Faculty Biography

Jorge A. Vargas

Professor of Law

  • SJD, 2010, University of Virginia
  • LLM, 1970, Yale University
  • JD, 1964, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

Areas of Expertise

Professor Vargas teaches and writes in the areas of international and comparative law, with specialties in Mexican law and law of the sea.

Professional Experience

Vargas is a legal practitioner, government official, diplomat and professor of law in México and in the United States. As a member of the Mexico City Bar, he practiced in the areas of civil law, contracts, corporations, environmental law and foreign investment. Vargas served as legal advisor on boundaries and international waters at the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE), the Fishing Department (Depes) and the National Council on Science and Technology (Conacyt), where he negotiated bilateral agreements on fisheries, as well as scientific and technological matters with the United States, Canada, India, Soviet Union, Japan, People’s Republic of China and others. He participated in the negotiations of UNCLOS III in New York, Geneva and Caracas and served as legal counsel to the president of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in Paris. He taught law at the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology at UNAM, Iberoamericana University and Anahuac University with a focus on constitutional law, transnational corporations and law of the sea. He joined the USD School of Law faculty in 1983.

Honors and Affiliations

Vargas was an Adlai E. Stevenson Fellow at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research in New York and at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars as an ocean affairs fellow.

Key Works

Vargas’s publications include Mexico and the Law of the Sea (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2011); Mexican Law for the American Lawyer (Carolina Academic Press, 2009); Derecho de México y su Terminología Legal (University Readers, 2009) and Mexican Legal Dictionary (West, 2010). West is also the publisher of Vargas’ English translations of the Mexican Federal Civil Code Annotated (West, 2009) and the Mexican Commercial Code Annotated (West, 2009). His book Mexican Law: A Treatise for Legal Practitioners and International Investors (West, 2001) is the leading treatise on Mexican law in the United States.

Fall 2014 Classes

Spring 2015 Classes

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Jorge A. Vargas headshot

Contact Information

Warren Hall 211-B
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
(P) (619) 260-4816

Online Resources

Publications on SSRN


Perla Bleisch
(619) 260-4019

Open Office Hours

Day of Week Time
Mon 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Wed 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.