Litigation Skills Program

Litigation SkillsRegistration Deadline is October 26 - REGISTER


Miami Law’s highly acclaimed Litigation Skills Program invites students to engage in rigorous, hands-on training providing them with the practical skills necessary for competent professional legal service. Taught by a faculty of experienced trial lawyers and judges, 60 percent of second and third year law students enroll in this six-credit course. Students who do particularly well are given awards and scholarships.

How Is this Program Unique?

Unmatched Training -- Other law schools typically teach trial advocacy as an intensive course delivered over a short period of time, but Miami Law's Lit Skills Program offers a comprehensive litigation skills course open to all students who wish to participate and it includes pretrial skills and far more hours. Students who take lit skills learn to: write trial briefs, prep for trial, prepare witnesses and gain invaluable courtroom experience.

Integration of Trial, Pre-trial, and Clinical Experiences  -- Bundled into one program, this enables students to develop the full range of skills necessary for effective trial advocacy.

Experienced and Dedicated Faculty -- A full-time faculty member directs the program, and a superb adjunct faculty of more than 50 highly experienced trial attorneys and judges, from both state and federal courts, assist with the lectures, demonstrations, trial and pre-trial courses.

Lit Skills Course Descriptions and Course Registration

Lit Skills I

This course is recommended for ALL law students, even those who do not want to enter a litigation field. Transaction lawyers still need to know what will happen if the transaction blows up and heads to court.
Students learn:
Critical Legal Analysis and Persuasion Techniques - these assist in Public Speaking, Advocacy in Court and other Tribunals, and Networking with Judges and Attorneys
Learning by Doing Approach in Active Litigation - this gives the opportunity to participate as a lawyer in a trial in  a real courthouse before a real judge and the opportunity to work in law offices tasked with real attorney work
Intensive Learning by Doing Pretrial Litigation - develop skills in Client and Witness Interviewing, Deposition Practice, Motion practice (Civil or Criminal), Motion Hearings, and Plea/Settlement Negotiation

 Litigation Skills I More Information

The Litigation Skills I course is comprised of weekly lectures supplemented by pretrial and trial workshops that each meet once a week. Students enrolled learn how to litigate a case from start to finish by developing a full range of both pretrial and trial practice skills such as: Client interviewing, pleading, deposition and discovery, investigation, arguing motions and negotiation. Students also receive instruction in trial advocacy skills including: jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross examination, objections, exhibits, trial technology and closing argument.

The course culminates in a highly anticipated Final Trial where students bring together the skills they have acquired throughout the semester and conduct a mock trial. Students receive candid critique and feedback from the practitioners who have worked with them throughout the semester.

Litigation Skills I is open to all second and third year law students who have successfully completed Evidence.Final grades are determined based on student participation and performance in classroom simulations, as well as performance in a mid-semester bench trial and  the final trial. 

Litigation Skills I Syllabus

Lit Skills II

This course enrolls about 45 students each year, and provides learning by doing instruction in advanced litigation matters such as:

  • Jury Selection
  • Expert Witnesses
  • Negotiation
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Personal Injury
  • White Collar Crime
  • Murder
  • Conspiracy

 Litigation Skills II More Information

Litigation Skills II is a 3-credit course in which students learn advanced litigation training in commercial or criminal law. Students have the option to take either Advanced Business Litigation Skills or Advanced Criminal Litigation Skills. All courses are taught by leading trial lawyers and judges.  Litigation Skills II is open to students who have successfully completed Litigation Skills I.

    Advanced Criminal Litigation Skills II Syllabus

    Advanced Business Litigation Skills II Syllabus

    Registration

    The Litigation Skills department has a separate registration process which is done internally and completed earlier than regular law course registration. Students interested in taking Litigation Skills should visit the Lit Skills Course Registration in Courses & Registration area of the web.  

    Litigation Skills Externship Program

    Additionally, Miami Law's program is unique in that students who graduate from the course are placed in our six-credit externship program in which they are certified by the Supreme Court of Florida to engage in the supervised practice of law. 

