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.


Optional



  • 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.













Features



  • 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

"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."

Justin Bernstein, Director of Trial Advocacy, UCLA School of Law

“As a trial lawyer, mock trial coach, and former long-time mock trial participant, I was incredibly impressed with the online trial advocacy course, which provides the building blocks for success as a trial lawyer. A good trial lawyer knows there is no substitute for experience, so I liked that the program was focused on a learn-by-doing methodology supplemented with short introductory training videos. The course plan is comprehensive and well-thought-out, both expanding each session to new skills while also reinforcing skills learned in past weeks. I will definitely use these resources with my own mock trial teams.”

Suzanne Jaffe Nero, mock trial coach at Berkeley Law, Counsel at King & Spalding

“This is a wonderful crash course in trial advocacy. The instructors provide a range of skills training that is both wide in scale and also clear and down to earth for beginners. It runs the gamut from mechanical basics like cross-examination question structure to more overarching concepts like theme and case theory building. Impressively, the instructors come from a geographically diverse set of backgrounds, so you can rest assured this course teaches skills that will be applicable in any courtroom in America.”

Collin Tierney, 2014 Berkeley Law Graduate, a Winner of the Baylor Law Top Gun Trial Competition, an Advisory Board Member at Minnesota State Bar Association Mock Trial Program, a Case Committee Chair for Empire Mock Trial, and an Assistant Public Defender in Hennepin County

“Introduction to Trial Advocacy is an exemplary introduction to the components and nuance of trial advocacy. Using video instruction, handouts, and plenty of practice scenarios, both the practitioner and student alike are learning proven strategies from the best trial lawyers in the nation. Spencer Pahlke, Elizabeth Fraley, and Robert Little have mastered the best pedagogical techniques to elevate the skills of all who desire to become effective trial lawyers.”

Jerome Price, 2011 Berkeley Law graduate, Federal Public Defender in the Eastern District of CA, Reached AAJ National Semi-Finals in 2011

“The Introduction to Trial Advocacy guide is a game-changer for anyone, from young attorneys looking to learn the basics of how to try a case to seasoned professionals who want to brush up on particular areas of trial advocacy to law professors looking for a concise way to explain these concepts to their students. The program is targeted and easy to follow. The modules cover the entire trial—from opening statements to closing arguments—and begin with the basics, but also discuss strategic considerations. My favorite module covers objections: whether to make them, when to make them, and how to make them. And the instructors are some of the best trial attorneys in the country, so you’re getting quality material from top-notch presenters!”

Roxana Guidero, 2017 Berkeley Law Graduate, Senior Supervising Editor on the California Law Review, winner of the Tournament of Champions in 2016. She clerked on the 9th Circuit, and is now at Wilkinson Walsh.

“If you are uncertain about what you need to do to grow your trial skills, you’ll find the answers within this online trial advocacy course. The course instructors share their knowledge by offering concepts, tools, and strategies that you can implement in an intentional manner. Liz Fraley taps into her extensive experience as a trial lawyer to offer practical advice on the most effective and efficient ways to present and try your case. All of the information is presented in a way that lets you choose the approaches that work best for you. This course is an essential guide for any lawyer who aspires to be a successful trial lawyer.”

Heather Kanny, Partner Mayer LLP, 2008 Baylor Law Graduate


Pricing


For universities: 

Version

Regular Price

Direct-to-Student 

Classroom (15+ Students)

Student Version

$250

$150

$115

Faculty Version

$250

$250

$250

The Elements of Trial Book

$85

$45

$45



For law firms hosting an introductory course: 


Version

Regular Price

1-15 New Lawyers

15+ New Lawyers

Student Version

$250

$150

$115

Faculty Version

$250

$250

$250

The Elements of Trial Book

$85

$45

$45


For high school mock trial teams:


Version

Price

Faculty Version

$250

The Elements of Trial Book

$45/per student


Please call 1-800-309-6845 or email sales@trialguides.com to speak with our staff about purchasing the faculty version and student discounts. 




Faculty

Spencer Pahlke

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

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 Fraley

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