Interning at the Guatemalan Consulate

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Unfathomableruckus
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Interning at the Guatemalan Consulate

Postby Unfathomableruckus » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:49 am

Hi TLS
I a 2L at Hastings. I often go to the Guatemalan consulate with clients from my organization, and I have come to know the people there. It's a really cool place and very pro-refugee and pro-indigenous. Because I plan on practicing in both Guatemala and the United States, I need to learn about the Guatemalan legal system and there's no class for that at my school so I asked the consulate if I could intern there. I am not sure if they have ever had an intern before, but they did say yes. I thought that I would mainly just be working on passport authorizations and other straightforward things, but the vice consul has told me that she thinks I would be better suited to the division that works on issues when they come up between the two countries like with international child custody issues. That was the example she gave me at least, but to be honest I don't know that much about what else goes on behind the scenes at consulates.
I haven't noticed a lot of posts about law students interning at foreign consulates or embassies in the U.S. so I posted to ask these questions:
1. I think I will have a good amount of room to choose what type of work I would like to do. What opportunities for learning/growth would you pursue if you were interning at a foreign consulate? In other words, what are some cool things that happen at consulates that I should try to get into?
2. What ethical or C&F issues that I should look out for?
Thanks and I'm happy to provide more information if necessary but if you look at my post history, it's all there.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Interning at the Guatemalan Consulate

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:17 pm

What is you want to do, exactly? Immigration?

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Unfathomableruckus
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Re: Interning at the Guatemalan Consulate

Postby Unfathomableruckus » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:35 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:What is you want to do, exactly? Immigration?

Yep. I've been at a nonprofit for five years, doing mainly asylum for indigenous Guatemalans. Part of my job is consular processing children of recently granted asylees and that involves working with the consulate here and sometimes bringing in a Guatemalan attorney when there are custody issues or the national registry messed up their info etc. so understanding the Guatemalan legal system would be very useful to me as it is. It's also already been very useful to me to have ties in the Guatemalan government and legal community so I'm hoping to strengthen those as well.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Interning at the Guatemalan Consulate

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:31 pm

Unfathomableruckus wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:What is you want to do, exactly? Immigration?

Yep. I've been at a nonprofit for five years, doing mainly asylum for indigenous Guatemalans. Part of my job is consular processing children of recently granted asylees and that involves working with the consulate here and sometimes bringing in a Guatemalan attorney when there are custody issues or the national registry messed up their info etc. so understanding the Guatemalan legal system would be very useful to me as it is. It's also already been very useful to me to have ties in the Guatemalan government and legal community so I'm hoping to strengthen those as well.


Gotcha. I can't be super helpful; I've never heard of someone interning with a foreign diplomatic office.
Maybe someone who does immigration/PI stuff can chime in.

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TheWalrus
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Re: Interning at the Guatemalan Consulate

Postby TheWalrus » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:16 pm

Do you have an immigration clinic or something along that lines at your law school? I would ask them, they were pretty helpful in guiding me with this stuff.
Also, I have a friend in law school who interned for a consulate and he was told to do what interested him at the consulate but try to make it play with your overall career goals. I know it's pretty generic advice but it really worked out for him.

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Unfathomableruckus
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Re: Interning at the Guatemalan Consulate

Postby Unfathomableruckus » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:54 pm

.
Last edited by Unfathomableruckus on Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unfathomableruckus
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Re: Interning at the Guatemalan Consulate

Postby Unfathomableruckus » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:54 pm

.
Last edited by Unfathomableruckus on Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unfathomableruckus
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Re: Interning at the Guatemalan Consulate

Postby Unfathomableruckus » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:55 pm

[/quote]
TheWalrus wrote:Do you have an immigration clinic or something along that lines at your law school? I would ask them, they were pretty helpful in guiding me with this stuff.
Also, I have a friend in law school who interned for a consulate and he was told to do what interested him at the consulate but try to make it play with your overall career goals. I know it's pretty generic advice but it really worked out for him.

There is an immigration clinic at my school, yes. Thanks for the advice. I will keep it in mind.[/quote]

foregetaboutdre
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Re: Interning at the Guatemalan Consulate

Postby foregetaboutdre » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:10 am

Believe it or not child custody is one area where you can actually practice "international law." There's Hague conventions that determine where children go etc... From my experience, the consulate will usually watch the proceedings in the US making sure they follow international law etc... (I've never seen the consulate ever do anything, but I'm sure they would if they don't like the proceeding). These happen in US district court. Sounds like fun.

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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: Interning at the Guatemalan Consulate

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:16 am

You *might* have to register as an agent of a foreign government. I really have no idea, but it's something I would look into at least. Sounds like a cool gig overall though.




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