Mackenzie Cannon Learns Nuances of Civil Law During Externship in Madrid

When BYU Law student, Mackenzie Cannon (1L), accepted a position in the dispute resolution department at Hogan Lovells’ Madrid office, she was excited to learn about the differences between Spanish law and American law. As a civil law country, Spain structures trials differently with judges taking a more active role. Judges are able to object to witness questions as well as bring charges and establish facts.

Although Cannon is a fluent Spanish speaker, she has had to adjust to the advanced vocabulary of Spanish law in order to effectively analyze extensive legal documents. In turn, she has enhanced her own writing and research skills, pairing her experience working with Spanish legal documentation with skills she learned her first year at BYU Law.

“I am especially grateful for my writing and research professors and how much I learned from them…” Cannon said. “There have been times when researching a very specific area of European law, that I hear my legal research professor’s voice in my head giving me ideas to find more information.”

Cannon has appreciated the opportunity to work with inspiring professionals and leaders in Madrid. She noted an experience when she attended a pro bono conference with her supervising attorney and listened to small businesses present their ideas and business models to attorneys from each department of Hogan Lovells. The attorneys then offered legal advice to each individual business based on the identified needs.

“It was really cool to see attorneys from each department bring their expertise together to advise these clients and answer their questions on any aspect of the law, especially because these businesses would probably not be able to afford these services otherwise,” Cannon said.

Working in Spain has provided constructive insight into European law, but Cannon makes sure to leave time for experiencing the city. “Everyday on my way home, I can hop off the metro and explore Madrid… Every place I visit is so beautiful and so full of history, art, and culture—it’s truly a dream come true for me. I will forever be grateful to BYU Law for helping me find this externship and giving me the tools I need to be successful.”

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