Sunday, July 8, 2018

The 2018 AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law


Having earned his law degree from the Inter-American School of Law, Juan Carlos Benitez belongs to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). 

Established in 1946, AILA represents the interests of more than 15,000 immigration attorneys and law professors throughout the United States. In June, the AILA held its annual meeting in San Francisco. The 2018 AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law (AC18) presented immigration law professionals with ample opportunities for both networking and professional development.

Learning sessions at the conference ranged from strategy sessions led by AILA National Officers to Managing Stress and Avoiding Substance Abuse, a special program designed to help attorneys cope with the pressures of their profession. Other notable sessions at AC18 included Hot Topics in Asylum Jurisprudence, Selling an Immigration Law Practice, and Risk Assessment and Client Management in a Changing System. A more thorough recap of AC18 can be found online at www.aila.org.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Expanding Opportunities with Campus Wide Extended Studies


Juan Carlos Benitez, a prominent labor attorney, is a long-time advocate of promoting the economic development of the Pacific region. In his role as chairman, Juan Carlos Benitez coordinates the workforce development programs operated by the Latte Training Academy.

The Latte Training Academy, headquartered on the island of Saipan, provides residents of the Northern Mariana Islands with vocational and professional training through partnerships with recognized institutions, such as the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs' Campus Wide Extended Studies (CWES). 

CWES offers certification, professional development, and degree programs through distance learning and accelerated-format courses. The non-traditional program offers flexibility that caters to the needs of a diverse student population. Students can elect to earn credits online or attend in-person classes on a condensed schedule. 

CWES also offers a range of non-credit courses to support individuals in their life-long learning goals and professional development. All degrees and certificates are awarded by the University of Colorado. CWES is fully accredited by the North Central Association.

Friday, February 16, 2018

ABA Releases New Guidebook for Courtroom Visuals


A native of Puerto Rico, Juan Carlos Benitez holds a juris doctor from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico School of Law and now serves as the president of the Washington Pacific Economic Development Group (WPEDG) in Hagatna, Guam. Alongside his work with WPEDG, Juan Carlos Benitez maintains membership in the American Bar Association (ABA).

In late January 2018, the ABA debuted the book Demonstratives: Definitive Treatise on Visual Persuasion, which provides guidance to lawyers and other legal professionals who want to improve their skills in using visual aids in a courtroom environment. The book looks at situations that benefit from the inclusion of visual aids such as charts, graphs, and maps, and also documents instances of when visual aids only serve to add unnecessary complexity to the ideas presented.

Topics covered in the book include defining what demonstratives actually are, how to design them, and how to use them most effectively during depositions and trials. The book also contains an “Inspiration Index” of 300-plus examples of visual concepts to help trial attorneys get a solid understanding of what has been proven to work.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Benefits of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program


Attorney Juan Carlos Benitez serves as the chairman of Latte Training Academy, which provides vocational training to residents of the Northern Mariana Islands. The president of Washington Pacific Economic Development Group, LLC, Juan Carlos Benitez established the first Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) project in the Marianas. 

LIHTC is the US government’s primary federal subsidy to promote the development and rehabilitation of affordable homes for the low-income population. The program, established in 1986 by the Tax Reform Act, gives approximately 8 billion dollars to state and local agencies annually as tax credits for developing or rehabilitating affordable housing. 

LIHTC has benefited communities in the Mariana Islands and across the United States in many ways. The main benefit is affordable housing, as close to 50 percent of LIHTC households have incomes below the federal poverty level, according to research by the NYU Furman Center. Another benefit is revitalized neighborhoods. Research has shown that LIHTC developments reduce poverty and crime and improve access to better quality education.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Workforce Development Programs at the Latte Training Academy



Juan Carlos Benitez is the chairman of the board of the Latte Training Academy, Inc., a workforce development company based in the Northern Mariana Islands. In his leadership role with the company, Juan Carlos Benitez provides skilled and certified vocational training for workers in a variety of industries. 

In 2017, the Latte Training Academy received a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business Enterprise Grant program. Together with the CNMI Small Business Development Center, Latte will connect entrepreneurs with the technical services and training necessary to succeed in their business ventures. Looking forward, the program hopes to support at least 10 new startup companies within its first year of operation.

In addition to its work with entrepreneurs, the Latte Training Academy offers several different types of information technology (IT) certification. As a CompTIA Authorized Academy Partner, the academy provides certifications such as A+, Security+, and Network+. The Latte Training Academy also offers training in the allied health and hospitality sectors.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Entrepreneurial Training in Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands


A member of the Trump Campaign's National Hispanic Advisory Council, Juan Carlos Benitez has experience that includes serving as the legislative director for the governor of Puerto Rico and nominating and vetting judicial minority candidates. Juan Carlos Benitez serves as president and chairman of the board of the Latte Training Academy.

A nonprofit organization established in 2013, the Latte Training Academy promotes development for the workforce in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. In partnership with other professional groups, the academy provides training in fields such as entrepreneurship.

The Latte Training Academy's entrepreneur training program operates through funding from the Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program of the US Department of Agriculture. In partnership with the CNMI Small Business Development Center, the Latte Training Academy provides training in business and technical areas vital for launching startups. For more information about the Latte Training Academy and its efforts to support entrepreneurs, visit www.lattetrainingacademy.com.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

College Students Benefit from HNBA’s Su Futuro Initiative



Having formerly served as special counsel with the US Department of Justice, Juan Carlos Benitez currently leads several organizations, including the Latte Training Academy and the Mariana EB-5 Regional Center on Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. Active in both politics and the greater legal community, Juan Carlos Benitez holds membership in organizations such as the Hispanic National Bar Association.

Since its founding in 1972, the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) has partnered with American businesses, law firms, and nonprofit organizations to advance programs aimed at professional and business development as well as community advocacy and outreach. The HNBA also oversees a variety of education, mentoring, and internship programs as part of its Su Futuro (Your Future) initiative. 

One of the initiative’s major programs is Law School Sin LĂ­mites (LSSL). The program, whose name translates to “law school without limits,” helps college students from diverse backgrounds qualify for admission to law schools throughout the country. Those accepted into the program receive mentoring from a three-person team comprising two practicing attorneys and one law student. The team of mentors works with the student throughout his or her undergraduate career to help the student learn about the legal profession, build a support network, and prepare for law school. 

In addition to providing mentoring, LSSL takes students on visits to law school campuses and connects them with programs and presentations regarding financial aid and the law school admissions process. It also provides training on resume writing, interviewing, networking, and other skills that will help participants in law school and beyond.