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Coaching a Mock Trial Team for that Hard-To-Get Trial Experience?

Has anyone ever tried this?

A retired judge suggested it to me. I was telling him that I had four trials this year -- a lot for me (a solo practice)! At each trial, I felt that I did well enough, but would have performed better if I had more practice. Yet, I doubt I could afford to do more than 4 trials a year -- at least until I can hire an associate. The judge suggested I try coaching a local mock trial team at the college or high school level. I'm not sure whether this is a good idea or not.



  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin

    Sounds like a good suggestion to me. I learned more about legal writing and oral argument by teaching appellate advocacy than I could have learned in the same amount of time by litigating (not least because I wouldn't have been able to spend as much time in court as I spent teaching the same skills).

  • robert_monahanrobert_monahan Gurnee, IL

    Thanks for the comment, Sam! Where did you teach appellate advocacy? That sounds really cool, and a great way to hone skills too! As for me, I am not sure whether the high school level or the college level would be better -- there are both kinds of teams at schools nearby. And it also depends upon the "fit" between me and the program, as well as my schedule. I will plan on investigating it a little more and see what I can do!

  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin

    I taught at the University of Minnesota Law School, which requires every 2L to sign onto a law journal or moot court. So it was a one-year course teaching brief writing and oral advocacy (mostly the former during the fall, and mostly the latter during the spring).

    One nice thing was that I was a paid "adjunct professor of law," which is a cool line to put on your LinkedIn profile. Although the pay was pretty poor ($1,500/semester, I think) given the amount of work involved (anywhere from 1–4 hours/week).

    But I really enjoyed it and did it for 5 years. I wound up hiring one of my student teachers to work for me, and then he bought my firm. I've hired one of my students to do legal work for Lawyerist. So I guess there's a networking benefit of sorts in getting to know some of the lawyers who will be joining the local practice soon.

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