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LSU Law Trial Advocacy Program for 3L students begins Aug. 7


Download the 2017 Trial Advocacy Program Schedule

Third-year LSU Law students will “learn by doing” at the Law Center’s annual Trial Advocacy Program that begins Aug. 7.

From cross examination to voir dire jury selection, students will role play and receive critiques from some of the nation’s leading experts in courtroom practices during the intensive three-day program held at the LSU Law Center. Participants will act as trial counsel and simulate actual trial skills under the experienced eyes of the select seminar faculty.

“For 25 years, the LSU Law Trial Advocacy program has taught advocacy and persuasion skills to the rising 3L class. Many students have rated this program as the highlight of their legal education, because it allows them to perform future skills in a safe, encouraging environment,” LSU Law Trial Advocacy committee member and section leader Dean Sutherland said.

The program follows the methods pioneered by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and includes role playing, critique, videotaping of performances, videotape critique, lectures and demonstrations by the faculty. Students will have more time for hands-on learning by performing direct and cross examinations, arguing motions, and conducting opening and closing remarks themselves.

“This will allow more time for the students to perform ‘on their feet’ during the program,” Sutherland said.

Students will be recorded during their demonstrations and will review with faculty members their performance. This allows students to focus on their oral as well as non-verbal advocacy skills, and many students have said that aspect is the most valuable part of the program.

“I have learned so much from LSU’s Trial Advocacy Program, both as a former student and as a long-time faculty member,” LSU Law Trial Advocacy committee member and section leader Catherine Maraist said. “As a litigator, I use the skills that I learned from the student program day-to-day in my career. As a faculty instructor, I keep those skills sharp by learning from the wisdom and experience of my fellow faculty instructors, all top-notch trial lawyers and judges.

“The program provides a unique opportunity for students to learn from seasoned litigators and make important legal connections before starting their legal careers.”

Legal professionals from around the country will serve as section leaders and faculty for the program, and those serving as section leaders this year include: Walter M. Sanchez, Judge Durwood Conque, Mike Patterson, Judge George Hanks, Judge Danny Knowles, Ed Walters, Rock Palermo, Guy Holdridge, Brook Barnett-Bernal, Frank Holthaus, and Vance Gibbs.

The LSU Law Trial Advocacy Program runs Aug. 7 to 9. For questions or more information, contact Pam Hancock at