culture more than 1,700 miles from home.

Speaking about the program at UDM Law, Escalante says, "I love it because it's very tough."

She also loves having the option of going back to Mexico in the future. For now, though, she plans to complete her J.D. and then practice business law in the U.S. for a few years. She wants to take advantage of her joint degree.

"I can take on cases involving both countries," she says. "This is huge."

Published: Mon, Nov 1, 2010

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