Advocacy Opportunities for Second- and Third-Year Students
Almost everything in the Advocacy Program is open to second- and third-year law students. Whether a student is interested in focusing on advocacy through courses and extracurricular activities, or is simply looking to get his or her feet wet, the Advocacy Program offers something for everyone.
From traditional theory and courtroom skills to Aristotle and neuroscience, the Advocacy Program courses cover a wide range of current issues and trends in the legal industry. No matter the enrollment, all courses provide some small group work with instructors. In these settings, students are afforded unusual opportunities such as voir dire practiced before a jury panel made of community volunteers, opening and closing statements performed before focus groups, real depositions taken and transcribed by court reporting students, and motions argued at the courthouse before a state or federal court judge.
Interscholastic Mock Trial Program
The Advocacy Program sponsors several interscholastic mock trial teams. Each year, law schools from across the nation compete against each other in interscholastic mock trial competitions covering a vast array of issues. The University of Texas School of Law has a long-standing reputation for excellence in interscholastic competitions, having won 12 mock trial and moot court national championships in the last 10 years alone. Teams for interscholastic mock trial competitions are selected during the fall semester through the annual Fall Litigation Institute and the Intensive Litigation Advocacy course. Students interested in participating on an interscholastic mock trial team must meet certain advocacy course and other eligibility requirements.
Fall Litigation Institute
The Fall Litigation Institute is a hands-on, crash course in advocacy skills. Students of all experience levels are encouraged to attend as this program offers an excellent opportunity to learn new skills or hone existing ones. Students work directly with Texas Law’s interscholastic mock trial coaches and instructors to focus on skills necessary to communicate effectively as a lawyer (whether persuading a decision maker, negotiating a contract, or communicating with clients) as well as successfully compete in a mock trial competition. Even students not interested in competing, but currently enrolled in advocacy courses, find this program a useful complement to their coursework. Attendance is required for students interested in competing in interscholastic mock trial.
Board of Advocates
The Board of Advocates is a student organization devoted to promoting the development of both oral and written advocacy skills. The BOA organizes all intramural advocacy competitions, including mock trial, moot court, voir dire, mediation, negotiation and client counseling. The BOA also provides periodic seminars and workshops covering a variety of topics such as trial strategy, courtroom performance, and the basics of brief writing. At the end of the spring semester, the BOA hosts a prestigious awards banquet to honor the students who have excelled in advocacy during the year and to thank the many attorneys and judges who have participated in the organization.