Lawyering in Spanish

September 12, 2018 - May 01, 2019 | 1.5 Other CLE Credits per session

There is tremendous need for Spanish speaking lawyers. If you are conversant in the Spanish language but need to work through and practice legal terms, phrases and concepts, this is the course for you. If you would like to represent Spanish speaking clients but are not quite confident in your Spanish language fluency, we especially want you to join us. Take your Spanish speaking ability to the next level! Washington Lawyers receive 1.5 CLE credits per session.


Important Registration Information Announcement (8/15/2018) 

We are currently changing our registration software. We expect the new package to be complete no later than Friday, August 17, 2018. Please return then to use the updated software. If you need to register before then please contact Mark Sideman at 206-398-4092 or Rebecca O'Neil at 206-398-4281.

This one year course helps Spanish-speaking attorneys develop the ability to effectively communicate with Spanish-speaking clients. Students will learn about legal terminology, fundamental lawyering skills, cross-cultural competence, and the diversity of legal cultures in Spanish-speaking countries. The course is built around a series of practical exercises in a wide range of areas of law practice, including criminal law, family law, employment, business, and immigration. Students will also be required to participate in volunteer clinics offered at El Centro de la Raza.

Offered in collaboration with LBAW, El Centro de la Raza and Seattle University School of Law

Fall Term: Wednesday Evenings, September 12 through November 14, 2018 ~ 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Spring Term: Wednesday Evenings, January 25 through May 1, 2019 ~ 6:00-7:15 p.m.

This course will meet weekly at Seattle University School of Law, except for scheduled breaks during the school year. Class will meet at El Centro de la Raza with the LBAW legal clinics 4 to 6 times throughout the course.  

Cohort Format
Please note the institute is NOT designed like a college-credit language course. The institute is formatted for real-life, everyday communication & conversation skills lawyers will use when speaking with clients. Cross-cultural understanding is emphasized throughout. The atmosphere is casual, reminiscent of a Spanish club. Role plays (sometimes videotaped), hypotheticals, interactive class exercises and conversation with guest presenters take up most of the class time.

The Schedule
The schedule is made up of class modules.  Modules typically take 3 weeks, including one clinic experience.
Examples of modules include:

  • Criminal Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Employment, Labor and Worker's Comp Law
  • Family Law, Domestic Violence and VAWA
  • Landlord/Tenant & Real Property
  • General Law Office & Courthouse Terminology
  • Ethics

Included in this course

  • Textbook
  • In-class practice sessions & role plays
  • Presentations on cultural issues you will likely encounter with clients
  • Participation in Spanish legal clinics with interpreter support
  • Option to observe live court proceedings in Spanish
  • Certificate of Completion Provided (must not miss more than 2 classes)

Requirements & Class Maximum
Full fluency is not required but you must be conversational in your ability to speak Spanish (able to engage in basic Spanish conversation). The idea is to help legal professionals, who are not quite fluent, develop the necessary terminology and cultural awareness to work confidently with Spanish speaking clients. This is not Spanish 101.

Course size will be limited. This innovative program will be comprised of a small number of practicing lawyers and qualified law students. Questions may be directed to Mark Sideman at


Nathaly Cecchet-Aular and Superior Court Judge Veronica Alicea-Galvan will lead this course with support from the Seattle University School of Law. Guest presenters and volunteer discussion leaders will also serve to enrich and enliven your practice sessions.

Judge Veronica Alicea-Galvan

Judge Galvan joined the King County Superior Court bench on January 22, 2015. She assumed the position previously occupied by Judge Gregory Canova, who retired in December 2014.

Judge Galvan was born in Bremerton and grew up in the Yakima Valley, where her father picked fruit for a living. She was the first member of her family to graduate from university, earning a bachelor's degree in sociology, with an emphasis in criminology, from Western Washington University and later a law degree from the University of Washington School of Law.

After graduating from law school, Judge Galvan practiced as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Seattle, where she specialized in the prosecution of domestic violence cases. She then served as an Administrative Law Judge in the Office of Administrative Hearings from 2002 until 2007, when she was appointed to the Des Moines Municipal Court. During her tenure in Des Moines, she implemented the only Spanish-language traffic court in the State of Washington. 

Judge Galvan has served as a faculty member for the Washington State Judicial College and as President of the District and Municipal Court Judges Association. Judge Galvan also teaches Spanish for lawyers at Seattle University School of Law. She received the Juez Excepcional award from the Latino Bar Association of Washington in 2014.

Nathaly Cecchet-Aular

Ms. Cecchet-Aular is a real estate closing paralegal at Davidson Kilpatric & Krislock PLLC.


Full Year 

General Registration - $1550

Government or Non-Profit Entities - $1350

Seattle University School of Law Alumni - $1275

Inquiries for law student registration can be directed to Dean Paul Holland. Inquiries from practicing attorneys can be directed to CLE Director Mark Sideman at


Refunds for cancellations will not be permitted after September 5, 2018. There will be a $50 administrative fee for any cancellations. Tuition must be paid in full prior to the start of classes; contact Mark Sideman at with any questions.