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Trial Academy

45th Annual Trial Academy
Save the Date
July 29 - August 4, 2017
Stanford Law School
Palo Alto, California USA

The IADC Trial Academy is one of the oldest and most respected programs for developing defense trial advocacy skills. This seven-day intensive program blends faculty instruction and demonstration with individual student participation. 

The faculty consists of leading defense trial lawyers selected on a national basis from different regions of the country. Each faculty member is assigned to a group of five to seven students which allows for individualized attention and instruction.

S1000167-LThe faculty utilizes proven methods of instruction for a full learning experience. Faculty demonstrations expose participants to different approaches and ideas in solving common trial problems and add dimension to the program. For the student exercises, this Academy makes extensive use of videotape as a teaching tool. Each student conducts opening statements, direct and cross examination of lay witnesses, direct and cross examination of medical doctors and economists, and closing statements. These exercises are videotaped and the faculty member critiques them with the student.

The Academy emphasizes technology in the courtroom. The state-of-the-art facilities at Stanford Law School will provide the perfect environment for discussing effective use of technology in trial strategy.

History and Purpose

The IADC Trial Academy was initiated by the International Association of Defense Counsel in 1973 at the University of Colorado in Boulder. After 31 years at that location, the Trial Academy moved to the prestigious Stanford Law School in Stanford, California in 2004.

The purpose of this continuing legal education program is to enhance advocacy trial skills of less experienced lawyers. Major emphasis is placed on the learning-by-doing method of instruction.S1000241_2

The Academy provides intensive, comprehensive and participatory education to young defense trial lawyers. Its faculty members are experienced, well-recognized trial lawyers with extensive trial experience. They are drawn from different geographic areas and diverse practices, styles and personalities. Faculties and directors rotate on an annual basis.

If you are an IADC member interested in participating in the Trial Academy as a member of its faculty, please fill out the Faculty Interest Form and send it to Amy O'Maley, Director of Professional Development, at

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