Continuing Legal Education

Contact CLE

Continuing Legal Education
901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall 209
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA 98122-1090
(206) 398-4233

Learn more about the CLE team

2014 Attendee Ronald Ward

"I attended, participated in and enjoyed The Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute.

It is a comprehensive ‘how to' demonstration curriculum in which the attendees have an opportunity to observe and then perform everything from voir dire to examination of witnesses to closing argument. It is a valuable experience for third year law students who aspire to litigation, those in practice 1-10 years, and experienced lawyers who desire a refresher, or an update in contemporary trial practice techniques."

Ron Ward
President, Washington State Bar Foundation, 2008-2011
President, American Board of Trial Advocates, 2012
Washington State Trial Lawyers Association President's Award
Super Trial Lawyer since 2003

Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute

June 15-19, 2015 | 30.5 general CLE credits plus 1 ethics credit

Designed by national experts Professors Marilyn Berger and Ron Clark, the Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute offers a proven conceptual approach to trial practice combined with premier trial principles and strategies for every phase of trial from preparation through closing argument. During the week-long course, the best of the best trial lawyers and faculty will provide you with lectures and demonstrations of successful trial skills.


You will prepare and try a case, including conducting jury selection, presenting opening statement and closing argument and examining expert and lay witnesses. Seasoned and skilled trial attorneys as well as communication specialists , in small workshops, will provide individual feedback and pointers on your performances. Your presentations will be recorded so that you can benefit from a one-on-one video review with a faculty member. 

Who should attend

The course is designed for both beginning and experienced practicing lawyers, who are seeking a firm foundation of the finest trial skills taught by experienced trial lawyers, who will to take their lawyering skills to a higher level. The course is also open to a few select law students who have completed their second year and have taken an Evidence course. Seattle University Law Students will receive two academic credits for successfully completing the course.

Topics to be addressed include:

Developing Case Theories, Themes and Trial Strategies

  • Courtroom Communication Techniques

  • Trial Preparation and Planning

  • Effective Jury Selection

  • Convincing Opening Statement

  • Conducting a Compelling Direct Examination

  • Presenting and Attacking Expert Testimony

  • Creating Dynamic Trial Visuals

  • Today's Courtroom Technology

  • Trial Ethics and Avoiding Pitfalls

  • Impeachment and Concession Cross-Examination

  • Persuasive Closing Argument



The program will start  at 8:30 a.m. each day from June 15-June 18, 2015.
The program on Friday, June 19, 2015 will start at 9 a.m.

Click here for a complete agenda.

Note: The agenda may be subject to revision.


Program Chairpersons

Marilyn J. Berger is the Director of the Comprehensive Trial Advocacy Program and also the Director of Films for Justice Institute at Seattle University School of Law. She is co-author (with Professors John Mitchell, Ronald Clark) of Pretrial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy, Trial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy  and Trial Advocacy: Assignments and Case Files Professor Berger wrote, co-directed, and produced the documentary,  which is about 9/11 families and their experiences with the Victim Compensation Fund and litigation.

Ronald H. Clark is Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, Seattle University Law School. Formally, he served in the King County Prosecutor's Office (10 years as Chief Deputy of the Criminal Division) and Senior Training Counsel at the National Advocacy Center. He co-authored Pretrial Advocacy, Trial Advocacy, Evidence Skills and Cross-Examination Handbook.


Hon. Terrence A. Carroll, King County Superior Court (ret.)
Hon. John H. Chun, Judge, King County Superior Court
Hon. John P. Erlick, Judge, King County Superior Court
Hon. Dean Lum, Judge, King County Superior Court
Hon. Jack Nevin, Judge, Pierce County Superior Court

Attorneys and Academics
Dan ‘L W. Bridges, McGaughey Bridges Dunlap PLLC
Amy T. Forbis, Bennett, Bigelow & Leedom
Barbara Frost, Adjunct Professor, Seattle University School of Law
Erick D. Gilman, Gordon, Thomas Honeywell
Karen Koehler, Stritmatter Kessler Whelan
Avi Lipman, McNaul Ebel
Thomas A. Lemly, Davis Wright Tremaine
Lisa Marchese, Dorsey Whitney
Simion Osborn, Osborn Machler
Stephen Penner, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Pierce County Prosecutor's Office
Jeffrey Robinson, Schroeter Goldmark and Bender
Jeff Tilden, Gordon Tilden Thomas & Cordell
Lish Whitson, Lish Whitson, PLLC

Communication Specialists
R. Craig Smith, Senior Trial Consultant, Prolumina
Thomas M. O'Toole, Ph.D., President & Consultant, Sound Jury Consulting
Tara Parker, Prolumina


General Registration - $1,499.00

Seattle University School of Law Alumni - $1,399.00