Intensive Trial Advocacy

Intensive Trial Advocacy

Intensive Trial Advocacy is designed to provide intensive instruction in basic trial advocacy skills to those students most interested in trial advocacy.  The course is based on the philosophy that the best way to learn trial advocacy skills is to perform them and receive feedback.  In the first half of the course, each student has an opportunity to practice each component of the trial in class, so that each student develops the basic advocacy skills necessary to perform each component of the trial effectively.

Skills covered in the first semester include:

  • Direct examination
  • Cross-examination
  • Exhibits
  • Refreshing the recollection of a witness
  • Impeaching a witness
  • Making and responding to objections
  • Opening statements
  • Closing arguments.

The second half of the course ties together the skills learned in the first half.  Rather than focusing on the discrete trial advocacy skills covered in the first semester, the second semester involves exercises that require students to think more about overall trial strategy, to plan each component of the trial consistent with that strategy, and to think tactically about how evidentiary issues impact the overall trial strategy.

The final grade will be based primarily on the student's performance at a final trial at the conclusion of the Spring semester.  The instructor may, however, take into account class attendance, preparation, and performance throughout the course.

Important Information

  • CO-REQUISITE: Students must be enrolled in Evidence (7024) in the Fall semester.
  • Course is available exclusively to 2Ls.
  • Course is a single four-credit course that spans the Fall and Spring semesters.

Contact Us

Matt McGovern
Director of Experiential Learning
Villanova University School of Law

"My intensive trial experience on the Villanova Trial Team prepared me well to be an Assistant District Attorney."

- Michelle Stranen, VLS '08