Trial Advocacy Credits | Pace Law School

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Trial Advocacy Credits

This opportunity is for students who have completed the initial Course and desire to participate on an inter-school team – the students will be awarded 2 credits for one of the following competitions:

  1. The ATLA Court Competition
  2. The National Trial Competition
  3. The Georgetown White Collar Crime Competition
  4. The National Association CDL
  5. The NITA – Loyola National Institutional Competition
  6. The John Marshall Criminal Justice Competition
  7. NACDL Mock Trial Competition

Course Description

After completing an application and selection process, students will have an opportunity to participate in an inter-law school Trial Advocacy Competition. Participation in such competition will require the student to conduct extensive legal research and prepare a trial notebook on the issues of the case with only minimal guidance from the team’s faculty advisor or outside coach. In addition, students will prepare Direct and Cross examinations, Openings, Closings and all evidentiary arguments. Students will begin to prepare for the trial component of the competition by completing at least ten practice arguments before faculty members or outside attorneys. 

Upon return from the individual Trial Competition, each team member will be required to review his or her portion of their performance with the team’s faculty advisor or outside coach. The faculty advisor or outside coach will determine if the student’s pre-competition and post-competition efforts warrant credit.


Under this proposal, students will receive credit for demonstrating specific skills associated with Trial Advocacy skills. First, students conduct extensive legal research on various issues. In addition to developing research and writing skills, students are expected to learn the essential contents of trial work. Second, students develop oral advocacy skills that may not be developed in a traditional law school classroom setting. Third, students are directed to develop fact analysis skills and to learn how to work facts into their legal analysis. In sum, Trial Advocacy allows students to develop the most fundamental, yet essential lawyering skills.

Pre-requisites and Requirements

  1. Good academic standing and completion of one year of law school (full or part time).
  2. Requirements for credit:
    1. Each Trial Advocacy participant must attend one three hour (or two 1 ½ hour) team meetings per week. The meetings will begin when the specific "trial problem" or "issue" is released and will continue through, and including, the week of the competition.
    2. Each Trial Advocacy participant is responsible for maintaining regular communication with the faculty advisor, outside coach and other team members to facilitate productive and efficient completion of all requirements (individual competition requirements, Pace Trial Advocacy requirements, and faculty advisor/outside coach requirements).
    3. Each Trial Advocacy participant must independently develop one cross examination, one direct cross and either opening or closing oral arguments. The participants, faculty advisor and/or outside coach will have authority to assign the number and scope of issues that each participant will address.
    4. Each Trial Advocacy participant must research all evidentiary and substantive legal issues required by competition.
    5. Each Trial Advocacy participant must partake in at least ten practice sessions in which the participant will present his/her exams before one or more faculty members and/or outside attorneys. Upon completion of 10 oral argument sessions, each Trial Advocacy team must provide the Trial Advocacy Director with a document confirming that each team member participated in 10 oral argument practice sessions.
    6. Within one week upon returning from the respective competition, each Trial Advocacy participant must arrange a meeting with the faculty advisor or outside coach to discuss his/her performance.
    7. The faculty advisor or outside coach will determine if the student has adequately completed the course requirements and will assign a "Pass" or "Fail" to each student competing in the relevant Trial Advocacy competition.