The Trial Advocacy Program provides J.D. candidates with an optional course of study that will prepare them to be trial lawyers. It fuses traditional law courses with new trial-oriented courses that draw upon the experience of more than 50 distinguished trial lawyers and judges who serve as adjunct faculty.
Not every J.D. candidate will choose to be a trial lawyer. Among those who do, some may choose to practice as a family lawyer, a criminal prosecutor, or a corporate litigator. All of these career choices require mastery of advocacy skills for the courtroom, the arbitration hearing room, or at the mediation table.
The Program has a focused group of core courses, trial- and litigation-oriented electives and skills training. In addition to the 1L curriculum, students are required to complete 18-22 credit hours of Program core courses, as well as a sufficient number of Program electives to total 30 credit hours of Program core and elective courses. The Program is open to 2L and 3L students beginning in the fall semester of 2011.
Additional Program requirements and other details
New and, in some cases, unique trial-related courses will be offered, including many one-credit, six-week courses, such as Persuasive Speech (to be co-taught by a seasoned practicing lawyer and a distinguished director of a local theatre company), International Arbitration and Litigation & Courtroom Technology. These one-credit courses will be scheduled so they may be taken back-to-back, during a single semester.
Among the new courses is The Litigation Experience, a unique, four-credit course, which covers a hypothetical civil case from the pleading stage through discovery, motion practice, trial and post-trial proceedings. Students are divided into sections of eight students, with four assigned as plaintiff’s counsel and four as defendant’s counsel. One or two trial-lawyer mentors are assigned to each section. Each week includes a 1.5-hour lecture on a specific issue (e.g., Rule 12 motions, expert depositions, opening statements) and a related 2.5-hour participatory “skills” session. The Litigation Experience will be open to second- and third-year students in Fall 2011. Read more ...
Students who complete all of the requirements of the Program will receive a letter of recognition from the Dean and will be identified as Advocacy Fellows.
Current students may sign up now to be a Program participant and future Advocacy Fellow by contacting the Program Director at the e-mail address below.
Deana S. Peck, Program Director (Deana.Peck@asu.edu)