Law 694:  Advanced Trial Advocacy

Students taking this course will engage with both internal and external instructors to develop a specific criminal case through all pretrial stages, concluding in a mock trial.  This course will cover pretrial case development and practice, the drafting of charging instruments and other trial documents, arraignment and setting bail, discovery, drafting and presenting pretrial motions, witness preparation, trial strategy, the final pretrial conference, planning for opening statements and closing arguments, and preparation of jury instructions.  The course culminates in a half-day trial presided over by a sitting or retired judge or distinguished legal practitioner. All trials will feature volunteer jurors from the University of Illinois community.  

Advanced Trial Advocacy is a fully integrated experience.  While this course teaches students how to use a specialized set of practical trial strategies and tactics, it also enables them to envision how a practicing attorney applies what is taught in law school throughout the trial process.  To appropriately develop effective representation of clients at trial, students will draw not only on their trial toolkit, but also on their knowledge of substantive law, criminal procedure, evidence, ethics, and legal research and writing.  They will also consistently engage in hands-on work with Trial Pad, and other electronic courtroom technology to ensure the students are competently trained in the cutting edge resources which are being fully utilized in today’s courtrooms across the country and the throughout the world.

Beyond teaching students all aspects of the trial process, the goal of this course is for students to optimize their competency with the comprehensive nature of legal practice, to develop he body of knowledge acquired in law school informs the day-to-day responsibilities of trial lawyers, to be educated on the array of resources necessary to excel, and to be versant with the intersectionality of trial skills and the mediums and modalities available to best represent one’s clients.

College of Law students leave this class with the tools, skills and knowledge, which make them practice ready. Students will have the opportunity to develop their cases with guidance and support from College of Law faculty, as well as guest instructors and panelists.  College of Law faculty members will supervise all phases of the student attorneys’ pretrial work.  In addition to the College of Law faculty, leading practitioners in the field will assist with providing guest lectures and insights on litigation.

Sequence and Prerequisites: Trial Advocacy (Law 694)Trial Advocacy Workshop (Law 695), and Evidence (Law 682) are prerequisites.

Evaluation: This is a three-credit graded course. Grades will be based on written assignments, in-class courtroom performance exercises, and participation. While students will try their cases with a partner or team, each student will be graded individually. Students will have an opportunity to meet their classmates during the first class meeting, however, students may have the option to select partners or teams before the first day of class.

Course Classification: Simulation (experiential)

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