Litigation Skills Program

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Overview of the Litigation Skills Program

Our highly acclaimed Litigation Skills Program invites students to engage in rigorous, hands-on training providing them with the practical skills necessary for competent professional legal service. Taught by experienced trial lawyers and judges, 60 percent of second and third year law students enroll in this six-credit course. Students who do particularly well are awarded prizes and scholarships.

Other law schools typically teach trial advocacy as an intensive course delivered over a short period of time. In Miami Law's Lit Skills Program, we offer a comprehensive litigation skills course open to all students who wish to participate and it includes pretrial skills and far more hours. Additionally, Miami Law's program is unique in that students who graduate from the course are placed in our six-credit externship program in which they are certified by the Supreme Court of Florida to engage in the supervised practice of law.

Litigation Skills I

Students enrolled in Litigation Skills I learn how to litigate a case from start to finish by developing a full range of both pretrial and trial practice skills all in one course. Students in Litigation Skills I learn the following pre-trial skills: Client interviewing, pleading, deposition and discovery, investigation, arguing motions and negotiation. Students also receive instruction in trial advocacy skills including: jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross examination, objections, exhibits, trial technology and closing argument.

The course culminates in a highly anticipated Final Trial where students bring together the skills they have acquired throughout the semester and conduct a mock trial. Students receive candid critique and feedback from the practitioners who have worked with them throughout the semester.

Externship Opportunities

Our intensive externship program provides students with an opportunity to apply the skills learned the previous semester in a variety of live-client settings. The Litigation Skills Externship requires the prior completion of Litigation Skills I.

The externship is six credits and includes a weekly seminar teaching advanced skills training and professional responsibility. Externs are placed both nationally and internationally. Students who are placed outside of the Miami area enroll in an online weekly seminar.

Litigation Skills II

Litigation Skill II is a 3 credit course in advanced litigation where students learn instruction in jury selection, expert witnesses, multi-party or multi-claim lawsuits. Students have the option to take either Advanced Business Litigation Skills or Advanced Criminal Litigation Skills. All courses are taught by leading trial lawyers and judges.

Requirements: Lit Skills I & Lit Skills II

Litigation Skills I is open to all second and third year law students who have successfully completed Evidence.

Litigation Skills II is open to students who have successfully completed Litigation Skills I.

MEET OUR DIRECTOR

Laurence RoseProfessor Laurence Rose has more than 30 years' experience training lawyers and directs our acclaimed Litigation Skills Program.

DID YOU KNOW?

Students who take lit skills:

  • Write trial briefs
  • Prep for trial
  • Prepare witnesses
  • Gain invaluable courtroom experience

and have had these externship placements:

  • Patent and Trade Office
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • State Attorney's Office
  • IRS
  • Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Legal Aid
  • Department of Justice
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Public Defender's Office

QUOTEWORTHY

Ashton Freeman"So many law students have raw talent. That's how they got into law school. The continuous practicing and feedback you get from the Litigation Skills Program is absolutely necessary to polish raw talent."

Ashton Freeman, J.D. '10 2010 Recipient of the American Board of Trial Advocates Award

Guy Lewis"The Litigation Skills program is a wonderful mix of practical, real life courtroom experience with the trial and error of a laboratory. Students are on their feet on day one, conducting opening statements, direct examinations, cross examinations. Whether you are going to be a courtroom litigator or not, the skills gained in the class routinely produce some of the most talented legal minds the law school has to offer. That's why we routinely hire from the Litigation Skills program."

Guy Lewis, Esq., Lewis Tein PL