Many graduates of the St. Thomas School of Law’s Master of Laws program immediately jump into interesting career positions, but few have as potentially global an impact as Mauricio Duarte ’18 LL.M.

As part of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), Duarte will spend the next six-plus months in Rome helping create an international convention for the enforcement of judgments, which could stand as a standardized law nations around the globe can use.

“This convention will try to unify different procedures and principles from all over the world to create one convention that can create efficiency for the enforcement of judgments,” Duarte said. “The short-term intention is to create a good product that states can incorporate. The long-term impact hopefully will be that this convention promotes efficiency, cuts costs and avoids undue burdens to enforce judgments that come from a different country in which enforcement is being sought.”

Duarte’s experience comes shortly after he completed the one-year LL.M. program at St. Thomas, which about 25 lawyers from around the world take part in each year. After receiving his law degree in his native Guatemala, Duarte sought out the School of Law’s program, which boasts a mentor externship program that The National Jurist has recognized as the best program in the U.S. every year since 2010.

“The biggest lesson that I’ll be taking [from St. Thomas] is that cultural intelligence is a necessary tool in a globalized world,” Duarte said. “As a lawyer interested in international arbitration, I’ve had the opportunity to work with foreign attorneys from all over the world and, most importantly, with U.S.-trained lawyers.”

Duarte added that the development of his understanding of mergers and acquisitions – as well the role of technology like blockchain in the legal field – were some of his most important takeaways from St. Thomas.

“St. Thomas has also taught me that the globalization in the field of legal services requires the understanding of the different legal systems, working environments and cultural backgrounds,” he said.

Learn more about University of St. Thomas School of Law’s Master of Laws program.

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