American Inns of Court/ABOTA Trial Academy

What is the Trial Academy?

AIC ABOTA Trial Academy LogoThe American Inns of Court  and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Foundation are proud to announce their joint sponsorship of the American Inns of Court/ABOTA Trial Academy. The purpose of the Trial Academy is to equip collaborating American Inns of Court and local ABOTA chapters to produce “learning by doing” educational experiences to teach beginning lawyers basic trial skills. The detailed, step by step instructions for production of a Trial Academy are set out in the comprehensive program materials now available to all American Inns of Court and local ABOTA chapters.

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How does it work?

Why should we do this?

How do we get started?

How do we obtain the materials?

Who do we contact for more information?

 


 

How does it work?

A typical Trial Academy involves groups of either 16 or 24 participants, and a faculty of 16 to 24 experienced trial lawyers.

Participants are generally pupil or associate level members of a local American Inn of Court and the faculty come from local ABOTA chapters and senior members of the partnering Inn.

The academy is conducted in two successive weekend sessions.

  • The first weekend is devoted to learning specific practice skills.
  • The second weekend, students are assigned to trial teams and try a mock case before a judge and jury. After the conclusion of the trial, faculty members and mock jurors meet with the trial teams to offer a constructive critique of each team’s performance.

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Why should we do this?

There are three major advantages to the Trial Academy program.

  1. This is a "program in a box". You are provided a comprehensive set of materials all of which have been road tested and approved by the American Inns of Court and ABOTA.
  2. Trial Academy is short in duration. The program is designed to last for three days spread over two successive weekends. This allows people to participate without missing days of work.
  3. Trial Academy is both local and economical. Because the program is organized and run by local chapters and Inns, and the participants come from the local Inns, there are no associated travel or hotel costs.

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How do we get started?

Find a partner.
The American Inns of Court and ABOTA encourage their chapters to partner with each other to provide this unique trial skills program for beginning lawyers; arrangements should be made at the local level.

To find an ABOTA chapter near you, please click here. Feel free to reach out to the listed ABOTA contact directly to begin discussions.

To find an American Inn of Court near you, please reach out to the Chapter Relations Director for your state.

Download the materials.
We have created all the materials you need to conduct this program, including a factual trial problem, skill exercises, and a step-by-step guide to planning, marketing, production, and execution.

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How do we obtain the materials?

The materials are ready for you to access and download.

Informational Flyer
This document gives a brief two-page (front and back) overview of the program; this is helpful when discussing with other members of your chapter or Inn whether or not to conduct a Trial Academy.

Part I: Overview and Logistics
Begin with this overview where you will find information to guide the planning of your program from soup to nuts, including: planning committee emails, sample marketing materials, budget worksheets, and all logistical matters. The information is meant to make it as easy as possible to recreate the program while still allowing your team to put its own stamp on the program.

Part II: Case File/Fact Pattern
This fact pattern, which involves a pedestrian-vehicle collision, was created specifically for use in the American Inns of Court/ABOTA Trial Academy, by Professors William S. Bailey of the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington and Frederick C. Moss of the Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas.

Part III: Faculty Orientation and Training Materials
While the faculty will be experts in the law and trial advocacy, they may still need some training on how to successfully deliver this particular kind of educational experience. In order to ensure success, it is important that everyone is working from the same script. These training materials cover the who/how/what/why on serving as a faculty member for a Trial Academy program. Faculty should read the Civility Matters article in advance of the training. A PowerPoint is provided below for presenting the training.

Part III: PowerPoint Presentation
This PowerPoint goes along with the above Faculty Orientation and Training Materials. It includes a timing schedule and talking points/presentation outline located in the “notes” view of each slide.

Part IV: Certificate of Completion
The certificate for participants facilitates being able to obtain CLE credit. Distributing certificates at the end of the Trial Academy training is also a nice way to wrap up the experience, for participants and faculty alike.

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Who do we contact for more information?

Additional questions can be answered by contacting one of the partnering organizations:

 

American Inns of Court
Libby Bingham, CAE
Director of Education and Mentoring Programs
Contact Libby
(571) 319-4712
 

 

American Board of Trial Advocates
Alexa Bynum-Soto
Legal Resources Manager
Contact Alexa
(214) 239-0218