Testimonials from Past Attendees of the National Advocacy Training Program
"The NATP provides a solid foundation of trial advocacy skills. The Hampel Training Method is relatively unused here in the U.S., and it is always beneficial to experience a new technique. Whether you're an attorney with little to no trial experience (irrespective of number of years of actual practice), one who hasn't had a trial in some time, one seeking to broaden your advocacy skills (even if you practice in transactional contexts), or an attorney who is seeking insight into styles of advocacy, this program offers valuable education and personal insights.
At the time I participated in the NATP, I had been practicing for 20 years and already had some significant trial experiences; however, my most recent trial was nearly four years prior to the NATP training. In addition, my practice began to shift to work as an arbitrator and mediator, and I felt that honing my advocacy skills could help me better understand those who appear before me. I continue to use aspects of my training in my practice today."
—Theodore K. Cheng, Esquire
Justice Marie L. Garibaldi American Inn of Court for ADR, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
"I was a bit reluctant to participate in this program; I felt apprehensive about receiving criticism and appearing underqualified compared to other participants. In spite of this initial trepidation, I found the program amounts to one of the most valuable experiences of my career so far. Not only did we learn from the instructors’ feedback, but we observed each other and worked with one another to improve.
The value in this program has already paid off in many ways, both large and small. As a new associate, I do not have many chances to advocate in the courtroom; but after completing the NATP, I represented a client in a civil trial. I was still nervous, but I was prepared. I utilized the multitude of notes regarding trial advocacy, including opening statements and cross-examinations from our various NATP exercises. More importantly, I carried the confidence that I had built over the course of those two challenging days—a confidence that can only be gained from trial and error."
—Scarlet Smith, Esquire
David K Watkiss Sutherland II American Inn of Court, Salt Lake City, Utah and 2017 Pegasus Scholar
"I felt that the AIC National Advocacy Training Program was one of the most beneficial and most interactive trial training programs I have ever attended. The constructive feedback each participant received individually was extremely helpful to developing advocacy skills, and listening to the feedback others received was just as helpful. I felt that I grew a lot in just the 2.5 days at NATP, and developed several skills, particularly witness handling. In addition, the great connections I made with the other participants were an added bonus. Finally, the trainers were superb!! I encourage others to take advantage of this opportunity."
— Julie Nugent, Esquire
Vincent S. Haneman American Inn of Court, Linwood, New Jersey
"My participation in the National Advocacy Training Program was truly a great educational—and fun—experience. My colleagues and I not only unanimously enjoyed our experience but also learned a great deal of advocacy skills from our participation in the program. It was very hands-on and interactive; the feedback and coaching given to participants was personalized to each advocate's portrayed strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, I was thoroughly impressed with the caliber of the English teaching and organization of the course. Based on my personal experience, I would highly recommend that my Inn—and others around the country—continue encouraging participation in the years to come."
—Javier Jalice, Esquire
Thomas More Loyola Law School American Inn of Court, New Orleans, Louisiana
"When Judge Barbara Pearson mentioned to me an opportunity to attend a trial advocacy program taught by British barristers, I was eager to apply. At the same time, I was hesitant to be away from my job for at least 3 days. Walking into the magnificent federal district courthouse in Chicago, however, confirmed my belief that I made the right decision. The training program exceeded my expectations. The high caliber of the trainers caused all of the participants to work hard and deliver our best performance possible. The feedback we received allowed us not only to deliver a better performance for the visiting barristers, but it allowed each of us to return to our jobs with more polish, more confidence, and a better understanding of what makes us effective in the courtroom."
—John J. Burke, Esquire
Boston American Inn of Court, Boston, Massachusetts, and 2019 Pegasus Scholar
"The NATP is a great opportunity to strengthen established trial skills and to develop new ones at the same time. The targeted feedback that I received was directly tailored to my presentation style. It clearly identified my strengths and gave me specific directions to build upon my weaknesses. What makes this training so valuable is the ability to immediately practice my new skills in a controlled environment—as a bonus, I then received additional feedback that allowed me to hone my skills even further. The trainers were seasoned English litigators who brought a refined and professional approach to litigation. A seasoned attorney will learn numerous tips and techniques from this training that will enhance the trial skills they already possess, and a new attorney will find this is a valuable, individualized experience that provides an essential foundation in trial advocacy. It should not be missed."
—Kimberly Nye, Esquire
Sandra Day O'Connor American Inn of Court, Phoenix, Arizona and 2017 Tim Coleman Scholar
"The Hampel method of teaching, with headline feedback and instructor reply was helpful and much more effective than oral advocacy courses I have attended in the past. It provides focused advice that can be implemented in your practice going forward, as opposed to scattershot suggestions that are hard to later implement."
—Christopher Ricciuti, Esquire
Pauline Newman IP American Inn of Court (alumnus), Alexandria, Virginia
"The National Advocacy Training Program was a truly invaluable experience. The skills learned in the program have really helped refine my litigation style. With the Hampel method, the trainers focus on one critique or “note” at a time rather than overwhelming the participant with several different comments at each presentation. Being able to focus on just one note at a time allowed me to add to my foundation as each stage of the program went on. By the end, there was a stark difference in my argument style from the first exercise to the last. Before I appear in Court, I often refer to my notes from this program so that I may be the best and most persuasive advocate for my clients. I encourage anyone who plans or hopes to appear in court to take advantage of this training program. The trainers were wonderful and their feedback invaluable."
—Kathleen Carr Jacobs, Esquire
Eldon B. Mahon American Inn of Court, Ft. Worth, Texas
"I highly recommend the NATP Program. It is an opportunity to hone one's oral advocacy skills with world-class advocates who respect your style – the trainers do not try to change your techniques to fit what they perceive to be "best practices" but, instead, shape your own personal method of presentation to become more effective. Because you perform in front of the rest of your cohort, there is an opportunity to learn from other participants from around the United States with their different advocacy styles and backgrounds in different practice areas. The NATP offers a no-judgment zone where you can just think about making yourself a better lawyer without the worry of any missteps getting back to your colleagues. And let's be honest, constructive criticism sounds much better when it comes wrapped in a lovely British accent."
—Melanie Foreman, Esquire
Temple American Inn of Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania