Trial Advocacy Program: The Anderson Center

As the heart of the trial advocacy program at Illinois, the Kimball R. and Karen Gatsis Anderson Center for Advocacy and Professionalism aims to provide “best in class” training to College of Law students in two distinct areas.

First, the Center offers training in a wide variety of advocacy skills, including trial advocacy, appellate advocacy, negotiations, and alternative dispute resolution. Second, the Center provides College of Law students with innovative classes and programs relating to the professional responsibility obligations attendant to client advocacy. Especially in today’s highly charged and politicized environment, students must have the ability to advocate in a professionally responsible manner. This professional responsibility component, already part of the College of Law’s advocacy-training culture, is an important aspect that distinguishes the Anderson Center from other advocacy programs in American legal education.

The Center focuses its efforts in the following areas: 

The Center was founded through the generosity of Kimball R. Anderson and Karen Gatsis Anderson, who received their bachelors’ degrees from the University of Illinois in 1974 and their Juris Doctor degrees from the College of Law in 1977. The Andersons are longtime benefactors of the College of Law, having launched a number of initiatives at the College, including the College’s public interest fellowship program and the construction of the Anderson Courtroom in the College of Law main Champaign-based campus. 

In addition to the Anderson Courtroom, the Center utilizes the Prentice H. Marshall Advocacy Suite for a number of its various activities. The Advocacy Suite provides a multipurpose learning environment, easily adapted for use as a courtroom, a traditional classroom, and for a variety of practice-based exercises. The Advocacy Suite is equipped with the latest in courtroom technology and legal practice software.

Anderson Center Personnel

Professor Tony Ghiotto
Director of The Anderson Center for Advocacy and Professionalism
Tony Ghiotto
Kari Sanderson
Moot Court Director
Kari Sanderson
Deanna Shumard
Anderson Center Competitions Director
Deanna Shumard

Advisory Board Members

Kimball R. Anderson
Winston & Strawn LLP

Kasssandra Altantulkhuur
Walker Wilcox Matousek LLP

Hon. Wayne Andersen (Ret.)
JAMS Mediator and Arbitrator

Karen Anderson
University of Illinois College of Law

Lawrence Desideri
Winston & Strawn LLP

Natalie Ellis
O’Connor & Battle

Nicholas Gowen
Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C.

George Lombardi
Winston & Strawn LLP

Teri Mascherin
Jenner & Block

DaWanna McCray
Winston & Strawn LLP

Samuel Mendenhall
Winston & Strawn LLP

Steven Molo

Lynn Murray
Shook, Hardy & Bacon

Byung J. “BJay” Pak
Alston & Bird

Maria Pulido
Cook County Public Defender

Scott Szala
Winston & Strawn, LLP

Hon. Debra Walker
Circuit Court of Cook County

Hon. Ann Claire Williams (Ret.)
Jones Day