** This course meets the Professional Skills requirement for graduation.
Trial: 1. an action or process of trying or putting to the proof; 2. a test of faith by suffering or temptation. Master: an artist of consummate skill.
This three-hour, pass/fail, multi-disciplinary course teaches killer advocacy skills along with the responsibility for using them wisely. It enables future leaders of the trial bar to resolve disputes with extraordinary competence, integrity, and professionalism. Students will learn to communicate with power and authenticity, and to effectively pursue adversarial and cooperative strategies to achieve optimal results. Drawing on communication theory, game theory, psychology, the performing arts, social science research, and ethics, as well as traditional legal disciplines including jurisprudence, procedure, negotiation and trial tactics, the course uses experiential techniques to instill such knowledge "at the DNA level." Professional Responsibility and trial skills courses will be useful but not required. This course takes that learning to a new plane.
Students must attend the first class. Also, because you will learn primarily by doing, if you miss more than two classes you will presumptively fail. The only exceptions will be where all of your absences are both approved and made up. Approval will be given only if the reasons for absences rise to the level of your illness or death of loved ones, or for interscholastic competitions. If you have a question as to whether an excuse for an absence you're planning will be approved, contact me in advance.
Caveat: The course uses highly evocative material from actual cases involving sexual predation and death. In addition, students must have the courage to be honest with themselves and to be emotionally vulnerable to achieve optimal results. In other words, students must be willing to explore and discuss their own feelings in order to learn to use emotion in the courtroom and to become a more effective lawyer generally. Students unwilling or unable to do so should not enroll. Please discuss any personal reservations with the professor before enrolling.
To enroll in Trialmasters, please complete and submit a short application
. The professor will then contact you to set up a 20-minute interview.