Our Skills Simulation Courses are designed to help you build a solid foundation of essential lawyering skills in a controlled, classroom environment.

Comprehensive Pretrial Advocacy

(4 credits) ADVC-300

Using a mock case as a context, students develop patterns of thought and hands-on ability in interviewing, counseling, negotiation, oral advocacy, and drafting of pleadings, discovery and motions. Problem solving, decision making, and the professional role of the lawyer are emphasized. Alternatives to trial, such as mediation, are discussed. The small size of the class (24 students) allows a high level of student participation in discussion and role-play.

Comprehensive Trial Advocacy

(4 credits) ADVC-305

Comprehensive Trial Advocacy is an advanced course taught in the context of a mock civil or criminal case. Students use their pretrial skills to integrate theory with trial practice. Students, by role playing and performing in class, learn trial skills: voir dire, opening statement, trial motions, direct and cross examination, closing argument, trial notebook, trial brief and jury instructions. Organized in law firms, students prepare and participate in a one-day simulated jury trial. Prerequisite: Comprehensive Pretrial Advocacy.

Professors Marilyn Berger, John Mitchell and Distinguished Practitioner in Residence Ron Clark are the authors of "Trial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy," the completely revised and updated version of their original casebook that reflect today's criminal and civil trial practice.

It presents premier trial principles and strategies as well as state-of-the-art trial technology for every phase from trial preparation through closing argument. Planning techniques for developing and using case theories and themes are explained in-depth. An accompanying DVD shows model trial performances by experienced trial lawyers, a movie of the crime scene and trial animations.


(3 credits) ALDR-303

Negotiation skills are foundational to virtually every lawyer's practice, regardless of specialty; whether or not you are prepared, you will negotiate. This course will address theory and practice, providing the students with foundational skills and experience, as well as the conceptual framework to continue to build their skills through the negotiation experience they accumulate over the course of their careers. Theory and skills will be based on the classic and excellent texts Getting to Yes by R. Fisher and W. Ury of the Harvard Negotiation Project, and Bargaining for Advantage by G. R. Shell of the Wharton Executive Negotiation Workshop. Students will develop practical negotiation skills through simulated negotiation exercises covering a wide variety of complexity and practice areas, ranging from cooperative partnership-formation scenarios to competitive litigation or purchase/sale situations. The course design will include one two-hour session discussing the readings and preparing for the week's simulation, and a second two-hour session devoted to the week's simulated negotiation exercise, obtaining in-depth training from an experienced negotiator. Students will have the opportunity to self-critique, with the aid of some videotaped exercises, in this smaller, supportive environment. Grades will be based on class participation, professionalism, and effort and skill in simulations. There will also be brief written exercises related to the simulations, and brief quizzes on the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct. No exams.

Criminal Motions Practice

(3 credits) CRIM-340

This course will teach students advocacy skills at several non-trial stages of a criminal case. Students will perform exercises in some or all of the following: bail hearings, discovery, motions to suppress physical evidence and confessions, and impeachment of witnesses, among other topics and settings. Students will perform in various roles, e.g., defense counsel, prosecution, witness, judge, across the semester.

  • Section A (Portnoy) emphasizes written and oral advocacy;
  • Section E (Goldsmith) emphasizes oral advocacy and does not require written submissions.

I went to law school wanting to advocate for survivors of domestic violence and trial ad gave me the tools to do just that. My job requires me to be in the courtroom and I constantly use the skills I learned: interviewing clients, arguing motions, taking testimony, and using the evidence dance.

Rachel L. Bryant ‘15