Leo M. Romero, emeritus professor, University of New Mexico School of Law, has been named chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) for a two-year term. NITA pioneered the "learning-by-doing" methodology for teaching trial skills and is recognized as providing the best programs and materials for training lawyers and law students in how to become effective and ethical litigators.

"Leo Romero has been a local and national leader in legal education for many years. Indeed, he chaired the Board of Trustees of the Law School Admission Council in the 1990s," said current UNM School of Law Dean Kevin Washburn. "The school of law is grateful that he has generously offered his leadership skills to advance legal education in so many different ways."

Romero, former dean of the School of Law, has been with NITA from the start, beginning as a NITA student in 1972. "I was on my feet several times every day performing a cross examination or an opening statement and getting constructive feedback from experienced trial lawyers," he said. "I learned so much, and it was one of the best educational experiences I ever had."

With NITA, Romero has served as a faculty member, team leader, program director, trustee and now chair of the Board of Trustees. He brought the NITA method of teaching trial practice to UNM in 1972 when he started the Evidence/Trial Practice course that he taught for more than 20 years. Later, he and Professor Barbara Bergman started NITA Trial Advocacy and Deposition programs at the UNM law school.

During his term as chair, Romero wants to see NITA expand its programs to include more lawyers, especially solo and small firm practitioners, lawyers working in public service programs and lawyers in the public sector. To make NITA training available to all lawyers, Romero aims to increase resources for scholarships.

Story by Nancy Harbert

Media Contact: Benson Hendrix, (505) 277-1816; e-mail: bhendrix@unm.edu