This is the webpage for The Center for Advocacy at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law!
This is an exciting time in the centuries-old history of law school education. In 2007, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released its report, Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law. This groundbreaking study called for law schools to “rethink the curriculum to better prepare (law school) graduates for the practice of law.” This study provided the clarion call for law schools to focus more greatly on the development of “professional skills” education for law school students. Our law school wasted no time in creating The Center for Advocacy— which was just one of the major steps that our law school took toward fulfilling the mission recommened for law school education by the Carnegie Foundation.
Our Center for Advocacy is but a toddler, having been birthed in 2008. But since that time we have grown quickly both on the national stage and within our own walls and have experienced wonderful results. The Center for Advocacy is devoutly dedicated to the development of professional skills in our law school student body, in order to empower them to obtain or create employment for themselves in this, the profession that takes “the Oath.”
The Center for Advocacy oversees and supports the development of activities and events in both the mock trial and moot court arenas. One of the primary methods by which the Center for Advocacy fulfills its mission is via “professional education through simulation”. Through its “applied critical thinking” methodology, The Center for Advocacy creates the environment for law school students to apply the fundamentals of critical thinking to which law school students are introduced in their first year.
Thus far, some of our Center highlights include:
- Establishment of the “Day 1″ series of lab-simulation courses: Civil, Criminal, and Family Law
- 18 sections of Trial Practice, 8 sections of Trial Practice II, 12 sections of Trial Practice III, in addition to expanded course offerings that include Voir Dire, Depositions, Litigation Technology, and many more, all of which are taught by an Adjunct Faculty Corps that is comprised of some of the most experienced and educationally-minded practitioners and jurists in the region.
- Creation of a unified, and fully-credited, 18-Member National Trial Team with accolades that include: 3 consecutive Regional Championships and 3 consecutive trips to The National Trial Championships in Texas; Championship Finalist and Professionalism Award Winner at the National Trial Advocacy Competition; Regional Finalist in the ABA Employment Law Mock Trial Competition…just to name a few.
- Establishment of The Mentors Practicum, a unique and fully-accredited two-semester course that witnesses law school students committing to mentoring local Denver-area at-risk high school students in the areas of critical thinking, professional writing, oral advocacy, and teambuilding. The Mentors Practicum has created incredible results.
- Creation of 3 fully-credited courses (International Arbitration, International Procedure & Practice, Advanced Appellate Practice) all of which support our national moot court teams.
These are just a few of the new developments that we have underway here in the Center, and we have many more on the way. I encourage you to fully explore this webpage and all of the opportunities that our Center for Advocacy has to offer.
David Schott, Director