Law 694:  Trial Team and Advanced Trial Team

Trial Team is a graded experiential trial advocacy course conducted in the fall (two hours) and spring (two hours) semesters for a total of four credit hours. Enrollment is by audition only. Per ABA Standard 310, in order to earn two credit hours per semester, each student must account for 90 hours of time. Eligibility for the Trial Team requires the prerequisites or co-requisites of three College of Law courses: Trial Advocacy (694), Trial Advocacy Workshop (695) and Evidence (682). Students who accept the invitation to join Trial Team will undergo rigorous training with a practitioner coach and periodic bonus critiques from College of Law faculty, Illinois alumni, and additional seasoned practicing attorney volunteers as competition weekends approach.

The Anderson Center for Advocacy and Professionalism will also provide additional workshops and programs to help with overall development as well as individual optimization. Trial Team competitions provide hands-on experiential training for future lawyers. It also offers student development in prevailing over practical challenges that lawyers typically face in a modern legal practice. In addition to polishing their basic advocacy skills, team members learn to analyze and master a case file, navigate a courtroom environment, neutralize hostile or aggressive witnesses, and effectively employ the laws of evidence.

Each Trial Team participates in two interscholastic tournaments each academic year at both the national and regional level. Trial Team members try at least one case during each semester of membership and, in doing so, they transfer knowledge gained in the classroom domain into firsthand practical experiences in the courtroom. Moreover, members have exceptional opportunities at trial advocacy tournaments to make valuable networking connections within the legal community with sitting judges, practicing attorneys, and peers from law schools across the country.

Students are selected for the Trial Team and Advanced Trial Team through an audition process which is traditionally held in mid-April.

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

Evaluation: Both Trial Team and Advanced Trial Team will be graded. Grades will be based on performance on written and oral advocacy assignments, and course participation.

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