« on: December 20, 2007, 08:00:29 PM »
I don't know much about the trial advocacy program unfortunately, except that we have a bunch of moot court teams and a number of in-house clinics where students get to represent clients as 3L's. Here's the blurb from the website, in case you haven't found it on your own:
The 30-year-old, award-winning trial advocacy program at Penn State Dickinson is one of the most accomplished and thorough programs of its kind nationwide. It is led by Professor Gary Gildin, 1999 winner of the Jacobson Award for outstanding teaching in trial advocacy and Director of the Miller Center for Public Interest Advocacy.
Preparation for the lawyer's role as advocate begins in the first year of study. Students take courses that teach them the fundamental analytical tools that ground “thinking like a lawyer.” Some of these courses, including Civil Procedure and Lawyering Skills, also introduce students to concepts, rules and skills especially relevant to litigation. In addition, first-year students can elect to participate in an intraschool competition that gives them the opportunity to conduct a trial. Professional Responsibility, which is generally taken in the second year, offers students a window into ethical issues that may arise for all lawyers, including those serving as advocates. The upper-level course of Evidence, which is a co-requisite for Advocacy I, teaches fundamental evidentiary rules governing trials and their application. Other upper-level courses — such as Advanced Legal Research, Appellate Practice, Civil Liberties Litigation, Client Counseling, Federal Courts, Field Placement Clinics, In-House Clinics, International Litigation and Arbitration, Negotiation, Pennsylvania Criminal Law Practice, Pennsylvania Practice, Post-Conviction Process, Remedies, Writing and Editing for Lawyers, Writing Workshop and others — also have particular relevance in training legal advocates.
In the third year of study, Penn State Dickinson offers the centerpiece of its Trial Advocacy curriculum — dedicated training in fundamental pretrial and trial advocacy skills in Advocacy I and Advocacy II. Professor Gildin leads these courses and is assisted by a carefully-selected team of experienced lawyers and judges who serve as one-on-one evaluators and mentors. The courses capture the rigor, excitement and tension of real-life litigation. Students learn key elements of civil and criminal litigation, practice them in a logical progression, receive weekly feedback, and ultimately take a case from inception to trial. Students and faculty even gather in the courtrooms of the county courthouse for their small group section meetings. Advanced Pre-Trial Advocacy — taught by an experienced civil litigator — is also available to third-year students for a specific focus on the pre-trial phase that often dominates and concludes litigation.
In combination, these courses provide students with the skills they will need to walk into any courtroom upon graduation and responsibly represent clients involved in civil and criminal litigation. Upper-level students also may gain valuable experience through participation in the intraschool trial competition which can lead to representation of Penn State Dickinson in the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Gourley and National Trial competitions. Qualified students also may be chosen to represent Penn State Dickinson on other moot court teams.