Second-year law student Michael Dowd-Nieto experienced Madrid as a student and as an intern at a Spanish law firm. He reflects on the experience here.
"Having been born in Spain, I have always looked for opportunities to cultivate my Spanish culture and improve my language skills. I have been to Spain, mainly Valencia, quite a lot over the course of my life to visit family, but I have never felt as immersed as I did this past summer.
I took three courses while I was in Madrid: International Sale of Goods, European Human Rights, and Information Privacy Law in the European Union. The classes were comprised of just five or six students each and the professors were great. On the weekends I visited a number of cities including Toledo, Aranjuez, El Escorial and Valencia. El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen had to have been the most impressive cathedral I had ever seen, and I strongly recommend visiting. The huge underground church is inside of the mountains near El Escorial and has a giant cross monument above it. Since I was born in Valencia, I took the train several weekends to visit family and catch up with friends.
The most unique part of my experience in Madrid was working as an intern with the law firm Broseta Abogados. The other interns and attorneys were all wonderful. While a good amount of the work consisted of sorting through files and translating Excel timesheets from Spanish to English, I spent a lot of time familiarizing myself with a broad range of Spanish law from bankruptcy and mortgages to European wildlife trade regulations. I also had the opportunity to translate and help draft motions, as well as attend a number of juicios (trials). The trials were completely different than those in the United States, and it was very interesting to see the way court proceedings are held in Spain. I took the metro every day to work and back and worked from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a two-hour lunch break. The streets were filled with people throughout the day and night – I have never walked so much in my life!
I am very happy to have had the experience to see what it is like to live and work in Madrid, and I strongly encourage any students considering the program to sign up!"