USD, Justice in Mexico Program Receives a $3 million Government Grant to Continue Collaboration with Mexico’s Top Public Law Schools

Coordinated by the Justice in Mexico program at the University of San Diego, the Oral Adversarial Skill-Building Immersion Seminar (OASIS) is an oral advocacy training program that provides skill building and exchange opportunities. Now, thanks to the U.S. Department of State, OASIS has been extended through the year 2022, receiving an additional $3 million grant.  This brings the total federal grant for the program to $9.3 million since 2006. 

As a primary goal, OASIS offers oral trial litigation skills training for Mexican law professors, practicing attorneys, and law students to develop the competences and best practices necessary for the successful performance of their professional duties within the judicial system.

To achieve this, OASIS conducts three activities throughout each year. 


  • Three 40-hour litigation workshops in Spanish to 240+ law professors and students from Mexico’s largest public law schools
  • Three study tours for Mexican jurists to learn about the U.S. criminal justice system.
  • Annual international symposium to promote public awareness and scholarly exchange

Under the new proposal for activities in 2019-22, the OASIS program will focus on regions where local communities have not received the necessary attention, funding, and additional resources during and after the implementation of the system or regions that will provide important opportunities for broader regional impact. Target locations include Puebla, Oaxaca, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosí, and Campeche/Baja California Sur.

“This is a great example of the kind of high-level academic exchange program that is so urgently needed to forge stronger ties between the United States and Mexico,” says Dr. David A. Shirk, Director of USD’s Masters in International Relations and Principal Investigator of Justice in Mexico.

“OASIS gives skilled practitioners the opportunity to develop deep and lasting ties that can last well beyond the life of the grant to advance the long-term of strengthening the rule of law in Mexico and improving binational cooperation.” 

College of Arts and Science Dean, Dr. Noelle Norton, congratulates Dr. Shirk for his long-term work on Justice in Mexico’s OASIS program on behalf of the College. “His commitment to education across the US-Mexico border supports USD's goal of building connections with communities outside of our campus, which we have the unique opportunity to do, being located so close to an international border. We are grateful to the State Department for its continued funding for this important work.”

The University of San Diego’s Justice in Mexico program works to improve citizen security, strengthen the rule of law, and protect human rights in Mexico. The program generates cutting edge research, promotes informed dialogue, and works to find solutions to address these enormously complex issues. Justice in Mexico is entirely funded by external grants and individual gifts and is based at the University of San Diego.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Lissette Martinez
(619) 260-4659