Many of our experiential offerings that focus on advocacy skills do so within the context of the entire trial or appeal; students in these courses work on all relevant skills associated with that type of litigation, including planning, writing, and oral advocacy.This advanced course assumes some exposure to the litigation process and gives students the chance to focus solely on improving their oral advocacy skills, specifically, their ability to persuade decisionmakers orally in situations where the speaking is an interactive process. Each week, students will be prepare, present, and judge oral arguments on issues that are taken from pending cases or problems created by the instructor. Problems will be drawn from criminal, civil, and administrative law cases to allow students to experience how a generalist advocate presents arguments in different litigation contexts. Students will be expected to self-assess their performances and, working with the group and the instructor, develop and adapt their argument preparation and execution accordingly. Through this course, students will develop their ability to craft and deliver ideas orally in words and style that is both comprehensible and credible in settings where the listener/decisionmaker may engage the speaker at will.
Significant preparation will be required for each class session, and students will be meeting one-on-one or in small groups with the instructor outside of class time to prepare, debrief, and receive individualized feedback. Grading will be based on class participation only; there is no exam or final paper.