The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

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Advocacy Opportunities for Second- and
Third-Year Students

The University of Texas School of Law is a nationally recognized center of training in advocacy which offers a broad-based curriculum designed to prepare students for the rigors of a modern law practice. Uniquely integrating the traditional practical advocacy skills with emerging applications, the program focuses on all aspects of advocacy, ensuring that the students develop a core set of skills that will help them to be persuasive advocates no matter who the audience is.

Almost everything in the Advocacy Program is open to second- and third-year law students. Whether a student is interested in focusing on advocacy through courses and extracurricular activities, or is simply looking to get his or her feet wet, the Advocacy Program offers something for everyone.

Classes

From traditional theory and courtroom skills to Aristotle and neuroscience, the Advocacy Program courses cover a wide range of current issues and trends in the legal industry. No matter the enrollment, all courses provide some small group work with instructors. In these settings, students are afforded unusual opportunities such as voir dire practiced before a jury panel made of community volunteers, opening and closing statements performed before focus groups, real depositions taken and transcribed by court reporting students, and motions argued at the courthouse before a state or federal court judge.

Interscholastic Mock Trial Program

The Advocacy Program sponsors several interscholastic mock trial teams. Each year, law schools from across the nation compete against each other in interscholastic mock trial competitions covering a vast array of issues. The University of Texas School of Law has a long-standing reputation for excellence in interscholastic competitions, having won 12 mock trial and moot court national championships in the last 10 years alone. Teams for interscholastic mock trial competitions are selected during the fall semester through the annual Fall Litigation Institute and the Intensive Trial Practice course. Students interested in participating on an interscholastic mock trial team must meet certain advocacy course and other eligibility requirements.

Fall Litigation Institute

The Fall Litigation Institute is a hands-on, crash course in trial skills - from the basics of laying a foundation to advanced witness examination techniques. Students of all experience levels are encouraged to attend as this program offers an excellent opportunity to learn new skills or hone existing ones. Students work directly with UT Law's interscholastic mock trial coaches and instructors, and learn everything they need to know to successfully compete in a mock trial competition. Even students not interested in competing, but currently enrolled in advocacy courses, find this program a useful complement to their coursework. Attendance is required for students interested in competing in interscholastic mock trial.

Order of Barristers

Originating in 1965 at The University of Texas School of Law, the Order of Barristers is now a national honorary organization designed to encourage excellence in oral advocacy and brief writing skills through effective law school advocacy programs. The Order of Barristers currently has over 100 law school chapters throughout the nation. Every year, a select group of students who have demonstrated outstanding abilities in advocacy are nominated by the law school chapters for induction into the Order of Barristers. The inductees for The UT Law School are selected by a faculty committee and are honored during the annual Board of Advocates Awards Banquet.

Board of Advocates

The Board of Advocates is a student organization devoted to promoting the development of both oral and written advocacy skills. The BOA organizes all intramural advocacy competitions, including mock trial, moot court, voir dire, mediation, negotiation, and client counseling. The BOA also provides periodic seminars and workshops covering a variety of topics such as trial strategy, courtroom performance, and the basics of brief writing. At the end of the spring semester, the BOA hosts a prestigious awards banquet to honor the students who have excelled in advocacy during the year and to thank the many attorneys and judges who have participated in the organization.

For more information about the Advocacy Program, contact cbrandt@law.utexas.edu. Sign up for Advocacy Program Law Mail on the Student Central page to receive future e-mails regarding interscholastic mock trial, Fall Litigation Institute and other Advocacy events.