Agreement will allow law students to intern at State Dept.
By John McPhaul
The island Department of State and the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico School of Law signed a collaborative agreement earlier this week to establish a legal practice center in the government agency.
The selected students will be incorporated into the corporations area of the Department of State, where they will gain experience working alongside officials and legal advisers in real time and applying the knowledge learned in their law courses.
“For the Department of State it is an honor to have future lawyers who will serve the country from different settings with the responsibility and commitment it deserves,” Secretary of State Omar Marrero said in a written statement. “In the Department they have an ally to put their knowledge into practice and contribute to public service. Count on us for what you need; I am sure that the experience and knowledge that you will acquire will apply when you go out to work. Agreements like these between the government and the academy make a difference.”
Inter-American University President Manuel Fernós said that “for the School of Law and for the other academic units that make up Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, it is of the utmost importance that the education of excellence that is imparted to our student enrollment is complemented by field experiences and projects to develop the leaders the world needs today.”
“The practice centers that are formed in institutions of great importance and scope, such as the Department of State of the Puerto Rico government, allow our law students to have invaluable experiences necessary to achieve excellence and high levels of competitiveness,” he said. “In addition, in this way we promote in our students the value of public service in the country.”
As part of the collaborative agreement signed on Tuesday, the Department of State will designate a liaison officer who will work with the coordinator of the School of Law Practice Center to provide students with the necessary tools to perform work with high quality standards that will result in good public service.
The internship will be in force until June 2022. Students must meet the requirements established in the course syllabus or in the description of the voluntary internship, such as the minimum average required, hours and the confidentiality agreement, among others.
Present at the signing of the collaborative agreement were Marrero, Fernós, the Dean of the Law School, Julio Fontanet, and Manuelita Muñoz, a member of the university’s board of trustees.