A student practices for the Grand Damages Argument Competition, which helps students hone their courtroom skills.

Trial Advocacy

Tom Mauet is quite simply the most accomplished and knowledgeable teacher of trial advocacy and evidence anywhere. His texts, workbooks and teaching techniques are used around the world. The trial advocacy program Tom has built at the University of Arizona  College of Law is quite simply the gold standard for teaching trial practice.

- Ted Schmidt, Managing Partner Kinerk, Schmidt & Sethi, JD Class of 1977

OVERVIEW
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 Arizona Law’s Trial 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 Trial Advocacy program will comprehensively prepare you for a career in the courtroom.
 
For The Student
In our Trial 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.
 
Course Offerings
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 sixteen 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. 
 
Trial Advocacy Competitions
For more information about Trial Advocacy Competitions, please see our Legal Skills Competitions page. (link)
 
Contact
For more information about the Trial Advocacy Program, please contact:
 
Thomas A. Mauet
Office Number: 234
Office Phone: (520) 621-1045
mauet@law.arizona.edu