Trial Ad FAQ

Q: What is the difference between Pretrial Advocacy and Trial Advocacy? 

A:  Pretrial Advocacy teaches students the litigation process that plays out prior to trial, including initial client meetings, pleadings, witness interviews, written discovery, taking and defending depositions, discovery disputes and summary judgment.  Trial Advocacy focuses on the trial itself including jury selection, direct and cross examination, use of experts, foundations and exhibits, common evidentiary objections, opening statements and closing arguments.

Q: Is Pretrial Advocacy a prerequisite for Trial Advocacy? 

A: No.  Each course is designed as a stand-alone course.

Q: Can I take both Pretrial Advocacy and Trial Advocacy at the same time? 

A: Yes.  Most students choosing to take both courses will usually take Pretrial first and add Trial Advocacy in a subsequent semester.

Q: What is the difference between the Criminal Pretrial/ Trial Advocacy classes and the regular Pretrial/ Trial Advocacy classes?  Can I take one course in the criminal sequence and one in the regular sequence?  Can I take both the regular and Criminal versions of Pretrial/ Trial Advocacy? 

A:  The criminal versions of the courses cover the same basic litigation process as the civil versions but add some criminal-specific topics such as the grand jury process and sentencing.  A student may not take both civil and criminal versions of the same course without prior approval.  For instance, a student may take the civil OR criminal version of Pretrial Advocacy but not both.  The same goes for Trial Advocacy.  Exceptions may be granted in limited circumstances.

Q: Should I take Evidence before taking Pretrial/ Trial Advocacy? 

A:  There is neither a requirement nor an expectation that students take evidence prior to either advocacy course.  In Trial Advocacy, students will learn and practice common evidentiary objections and responses thereto that arise in the trial process.

Q: What if I am interested in trying out for the Trial Advocacy Team?  Should I still register for Pretrial Advocacy or Trial Advocacy? 

A: Yes.  Students intending to try out for the competition team are encouraged to sign up for either Pretrial or Trial Advocacy.  Some students have found it useful to take Pretrial while serving on a competition team.  Students making the competition team have the option of dropping Pretrial.  Students making the competition team cannot take Trial Advocacy at the same time and must drop that course.