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120 Latin American Attorneys Visit CWSL to Sharpen Skills, Celebrate 20 Years of Legal Training Academy

Ceremony Celebrating 20 Years of ACCESO Capacitacion

On February 16, ACCESO Capacitación kicked off its 27th Spanish Trial Skills Academy with a celebration in recognition of the program's 20-year anniversary. 120 attorneys from 10 Latin and North American countries will spend the long weekend at California Western School of Law, honing their litigation tactics and expertise in a series of workshops with criminal lawyers from across the U.S. and beyond.

During the ceremony, ACCESO's co-founders were recognized for their contributions to advancing the rule of law, legal reform, and public education in Latin America. This weekend's Academy has been named in honor of co-founder Janeen Kerper, a long-time California Western professor and one of the driving forces behind the program's creation 20 years ago.

"Our law school is home to a wealth of centers, programs, and initiatives that extend education and legal services out into our community," says Niels B. Schaumann, president and dean of California Western. "Of all of these programs, none has a longer or more widespread and impactful reach than Proyecto ACCESO and, in particular, ACCESO Capacitación, our Spanish Language Trials Skills Academy."

Since 1998, the training wing of the law school's Proyecto ACCESO—an acronym for "Abogados Creativos Colaborando para Encontrar Soluciones Optimas" or "Creative Lawyers Collaborating to Find Optimal Solutions"—has provided cutting-edge legal instruction for thousands of prosecutors, public defenders, judges, and private lawyers in the Americas.

"In the Spanish Trial Skills Academy, our participants learn to formulate better arguments, direct- and cross-examinations, and efficient litigation strategies that really work," says Professor Justin Brooks, co-director of ACCESO Capacitación. "Although these topics are offered in other programs, they are regularly taught via coursework and legal textbooks. In the Academy, students learn through practice."

To view a Facebook Live presentation of the ceremony, visit:

About ACCESO Capacitación
ACCESO Capacitación (Trial Skills Academy) was created to assist with the movement of criminal procedure reforms throughout Latin America. To prepare lawyers for the requirements of oral trials, our instructors specialize in teaching the basic skills of oral advocacy, such as opening and closing arguments, direct examination, and cross-examination.

This program is designed to promote the exchange of skills, build professional relationships, promote best practices, and develop an interdisciplinary confidence in all participants.

To learn more, visit