Our Faculty and Staff

Cynthia Goode Works

Cynthia Goode Works, J.d., LL.M



stephen s. weinstein Advocacy Program


Upon graduation from AU WCL in 1992, Professor Goode Works completed a judicial clerkship in the District of Columbia Superior Court. Following her clerkship, she worked as a criminal defense attorney at the renowned D.C. Public Defender Service. Works  then left criminal litigation and worked as a corporate and civil litigator and later as the Director of Training and Education for the National Legal Aid & Defender Association,  where she was responsible for the program development and curriculum design of continuing legal education programs for civil legal aid attorneys and public defenders across the country.

Professor Goode Works has a solid background in the academic arena, having held faculty appointments at George Mason University School of Law, Howard University School of Law, and AUWCL. At AUWCL, Goode Works has coached trial advocacy team students and taught evidence to 2L and 3Ls.

During her tenure as a professor at Howard, the advocacy team compiled an impressive number of accolades and titles, including being named as one of the top sixteen trial advocacy programs in the country, securing several regional championships, and culminating with winning the National Championship at the NITA Tournament of Champions Competition – a historic first for an HBCU. While there, she also taught in and managed the Criminal Justice Clinic component of the Law School's Clinical Law Center.  She concentrated her legal research agenda and teaching activities in the fields of reentry, criminal law and procedure, evidence, and clinical education. For her scholarship, Goode Works received the Distinguished Faculty Author Award from the president and provost of the university.

In addition to the practice of law, Professor Goode Works specializes in the development of advocacy training programs across the United States to law firms, corporations and government agencies.  Most notably, she has served as a faculty member and program director for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy in both their public and in-house training programs for almost 20 years, teaching in over 100 advocacy programs. She has also taught for Lawyers Without Borders and the National Center for State Courts in the Caribbean and Africa.

To complement the practice of law and the teaching of advocacy, she  matriculated to Temple University, James E. Beasley School of Law’s innovative and highly selective LL.M. in Trial Advocacy Program where she received the Most Outstanding Advocate Award from her professors and peers.

Professor Goode Works is an accomplished trial attorney who was named a 2020 "Top Lawyer" by Washingtonian Magazine and maintained a private law practice located in D.C. and the Maryland suburbs handling complex and high-profile matters, prior to coming to WCL.


B.S., Texas A&M University
J.D., American University, Washington College of Law
LL.M., Temple University, James Beasely College of Law

Laura A. Polvinale

Laura  a. polvinale, J.d.


senior program coordinator

stephen s. weinstein Advocacy Program


Laura A. Polvinale is a 2001 summa cum laude graduate of the Washington College of Law.  During her time as a student at WCL, Ms. Polvinale served as a Senior Staff Member on the American University Law Review.

After graduating from WCL, Ms. Polvinale joined the Washington, D.C. offices of Jones Day where she focused on employment law.  She then worked at boutique firms where she expanded her practice areas to include corporate and transactional work with a focus on investigations and corporate compliance. She is an active member of the Maryland and D.C. bars.

Ms. Polvinale, a first generation college graduate, is passionate about education and has volunteered for many years in D.C. Public Schools.  She recently served a one year term with a local non-profit teaching hands-on experiential food education lessons that incorporate growing and preparing nourishing foods with the goal of improving the health of children and their families.


J.D., American University, Washington College of Law
B.A., Hood College

Kenneth P. Troccoli

Kenneth P. Troccoli, J.d., LL.M


stephen s. weinstein Advocacy Program



Professor Kenneth P. Troccoli teaches part-time as an adjunct faculty member. He teaches Evidence, Criminal Procedure I, and Advanced Legal Analysis.

For over nineteen years (until June 2021), Professor Troccoli was an Assistant Federal Public Defender (and since 2015, Senior Litigator) in the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Virginia. In that time, he represented indigent defendants charged with criminal offenses in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Professor Troccoli joined that office in January 2002 and has represented defendants charged with various offenses including fraud, drug trafficking, firearms offenses, immigration, child pornography, sex trafficking, and terrorism. He also has represented in a habeas corpus proceeding a terrorism defendant detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Professor Troccoli also has worked on appellate matters, including cases that were argued before the Supreme Court.

After receiving his J.D., Professor Troccoli served as law clerk to Chief Judge H. Carl Moultrie, I in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Thereafter, for over five years, he practiced primarily white-collar criminal defense at three law firms in Washington, D.C.: Krooth & Altman; Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn; and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. He then joined the Office of Public Defender for the City of Alexandria where he worked for over six years (until 1999) first as an assistant public defender and then as a senior assistant public defender. He then returned to school and following receipt of his LL.M. in 2001, joined the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Alexandria.

Professor Troccoli’s prior teaching experience includes positions as a legal writing instructor at American University's Washington College of Law, and at the George Washington University Law School. He also has lectured at legal conferences on various topics of federal criminal law and legal ethics.


B.A., Boston College
J.D., George Washington University 
LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center

Adjunct Faculty & Coaches

The success of the Advocacy Program is due, in large part, to the more than 100 legal professionals who teach, coach, and volunteer to support our mission. Area practitioners and judges impart their vast expertise as they teach a wide range of advocacy courses. The Advocacy Program also welcomes the expertise of faculty and other skilled practitioners, who have coached student competition teams to more than 25 national championships over the last 8 years. Adjunct faculty and competition team coaches act as invaluable resources for students and come together to build a formidable network of practitioners to support Advocacy Program students.

Adjunct Faculty

Team Coaches