Litigation Skills Summer Institute

The Litigation Skills Summer Institute is designed for both practitioners and qualified law students interested in mastering litigation skills. The program features rigorous training in pre-trial and trial skills and is tailored for associates wanting to sharpen their courtroom technique and students wanting an extra advantage in this competitive job market. The flexible two week intensive program consists of four courses including a newly reformatted Litigating in a High Tech Courtroom. Courses will be offered at nights and on weekends. Participants may take one, two or all courses. Academic credit is available for law students and CLE credits for practitioners. Online applications will be accepted starting January 15th.


Fact Witness Depositions (FWD): This intensive course includes short lectures and demonstrations by faculty on how to prepare for, take, and defend fact witness depositions followed by in-class depositions and webcast review. Participants practice taking and defending depositions and receive immediate critique and feedback from the instructors.

Expert Witness Depositions (EWD): Participants learn how to depose expert witnesses who often prove to be the most difficult witnesses to depose. A significant amount of time is spent on preparation of expert witnesses, questioning techniques and deposition strategy. Participants have multiple opportunities to refine taking and defending depositions through practice and instructor critiques.

Civil Trial Advocacy (CIVTA): Participants learn how to prepare and conduct direct and cross-examinations, deliver effective opening statements and closing arguments, make timely objections, and lay the proper foundation to admit evidence during the course of a trial. The course concludes with a full mock trial before a sitting judge and citizen jurors.

Litigating in a High Tech Courtroom (LHTC): In this course, students explore through lecture, demonstration, and discussion the accumulation, organization and presentation of evidence in the digital world. This includes an examination of evidentiary and procedural rules as they relate to e-discovery, visual advocacy, computer technology and digital graphics. Students also prepare and present visual evidence using the evidence camera and PowerPoint graphics in various trial segments (opening, closing, etc.) based on case files by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.

A Litigation Skills Institute participant has the option of taking one, two, or all courses. Courses are primarily held in the evenings and weekends to accommodate busy practitioners and students.

Participant experiences:

“I think being able to show and highlight the important portions of evidence that we’re using will be really valuable,” said Kristin Guilano, a workshop participant and rising 3L at AUWCL. “I learn by doing, so this has been great.”

Raenetta Ellison, a part-time J.D. student, says it was mind-blowing to learn how juries think. “It’s about marketing your case right by integrating technology into each stage,” Ellison says.

“I can do things that other people don’t know exist in this software,” says Clapp. “I know how to immerse someone in the multi-media experience, and tell a story without throwing a bunch of bullet points and words up on a screen.”

Course Highlights

  • Small faculty to student ratio
  • Learning-by-doing format
  • Individualized critique
  • Video review of performances
  • Mastery of proper techniques
  • Use of exhibits in trial and depositions

Faculty Experts