As an attorney in northern Mexico, Jorge Saucedo often worked with American companies and individuals at Cantú Estrada y Martinez, a prominent Monterrey corporate law firm where he headed the data privacy law and foreign investor registry practices. Having earned a master’s degree in corporate law at Universidad de Monterrey and a master’s in international commercial law at the Universite Panthéon-Assas, Paris II, he felt that earning an LL.M. in the United States was the next essential step in his professional development. “I am convinced that a lawyer needs to invest in his education,” he said. “My LL.M. at Vanderbilt helped me grow academically, professionally and personally, and greatly increased my understanding of the American legal system and culture.”
Jorge chose Vanderbilt for his LL.M. studies because he was particularly impressed by the quality of Vanderbilt’s law faculty, “Professors here are really prepared and up-to-date on the core subjects they teach,” he said. “My professors for Contracts, Property and Intellectual Property each had a unique set of knowledge and abilities. Their classes were really interesting and intellectually challenging—but they were also a blast!”
He believes his four years of experiences practicing law in Mexico helped him get more out of the LL.M. program. “Being a foreign lawyer first and then a law student in the U.S., I felt like I lived the complete American law school experience,” he said. He especially benefited from his Contracts class with Professor Rebecca Allensworth. “Professor Allensworth used the Socratic Method, and I learned a lot about the case law system in my Contracts class,” he said. “That really helped me gain a general perspective on the American legal system.”
Jorge also gained valuable experience outside the classroom by working on a patent law project as a research assistant for Professor Daniel Gervais.
Jorge chose to focus on corporate and intellectual property law because they supported his goal of returning to his firm in Monterrey, where he continues to work with both American and Mexican clients. “Vanderbilt’s LL.M. program really stands out for its corporate and intellectual property programs,” he said. “We do a lot of business with American companies and individuals, and my LL.M. from Vanderbilt allows me to understand them better and provide legal solutions within their normal course of dealings.”
His Vanderbilt LL.M. experience helped him achieve another career goal: Jorge is now teaching law part-time at the Universidad de Monterrey. “I want to help my country improve through my legal practice, and I want to supplement my practice with teaching,” he said. “I found some great role models on Vanderbilt’s law faculty.”
Jorge and his wife moved to Nashville as newlyweds, and both loved the city’s relaxed atmosphere, good restaurants and friendly culture. They also enjoyed walks on Vanderbilt’s campus. “Nashville is a great place to live—it’s one of the best cities in the U.S.—the people here are always friendly and helpful. And the Vanderbilt campus is gorgeous,” he said. “If you’re married, it’s a great place to bring your spouse for a year.”
In retrospect, he says that one of the best things about his year of study Vanderbilt were the people he met. “I really liked the people at Vanderbilt—the other students, the faculty and the administrative staff,” he said. “My wife and I have made friends for life, and I have a global professional network.”