On March 4-8, 2024, Temple Law hosted its third Spanish-language bootcamp for judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, law professors, and investigators in collaboration with our partner the Academia de Litigación. The program included three tracks, with content on trial advocacy, gender perspectives, and criminal investigations. Students attended morning classes on trial skills and then separated into small group practice sessions in the afternoons. Students also observed a trial at the U.S. federal courthouse, and the program culminated in final trials where each student gained additional practice arguing before judge and jury. 

Forty-three students attended the program, hailing from seven countries: Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and the United States. 

Felipe Vásquez, director of the Academia de Litigación, also taught in the program, concluding each day with commentary on how U.S. trial skills can be implemented in Latin America. Regarding the program, he said, “The practical instruction on how to conduct direct and cross examinations as well as how to make opening and closing statements is extremely valuable to our students. Litigation culture is very different in our countries, and learning these techniques serves us all very well. Temple teaches this content in effective ways that no other school can. We have personally seen why Temple has been ranked #1 in Trial Advocacy.” 

Paula de la Cuadra, also on the Academia’s faculty, said, “Participants spent the week engaging with esteemed Philadelphia judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and Temple law students and faculty. They gained significant hands-on experience in trial advocacy and valuable insight that will serve them well for their entire careers.” 

Temple faculty included Professors Jules Epstein, Liz Lippy, and Marissa Bluestine. Judges Giovanni Campbell JD ’93 and Chris Hall, along with Attorney Amparito Arraiga JD ’93, taught the small group sessions and provided individual feedback to each of the students. 

At the closing ceremony, Dean Rachel Rebouché said, “We welcome you all to Temple University. This bootcamp is a wonderful opportunity for us to learn from each other as we seek our common goals of justice and fairness in the judicial system. It is our honor to receive you here at our law school.” 

The dean also thanked the Temple faculty and alumni who taught in the program, as well as the staff and students who managed the various events. In particular, the dean recognized Sabriya McWilliams, Assistant Director for Global Legal Studies, who oversaw the smooth operation of the entire program. 

Assistant Dean for Graduate & International Programs John Smagula concluded the event by saying, “Temple Law is committed to working with the Academia de Litigación to expand our international programs in Spanish to meet the growing needs of trial advocacy education in the region. We salute you for your criminal justice work and wish you well as you bring the skills you learned this week back to your practices. We thank you for your friendship and hope to see you back at Temple soon. ¡Hasta la próxima!”