David E. Aaronson is Professor of Law and B. J. Tennery Scholar. He is Director of WCL’s nationally recognized Trial Advocacy Program and WCL’s Advocacy LL.M Program. His areas of specialization include: Criminal and Civil Trial Advocacy, Evidence, and Criminal Law and Procedure. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he was selected to be a Prettyman Fellow in the Georgetown University Graduate Law Center's Legal Internship Program, the first LLM program in the United States focusing on trial advocacy skills. He represented indigent persons accused of crime in Federal and local courts and served as a clinical instructor. Prior to joining the Washington College of Law faculty, he practiced civil and criminal law with a private law firm. As a WCL professor, he served as Interim Director of WCL’s Clinical Programs and Director of the Maryland Criminal Justice Clinic, creating the prosecutor component. He was a co-principal investigator of two U.S. Department of Justice funded national criminal justice studies, including a path-breaking study of “Alternatives to Conventional Criminal Adjudication,” and “Decriminalization of Public Drunkenness Laws.”
Associate Director, Trial Advocacy Program
Professor Elizabeth Lippy is the Associate Director of the Trial Advocacy Program at the American University Washington College of Law and maintains a private practice as a founding member of the law firm of Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. where she focuses her practice on criminal defense and civil litigation. In 2016, she proudly received the Edward D. Ohlbaum Professionalism Award presented by Stetson University College of Law. Ms. Lippy has been named a Super Lawyer in Pennsylvania for the past five years in a row. She was most recently was named one of Pennsylvania’s 10 best female attorneys by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, and a Top 40 Trial Lawyer under 40.
Professor Lippy was the Assistant Director of the program from 2011 to 2018. In her role as Assistant Director of Trial Advocacy she worked tirelessly with the mock trial competition teams. Professor Lippy currently teaches many different courses at the American University Washington College of Law including Criminal Trial Advocacy, Evidentiary Foundations & Objections, and Litigating in a High Tech Courtroom. She was integral in the creation of new curriculum for advanced advocacy courses such as Plea Bargaining, Scientific Evidence and Expert Testimony, and Special Victims Cases. Professor Lippy instructs government agencies, military attorneys and law firms on different facets of trial advocacy skills. She is also an instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) and has published a case file through NITA entitled Evans v. Washington State.
Brittany Gail Thomas
Assistant Director of Student Competition Teams
Brittany Gail Thomas, affectionately known as “BGT,” is the Assistant Director of Student Competition Teams. Brittany graduated cum laude from Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication & Culture, with a focus on Legal Communication, before attending WCL. Brittany took WCL by storm and became a superstar during her 3 years (2009-2012) as a student. While a student here, she received the highest grade designation at the Alexandria Public Defender Externship, Criminal Defense Theory and Practice, and Criminal Justice Clinic – Defense. Beyond recognition for course work, she received many awards including the Black Women’s Bar Association of Suburban Maryland’s Book Scholarship, the J. Franklyn Bourne Scholarship, the Mooers Trophy Award for excellence in Trial Advocacy, and the Peter M. Cicchino Public Service Award. During her second and third year as an WCL student, Brittany was a member of the Mock Trial Honor Society and competed at 4 national competitions receiving individual awards for “Best Advocate” and “Perfect Score.” Not only did Brittany participate with mock trial, but she was the staff writer for the American Jurist, the Community Service Chair for the Black Law Students Association, and a Teaching Fellow for the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project. BGT is truly one of a kind and extremely well-rounded.
Upon graduating from WCL, Brittany took her talent, advocacy skills, and passion for justice into the courtroom to defend and represent indigent individuals at The Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn, New York. After 3 years in Brooklyn, BGT moved back to the area and joined the Office of the Public Defender in Baltimore, Maryland. During her career with Legal Aid and the OPD, Brittany represented an array of individuals and improved her trial skills even further. She also proved to be a true mentor and teacher in those roles as she helped provide CLE and Advocacy Training Sessions and was the Subcommittee Chair of the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee.