Catherine E. Stahl

Director of Trial Advocacy
Director of Moot Court Program
Teaching Associate Professor


Professor Catherine E. Stahl is the Director of the University of Illinois College of Law Trial Advocacy Program and Moot Court Competitions Program. Prior to joining the faculty in 2017, Professor Stahl was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago, Illinois. She began her legal career as an associate in the Washington DC office of Dechert LLP. Professor Stahl has broad complex commercial litigation and regulatory enforcement experience, in which she has handled matters in a variety of disciplines, including antitrust, products liability, environmental, white collar and securities, commercial disputes, class actions, and internal investigations. She has litigated matters in both trial and appellate proceedings in more than two-dozen state and federal jurisdictions. Additionally, she has represented clients in a wide range of industries including automotive, aviation, chemical, financial, food and beverage, insurance, natural resources, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and utilities.

While at Kirkland and Dechert, Professor Stahl was recognized for her robust pro bono contributions, including the supervision of associates and law students on matters ranging from immigration and asylum, domestic violence and property disputes to prisoner civil rights, veterans affairs, and voting rights.

Professor Stahl comes to the College with significant teaching experience gained at the Kirkland Institute for Trial Advocacy and its programs conducted with the Chicago Bar Foundation Legal Aid Academy and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. These programs provide in-depth continuing education and trial advocacy training for both law students and practicing attorneys. 

Currently, Professor Stahl is at work on Introduction to Pretrial and Trial Advocacy: An Integrated Approach (Foundation Press, 2021) as well as the skill demonstration videos and companion volume of case examples and exercises that derive from it. She is also a regular contributor to Legal Issues in the News, which airs weekly on WILL AM/FM during Morning Edition on National Public Radio. 

Professor Stahl received her bachelor’s degree in economics with honors from Northwestern University and her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was articles editor for the Virginia Journal of International Law. She is a member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the American Bar Association Antitrust Section. Professor Stahl is licensed to practice law in Illinois and the District of Columbia. She is currently of counsel at Esbrook Law LLC, a litigation boutique firm in Chicago, specializing in commercial litigation. 


JD University of Virginia School of Law
AB Northwestern University

Areas of Expertise

Courtroom Strategy
Civil Procedure
Criminal Procedure
Jury Selection


Trial Advocacy
Fundamentals of Trial Practice
Advanced Trial Advocacy – Criminal Trial
Advanced Trial Advocacy – Civil Trial
Trial Team
Advanced Trial Team