Law Student Selected as Fulbright Alternate to Pursue Colombian Comparative Law Study

Lexington, VA Friday, April 11, 2008


Ernani DeAraujo '08
Washington and Lee University School of Law student Ernani DeAraujo '08 has been selected as a Fulbright alternate for his proposal involving a comparative study of U.S. and Colombian administrative law. If funded, the project will take DeAraujo to Colombia for a year of study at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota.

Administrative law encompasses the laws and legal principles governing the administration and regulation of government agencies. DeAraujo plans to perform a meticulous review of the constitutional and statutory underpinnings of Colombia's administrative law system and hopes that his comparative study will help both democracies better manage their bureaucratic systems.

DeAraujo completed his A.B. at Harvard and entered W&L's School of Law in 2005. He credits his American Public Law Process professor, David Zaring (now at Wharton School of Business), with inspiring his interest in exploring how policy becomes law.

"Throughout this class, I became fascinated by the intersection of U.S. constitutional principles, such as due process of law, with the growing need of an industrialized society to have bureaucracies that address complex public and private concerns," said DeAraujo, who also recognized W&L law professors Lyman Johnson, Sam Calhoun, and David Jordan for encouraging and reviewing his Fulbright application.

"Our faculty is second to none; their support helped me throughout this long process," added DeAraujo.

DeAraujo, whose mother is a native of Colombia, has long been dedicated to building bridges between the South American nation and the United States. As a White House Intern in 2000 and 2001 under both Presidents Clinton and Bush, he advocated for granting undocumented Colombians Temporary Protective Status, which would give them legal status to live and work in the U.S. Though unsuccessful in these efforts, the experience inspired him to continue advocating for Colombians by volunteering at a Boston Catholic parish, which was supporting a community of Colombian immigrants.

DeAraujo's professional life also has brought him closer to Colombia. Working as an investment banker for J.P. Morgan after college, DeAraujo helped arrange the financing for the acquisition of a Colombian company by a U.S. business, and during summer 2007, he worked for a an international law firm with a burgeoning Latin American transactional practice.

DeAraujo joins Aleksander Merle '05 as the only other law student at W&L to be awarded a Fulbright. As a Fulbright alternate, DeAraujo's project is contingent upon additional State Department funding becoming available or other Fulbright winners declining their grants.

The Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship program in international educational exchange, was proposed to the U.S. Congress in 1945 by Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, with an aim of promoting "mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries of the world." The program was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Truman in 1946.

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