There are no specified concentrations or tracks in the Advocacy LL.M.; however, there are three non-classroom options. All non-classroom options are subject to the approval of the student's LL.M. advisor.
The Advocacy LL.M. Program offers an opportunity for interested students to obtain litigation experience through an optional externship of up to 6 credits. The goal of the externship is to help LL.M. students gain experience in the intricacies of the pretrial and/or trial process with support and guidance from experienced practitioners. The externship component pairs LL.M. student attorneys with experienced practitioners in varying substantive areas of law in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, courts, and law firms engaged in pro bono activities. Students will receive a letter grade for these independent study credits.
Students can find an externship in a number of different ways, including applying for positions listed in the law school's regularly updated Externship Database, applying directly to offices of interest, attending WCL's anuual externship fair and working with the Program's staff and adjunct faculty who are practitioners themselves.
Students may co-teach one course for up to three credits of independent study. Students will be supervised by a co-teacher with a minimum of five years of teaching experience. If approved, most students would serve as a third classroom instructor, performing such tasks as assisting in classroom student critiques, reviewing video recordings of student attorney simulations one-on-one with the J.D. student outside of class, assisting with out-of-class trial team preparation, helping students make better use of courtroom technology, and performing certain witness roles, such as expert witnesses, during classroom simulations. The LL.M. student will be required to attend each of the course classes and to meet regularly outside of class with the supervising co-teacher to receive critique and feedback. The supervising co-teacher may require that the LL.M. student create specified course materials, perform in-class demonstrations of certain trial skills, or assist in reviewing required student writing assignments. All credits earned by teaching are subject to course and supervising co-teacher availability and approval by the LL.M. advisor and the WCL Administration. Students will receive a letter grade for these independent study credits.
Students may complete a research paper of publishable quality in the field of trial advocacy or litigation or draft a new course proposal with supporting materials, for up to three credits of independent study. The LL.M. optional writing projects must be pre-approved by the student's LL.M. advisor. Students will receive a letter grade for these independent study credits.
As with all independent studies, it is the responsibility of the LL.M. student to secure a faculty advisor to supervise these writing credits before registering for the course. The LL.M. advisor will consult with the faculty advisor on a recommended set of drafting criteria that the LL.M. student must follow. Students must provide the faculty advisor with a statement describing the student's prior training and participation in legal research and writing projects and/or related courses to assist the faculty advisor in tailoring the supervision of the student.