Friday, January 8, 2016

Mariana Velasco Rivera, JSD candidate

I do constitutional law. So if you do constitutional law, there is hardly a better place to be.

The financial aid office here at YLS makes sure that you will be able to attend regardless if you have financial issues.

Long story short, my dissertation project is about how constitutional politics have changed in Mexico since the democratic transition, and how those interact with constitutional change, and what has been the role of the Supreme Court in all this game. While developing the research proposal, having a close relationship with Professor Alex Stone Sweet, Professor Jack Balkin, and Professor Issa Kohler-Hausmann was very important for me. Each of them gave me different perspectives of the problem and let me enrich my proposal.

The most sort of surprising thing I found here regarding the legal education is that they teach you to think critically. As opposed to my home country, in which you have to learn the law and that’s it. Learn the black letter, then be able to say it by heart, and that’s what it is. Here in the U.S., it’s different because even though it’s always important to know the black letter, what they teach you to do is to think outside the box, be able to approach problems creatively, be able to not to be afraid to think differently, and to try different answers to the same question.

A student perspective on financial aid, constitutional law, and the graduate studies programs at Yale Law School.