Photograph: Students participating in final trials at Shawnee County Courthouse at the end of the week-long intensive trial advocacy program.

Intensive Trial Advocacy Program

Program Offers Unique Opportunity in Trial Skills Training

The Center for Excellence in Advocacy offers a two-credit week-long course for training law students to be trial lawyers – ITAP – the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program. This innovative course immerses students in trial practice for seven full days, under the direction of a 25-person faculty. In one intense week, students learn to try a civil or criminal case, an opportunity available at few law schools across the country. Lawyers and judges work with students each day in small group workshops focused on student performance of trial skills. The instruction, practice, critique, and lecture culminate on the final trial day, as students conduct a jury trial to verdict in a simulated civil or criminal case they have prepared during the week.

Photograph: Spring 2018 Washburn Law intensive trial advocacy students.
Spring 2018 ITAP students.

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Photograph: Justin Crawford.

"One aspect that makes ITAP so special is the course's practicality. Professors give you immediate feedback during the week, which helps you to put theory into practice. This approach quickly allows students to learn the skills necessary to perform in the courtroom and propels them ahead of other graduates who have not had the same experience. One judge put it this way, 'You can immediately see the difference in the courtroom between students that have had ITAP and those who haven't. Many practitioners think recent grads who have completed ITAP have been practicing for several years.' Several attorneys I have spoken with are impressed that a law school offers such a program and say they wish it had been available when they were in school. Many also mentioned that ITAP is similar to expensive trial camps that they attended as they began their practice. Whether you plan on being in the courtroom or not, I can’t imagine graduating without taking advantage of ITAP."
Justin Crawford, '18