For most people outside the world of law, trial advocacy is courtroom drama in which lawyers present clashing case theories, question witnesses, trade legal arguments and objections, disclose or withhold facts, exploit their opponents’ weaknesses, and play the emotions of a jury like strings on a violin.
In fact, all of these are elements of University of Arizona Law’s Advocacy Program, which teaches students procedural, evidentiary, and ethical requirements, techniques of persuasion, and specific skills – from jury selection and opening statements, through direct examination, presenting exhibits, cross-examinations, and closing arguments.
We are fully confident that our Advocacy program will comprehensively prepare you for a career in the courtroom.
For The Student
In our Advocacy Program, students learn by experience, acting as trial counsel to practice specific courtroom skills as well as overall case development, prosecution, and defense in civil and criminal trial cases presided over by guest judges. The program has multiple sections of three courses, all based on the simulation method, in which students in restricted-enrollment classes act as lawyers litigating and trying cases against each other.
The Basic Trial Advocacy course focuses on fundamental skills, such as direct and cross examination, introduction of exhibits, impeachment of witnesses, opening statements, and closing arguments. Each class is limited to eight students, and several sections of this course are offered each semester.
The Pretrial Litigation course focuses on civil litigation, including the initial client interview, fact gathering, legal research, pleadings, discovery, motions, and settlement. Class sections, limited to sixteen students, act as law firms litigating civil cases against each other.
Finally, the Advanced Trial Advocacy course focuses on jury trials. Each student tries four cases, acting as the plaintiff’s and defendant’s lawyer in civil and criminal cases.