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Thursday, October 4, 2012

21st Century Advocacy Teaching that Works - EATS 2013

Dear Friends:

I've been thinking about recent posts that I have seen from other law schools, CLE organizations, and private groups about teaching advocacy and it makes me grateful for the wonderful work that all of us are doing in such a collaborative, open fashion.  It is a challenging and troubling time for legal education, both within the academy and the practice.  I personally think that it requires new solutions that leverage the best of what we did before while truly developing new ways of teaching.  If we don't get it right a precious skill will be lost.  That skill has been crafted for generations and it is a core component of the fulfillment that comes from being an advocate - that is why I am so happy.  

You see, we, as a collective group, have been quietly and efficiently doing what others have been wringing their hands over - getting on with the business of finding the way to teach effectively in the world as it is - not as it was or as we would like it to be.  You have made that happen, and I am grateful.  Some of the coolest things that I have seen have taken place at our Conference, Educating Advocates: Teaching Advocacy Skills (when I say ours I mean it.  While Stetson hosts it, the people who come and teach are the heart and soul of what we are doing.)  That is a community effort.  I am so thankful to be part of this group of teachers that care and work for and with one another.

Anyway, I'm blogging to share with you the plan for EATS this May.  Here it is!

For three days next May, from the 22nd through the 24th, Stetson University College of Law will conduct its annual conference, Educating Advocates: Teaching Advocacy Skills.  The theme for this year's conference is "Advocate Teacher And Scholar - Oh My!" The conference is building on the phenomenal success of our small group experiential learning sessions last year.  If you're interested in those small group session you can see them using Stetson's online advocacy resource Center. They are also available on the YouTube channel TRIAL ADVOCACY.  I’ve included one of them in this blog post for your viewing pleasure.  Here it is!

We will continue our commitment to open source development of advocacy teaching this year.  All attendees will have unique opportunities to learn the What, How, and Why of Advocacy Critiquing and Coaching. This conference began years ago with a commitment to increasing the ability of everyone to provide substantive coaching for our advocacy students, and focusing on this particular set of advocacy critique and coaching approaches is a core component of what we do in every session.

This year we will use large and small group sessions to focus on the multiple roles advocacy professors fill in today's legal education environment. We will do it the way we teach it, combining discussions about the substantive thought and doctrine behind what we do with experiential opportunities to actually do it.

Attendees will break down into small group sessions run by group leaders. In those sessions they will identify an advocacy skill, create an experiential learning opportunity that can be shared, and then present that learning opportunity using Stetson's cutting edge technology. At the end of the conference every attendee will have an entire digital library of teaching techniques and skills they can take back to the folks who teach with them.

While we will focus on advocacy teaching skills, we will also have sessions on scholarship, course development, and interacting with other members of academia.  The group that has been working on the proposed mock trial rules of professionalism will give their yearly update on the current state of professionalism within the simulated mock competition world. 

We are also doing something new this year, and are inviting professionalism professors who are looking for ways to improve the quality and the nature of teaching ethics and professionalism. They'll have their own section, with a series of presentations and exercises designed to increase the interest in viability of the subject they teach.  I know that several of you also teach professionalism so you may find that interesting too.

New attendees will be welcomed into the collaborative world this conference represents, and learn from many of the most prestigious professors present in advocacy instruction today. The collaborative dynamics of this particular group creates an experience that is unique and legal education and not to be missed. 

If you've ever wanted to attend the conference that takes the best of what you might've learned or experienced in a continual legal education skills course, and combines it with substantive thought about how to teach these subjects in a law school environment then this is the conference for you.

If you are interested in presenting this year drop me an email and we’ll talk about particulars.

All the best,


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