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New Boot Camp Introduces First-Year Law Students to the Courtroom World

On January 2 and 3, thirty first-year Hofstra Law students had the opportunity to immerse themselves in trial techniques through the Law School’s new 1L Advocacy Boot Camp. This unique opportunity allowed students to get a sense of the Law School’s advocacy programs and to meet and work with lawyers in the field.

The program was developed by Professor Barbara Barron, Director of the Trial Techniques Program. “A lawyer is an advocate, and an advocate must be able to quickly absorb factual and legal issues and then transform them into integrated, cogent presentations, whether it be through witness examinations and oral arguments,” said Professor Barron. “What a benefit to those law students who can begin developing those skills during their first year of law school.”

Working with practicing attorneys, the students learned the theory behind and execution of witness examination, and conducted direct and cross examinations in a variety of trial settings.

“Anyone who is remotely interested in litigation should take this course. It is a great way to meet practicing attorneys on a personal level,” said law student Thomas Crowley. “The attorneys were super supportive and knowledgeable, giving us all constructive feedback in real time. We each had multiple opportunities to get up on our feet and apply the techniques we learned.”

“I want to litigate, and I saw this Boot Camp as an opportunity to work on deficiencies that have been found in my advocacy skillset,” said law student Zachariah Parker. “I learned two important things. First, I learned how to blend together my theory of the case and my examination questions. Secondly, I learned what questions should be asked and which question is just a step too far.”

The two-day, not-for-credit Boot Camp was offered to students at no cost and was fully enrolled. Hofstra Law also offers The E. David Woycik, Jr. Intensive Trial Techniques Program, a six-day intensive program for second- and third-year law students.