2021 JD graduate Ruben Salcido aspires to work with businesses on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and he spent much of his time in law school helping others in their own international law careers.
Ruben is from Caborca, Sonora, Mexico, and was a practicing attorney in his home country. He also had previously earned an LLM from University of Arizona Law and was operating a cattle ranch in Mexico before deciding to return to Arizona Law for a JD.
He decided to return to Arizona Law to boost his legal career, and it also opened his eyes to another professional path: teaching. Ruben served as the course preceptor for the Diplomado Program in Mexican Law and Policy. He found the experience to be enriching and it fueled his desire to one day teach a class.
“It was really rewarding to be selected and work in this program. Being able to meet all the professors, students, and professional participants was a great experience and expanded my legal education. Even though I am a lawyer in Mexico, I learned a lot of things, not just from the professors but from the students. I hope that I can teach a class at some point in my life, because just being on the other side of that classroom was really enriching.”
Ruben was also a teaching fellow for the Foreign Diplomat Training Program, and says he learned from the participants’ professional experiences and the comments they shared in the class discussion boards.
“Both programs are such unique opportunities that the university offers, so being able to be a part of them was a really rewarding experience for me.”
As for his own student experiences, Ruben says that even as an international student, he was able to find community and connections. He says he is thankful for his small section group, who quickly integrated and became close friends. He knew he could turn to them for help or advice.
“Being an international student, I felt really welcome, and they were all really open. I am a non-traditional student, a little on the older side, and they made me feel so welcome. We integrated really well.”
Ruben says the supportive environment was reflected beyond his small section and throughout the Arizona Law community.
“I never encountered a closed door. Everyone was so accessible and willing to help. The environment of the student body is so supportive and helps provide a complete sense of your legal education.”
He says returning to Arizona Law as a JD student, he made sure to take advantage of all the resources and opportunities available to students.
“I lacked doing that while getting my LLM. Knowing the opportunities we get are important and not everyone can have access to them, I had the responsibility of making the most of it.”
Ruben says he will miss being on campus, studying in the library, and most of all having face-to-face discussions with his professors and fellow students.
Having spent such a long time away from school since earning his LLM, Ruben was particularly proud of having been able to keep up with the pace of law school. He recommends that all students who are starting law school come with an open mind, especially students who are beginning the program through the advanced admissions program.
“We are already lawyers from another country, but don’t try to apply what you know. I am not saying to forget it, because it is a really important part of us, and it really helps us analyze, but come with an open mind about the way you study, about the way classes are taught, about your relationships with the students and the professors. Be open to learn, be eager to learn, and be willing to change the way you think about the law and the way that you approach the law.”
He hopes that after taking the July bar exam he can work in transactional law, assisting businesses working in Arizona and Mexico.
“I really like the interaction between this part of the U.S.—Tucson, Phoenix, and the state of Arizona—with Mexico. There is a really tight relationship between the states, and being a Mexican lawyer, speaking both languages, I really want to take advantage of that and help businesses from both sides of the border."