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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Stetson announces new Advocacy LLM

Dear Friends:

In the fall of 2013 Stetson University College of Law will offer an Advocacy L.L.M. that is student centered, results oriented, and grounded in Stetson’s National Reputation for Excellence in advocacy, legal writing, and practical skills education.

Developed as a part time program allowing practicing attorneys to continue their careers while enrolled, Stetson’s latest L.L.M. combines the best of traditional and cutting edge legal education through the use of synchronous and asynchronous platforms. 

Designed with the practicing legal professional in mind, this L.L.M. is taught over two years as a part-time program. Students take up to 6 hours per semester, completing the majority of their courses using various distance-learning platforms. Everyone enrolled in the L.L.M. visits Stetson the first summer for a weeklong program designed to identify his or her current skill level. In either the first or second year of their LLM studies, students return to Stetson, attending the Educating Advocates: Teaching Advocacy Skills  (EATS) conference. Finally, prior to graduation, students advocate in a real-world practicum setting where they demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have learned.

This degree requires students to produce either a piece of traditional legal scholarship or an advocacy project designed to instruct others using 21st-century technology.   Students enrolling in Stetson's advanced advocacy program have an opportunity to focus their studies on advanced courses dealing primarily with criminal practice, civil practice, and the development of the skills necessary to teach advocacy to lawyers and law students in the 21st century.

This program is taught asynchronously.  The use of asynchronous platforms allows students to do their coursework when their schedule permits while maximizing individual interaction with instructors.   The LLM is designed to develop new competencies, improve existing competencies, and connect competencies across skill sets.

Our goal is to take the best of traditional skills education, combine it with cutting edge technological resources, and then sifted through the years of experience in our local faculty and friends worldwide. We are extremely excited about this program, and hope that you will consider recommending it to your own students, potentially participating as a guest instructor, or enrolling yourself.

Each course contains clearly defined outcomes and competencies. Students learn the substantive law empowering them to be more persuasive, but they learn by applying the skills necessary to use it. This LLM is predicated on the idea that in order to teach advocacy you must practice advocacy. When students complete this course of study, they will be able to not only advocate more persuasively, but to share that knowledge with others. The courses are designed to combine substantive law and definitive skills development.  Assessment is based on knowledge of the substantive doctrine as displayed in the performance of real world scenarios requiring such knowledge - whether that be negotiation, trial, appellate, or classroom.

Here are the current courses that have been approved:


Advanced Advocacy I (6 Credit Hours) 1 Class
Advanced Advocacy II (6 Credit hours) 1 class divided into three subsections – Conducting Effective Discovery, Advanced Evidence, & Motions Practice
L.L.M. Writing Requirement (1 Credit Hour)

Elective Curriculum
Law Practice Management Advocacy (3 Credit Hours)
Mastering Voir Dire (2 Credit Hours)
Technology-Enhanced Advocacy (2 Credit Hours)
Expert Witnesses (2 Credit Hours)
Complex Counseling and Negotiation (2 Credit Hours)
Forensic Evidence (3 Credit Hours)
Damages (2 Credit Hours)
Sentencing (2 Credit Hours)
Teaching Advocacy (3 Credit Hours)

If you would like to propose additional courses that you would enjoy teaching, or that you would like to see if you were taking this LLM please let me know.  We would be happy to consider such input.

The LLM will also offer Non Curriculum Based Experiential Learning Opportunities for LLM Students that focus on mentoring.  Those opportunities include:
  • The LLM Kickoff Program in August of their first year - on campus. 
  • Participate in ongoing online colloquia introducing L.L.M. Students to the depth and breath of advocacy as a craft, art, and science.  Throughout the two years of their instruction L.L.M. Students will have an opportunity to share thoughts and learn from some of the greatest advocacy minds of the last century. 
  • Joining the Fellowship of Advocacy Professors who collaboratively attend and share at “Educating Advocates: Teaching Advocacy Skills.” 

We are very excited about this latest step in Stetson’s continuing commitment to the value and place that experiential skills based legal education has in the 21st century.  I hope that each of you will consider joining in with us as we create opportunities for the next generation of advocates who are quickly filling our shoes in both the courtroom and the classroom.

All the best,