Trial Advocacy at Villanova involves learning both how to think and how to execute like a trial lawyer. The best way to learn these skills is to practice them. Therefore, students in Trial Advocacy perform exercises in class under the guidance of the law school’s outstanding trial advocacy faculty, which includes members of the law school faculty, seasoned trial lawyers, and experienced state and federal trial court judges.
Each class takes place in one of Villanova’s five state-of-the-art courtroom-style classrooms. Students learn how to analyze a case by identifying, evaluating, and using evidence to prove a claim or defense. They also learn how to execute a trial strategy by conducting crisp and compelling witness examinations, handling exhibits with precision and confidence, and delivering clear and persuasive arguments.
Villanova Law offers many opportunities for students to learn trial advocacy. The basic two-credit Trial Advocacy course provides a thorough introduction to all of the important analytical and practical trial advocacy skills. Those students most interested in working in a courtroom are encouraged to take our four-credit Intensive Trial Advocacy course in their second year. Villanova also offers three excellent Advanced Trial Advocacy courses for those who wish to further hone their trial advocacy skills. For a handful of outstanding student trial advocates, there is Trial Advocacy Competition, a course for the members of Villanova’s award-winning National Trial Team. Finally, Villanova offers in-house clinics and externships in which students can put their trial advocacy skills to use for the benefit of real clients.
Director of Experiential Learning
- Michelle Stranen, VLS '08