Temple University Beasley School of Law is proud to announce a new Pre-LL.M. certificate program in partnership with the Academia de Litigación in Santiago, Chile. The partnership will support efforts in by Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and Argentina to transition to a jury trial system in order to increase public participation and provide more accountability and fairness in the fact-finding process.

The program, which launched in April of 2021, enables students to improve their trial advocacy skills, learn about the U.S. legal system, and apply these skills and strategies to the work they do in their home countries. The 192-hour certificate program is comprised of 176 hours of online classes from May through July, taught jointly by the Academia de Litigación and Temple University School of Law, and a one-week intensive, practical workshop in August. Course content will include evidence and criminal procedure law, trial advocacy skills and tactics, and courtroom strategy.

“The curriculum was designed in consultation with our Chilean counterparts to meet the needs of South American litigators, particularly regarding criminal law and procedure and the law of evidence, with the goal of teaching principles and precedent that might be transferable to trials in South America,” said Jules Epstein, the Edward D. Ohlbaum Professor of Law and Director of Advocacy Programs at Temple Law. “Chile has no Evidence Code so there are almost no rules to regulate proof of other acts, hearsay, or character. The course focuses on established evidence principles with the idea of equipping the students – many of whom are public defenders – with arguments that can be used to develop a body of evidence law in the Chilean courts and, hopefully, make trials fairer and more consistent .”

Professor Epstein taught much of the evidence portion of the program’s first cohort. He noted, “The reception has been extremely positive. The students welcome the information, how we convey it knowing that English is their second language, and the interweaving of legal doctrine and practical courtroom application.”

Students who complete the program will be eligible to earn two credits toward Temple’s LL.M. in Trial Advocacy or LL.M. for Foreign-Trained Lawyers if they wish to continue their studies.

Students who are interested in participating in this program must have a law degree, law license, and suitable command of the English language. Click here for more information and to apply.