Introduction To Trial Advocacy: The Elements of Trial
View sample syllabi, drills, videos, and more in a demo version available HERE.
Today's employers seek graduates who have litigation and trial skills they can use on their first day. Introduction to Trial Advocacy: The Elements of Trial is a low-cost way for schools to offer high-quality skills and clinical training to their students and prepare them for today's legal economy. Based on the book The Elements of Trial by Rick Friedman and Bill Cummings, Introduction to Advocacy builds on decades of courtroom and teaching experience to ready new lawyers for trial by guiding them through preparing and trying a sample case.
Introduction to Trial Advocacy is a complete lecture series on trial advocacy developed by Spencer Pahlke, Robert Little, and Elizabeth Fraley (faculty at Berkeley and Baylor law), and includes accompanying fact patterns and suggested syllabi. A professor, instructor, or practitioner can use this lecture series to help students or new associates get up to speed on how to try a case and on their feet to practice new skills.
This system of instruction has been years in the making in two the country's leading law schools, with overwhelmingly positive reviews from students. Students learn by doing and will leave law school with marketable skills that will give them an edge in the job market.
This program includes the following materials, all of which work together:
- Model Syllabi: The faculty version includes three model syllabi for different ways you might use the program:
- to teach a law school trial advocacy class (either a 3-unit, 13-week class; or a 2-unit, 9-week class)
- to run an introductory program for young associates at a firm
- to coach a high school, college, or law school mock trial team.
The model syllabi lay out what to cover in each class, including which videos to watch and which drills to prepare.
- Video lectures & transcripts: The lectures range in length from 4 to 20 minutes. Each lecture is referenced in the model syllabi and transcripts of the videos are included with timestamps to make it easy for students to watch and re-watch as needed.
- Fact Patterns: Included are both civil (Pearson v. Quick-Time Movers, Inc.) and criminal (State v. Bell) fact patterns. All versions of the model syllabi include references to both fact patterns, including evidentiary and advocacy drills for both.
- Evidence and Advocacy Drills: Also included are recommended drills that can be done from class to class. For each drill, there is both an instructor version and a student version. The instructor version has commentary designed to help you guide students through the drills by laying out the issues focused on in the drills and providing topics for discussion.
- The Elements of Trial: The syllabi also include options for using The Elements of Trial as supplemental reading for the class. The book is a concise and practical guide on the fundamental skills for handling a trial. The book is available at a special price of $45 for students of this program. You can learn more about the book here.
- Course is easily taught remotely by utilizing a video conferencing tool like zoom.
- Easy to connect to a class management system like blackboard or canvas via single link access for students.
Faculty and Lawyer Testimonials
Justin Bernstein, Director of Trial Advocacy, UCLA School of Law
"When I saw that Liz, Rob, Spencer, and Nick—all courtroom experts—had created an introduction to trial advocacy course, I assumed it would be excellent. But it's better than excellent. Their videos are clear and engaging with professional production quality. The materials manage to be concise yet thorough. They have different syllabi for different forums (training law students, training junior associates, or coaching a trial team). And the Trial Guides website is easy to navigate. This is the best online training tool for trial advocacy I've seen."
Classroom (15+ Students)
For law firms hosting an introductory course:
1-15 New Lawyers
15+ New Lawyers
For high school mock trial teams:
The Elements of Trial Book
Please call 1-800-309-6845 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to to arrange discounts for your students or new associates.
Spencer’s practice focuses on catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases involving defective medical devices, vehicular collisions, dangerous conditions of public and private property, and medical malpractice. Outside of his practice at Walkup, he also teaches at the University of California-Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall) as a lecturer in trial advocacy. Learn More
Robert Little joined the faculty of Baylor Law School as Director of Advocacy Programs and Lecturer in 2019. He graduated from Baylor University with a B.A. in political science in 2002, and graduated from Baylor Law School in 2005. During law school he was a member of the Order of the Barristers, various moot court teams, and various mock trial teams. In fact, in the spring of 2005, he was a member of the mock trial team that won a National Championship at the prestigious American Association of Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition. Learn More
Elizabeth M. Fraley joined the faculty of the Baylor Law as a full-time professor in Fall 2015. Professor Fraley, a prominent Dallas trial lawyer, teaches in Baylor’s renowned Practice Court Program. According to Dean Brad Toben, “Professor Fraley is an accomplished trial lawyer and is an outstanding addition to our Practice Court faculty.” Professor Fraley teaches Practice Court III at Baylor Law. This mandatory course focuses on trial and post-trial procedure, summary judgments, and jury selection. Learn More