Jan. 28, 2013 – The Center for U.S. and Mexican Law at the University of Houston Law Center has received a $20,000 grant from the P Twenty-One Foundation, a Houston-based charitable organization established by Houston attorneys Joe Ryan and Yolanda Villarreal Ryan '86. The grant is specifically to support the Center's research project examining whether the provision of legal services and the licensing regulations that govern lawyers have kept up with dramatic increases in trade and social interaction between the United States and Mexico.
The first phase of the research project includes a survey of cross-border legal services; an analysis of regulations dealing with cross-border legal services; a study of the requirements for licensing of foreign lawyers engaged in these services both in the United States and Mexico; and an assessment of the adequacy of legal education in preparing law students for practicing across the border. Subsequent phases examine the impact of trade agreements, establish a database, look at challenges and opportunities, and offer proposals to improve the regulation of cross–border legal services in both countries.
The research is a joint project of the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law and the Centro de Estudios Sobre la Ensenanza y el Aprendizaje del Derecho (CEEAD), a Mexican independent, nonprofit research center dedicated to improving the quality of legal education and legal practice in Mexico. The binational project employs Mexican and U.S. researchers, and is under the direction of Ignacio Pinto-León, Assistant Director of the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law, and Dr. Oscar Cruz Barney, a Research Fellow of the Institute for Legal Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Professor Stephen Zamora, Director of the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law, and Dr. Luis Fernando Perez Hurtado, Director of CEEAD, also provide oversight of the project.
The Center for U.S. and Mexican Law is the first research center in any U.S. law school devoted to the independent, critical study of Mexican law and legal aspects of U.S.–Mexico relations.