    Real In-Court Work Representing Government and People in Real Cases

    Miami Law's unique Litigation Skills Externship Program provides students with the opportunity to apply the trial and pre-trial skills learned during the semester in a live client setting. Externs are placed locally, nationally and internationally. See the Litigation Skills Externship Handbook

    Certified Legal Interns: Students can apply to be certified by the Florida Supreme Court (and other states) which allows them to represent real clients and the government in criminal and civil matters and argue cases in Circuit, County and Federal courts under the supervision of practicing attorneys.

    Prerequisites: Successful completion of Litigation Skills I is a prerequisite for the Externship. Students will also become certified by the Supreme Court of Florida as Certified Legal Interns.

    Enrolling in the Externship Program: Students elect to participate in the externship program one semester in advance when they register for Litigation Skills I. All externships are worth 6-credits and require a commitment of 220 hours of service. Students also attend a weekly Clinical Placement and Theory Seminar providing training in advanced skills and professional responsibility. While externships are available during the semester after Litigation Skills I, many students choose to do a summer placement. Students who are placed outside of the Miami area enroll in an online weekly seminar.

    Past Externship Placements: Students have worked In offices for “hands-on” work at Legal Aid organizations and government agencies, both locally and nationally, including:

    • Department of Homeland Security
    • County State Attorney's offices
    • City Attorney 0ffices
    • The Securities and Exchange Commission
    • ACLU
    • Attorney General offices
    • EEOC
    • County Public Defender's offices

    For Information: Contact Michelle Rodriguez, Secretary, Litigation Skills Program; Phone: 305-284-2303; E-mail: mrodriguez1@law.miami.edu

    Juror Registration

    To register and participate as a juror the Litigation Skills final trials, click here

    Lit Skills Faculty

    The Lit Skills Program is taught by experienced trial lawyers and judges and a position to teach in the program is a sought after role. Federal and state judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and private attorneys work closely with student
    presentations in simulated courtroom and law office situations.

    Litigation Skills Adjunct Faculty

    Laura Adams
    Richard Allen
    Alex Alvarez
    Robert Amsel
    Antonio Arzola
    Jerald Bagley
    Gary Bagliebter
    Ana Barnett
    Steven P. Befera
    David Bercuson
    Stanford Blake
    Beth Bloom
    Laura Bonn
    Eric Bustillo
    Beatrice Butchko
    Michael B. Chavies
    Christopher Clark
    Jeffrey M. Cohen
    Marcia Cooke
    Benjamin Daniel
    David L. Deehl
    Joseph DeMaria
    Ronald Dresnick
    Pedro Echarte
    Mark Eiglarsh
    Joseph Farina
    Allyson Fritz

    Barry Garber
    Edith Georgi
    Ervin Gonzalez
    Maria P. Gonzalez
    Jonathan Goodman
    Alan J. Greenstein
    Ken Hartmann
    Alice Hector
    David Heffernan
    Kevin Hellmann
    Celeste Higgins
    Kathleen Hoague
    Paul C. Huck
    Virginia Johnson
    Jeanne Jontiff
    Robert Juman
    Martin Kahn
    Elizabeth Katzen
    Carroll Kelly
    Stephen Kramer
    Abraham Laeser
    Ellen Leesfield
    Guy Lewis
    Jose Martinez
    Miles McGrane
    Matthew Menchel
    Marilyn Milian
     
    Federico Moreno
    Philip Nicholas III
    Gertrude M. Novicki
    John J. O'Sullivan
    William Pearson
    Kathleen Phang
    Bonnie Phillips-Williams
    Victoria Platzer
    David Raben
    Tucker Ronzetti
    David Rothman
    Thomas G. Schultz
    Jacqueline Hogan Scola
    Lourdes Simon
    Samuel J. Smargon
    Rodolfo Sorondo
    Hon. Bertila Soto
    Lee Stapleton
    Sarah Steinbaum
    M. Patrick Sullivan
    John Thornton, Jr.
    Edwin G. Torres
    Harley Tropin
    Diane M. Van Ness
    Ellen Sue Venzer

    Litigation Skills Clinical Externships Faculty

    Ian Anderson
    Robert Angueira
    Martin Basson
    Randall C. Berg
    William L. Blagg
    Julie Bru
    Maria Capo-Sanders
    Juanita Cendan
    Jody Collins
    Laurie Collins
    Leonard Elias
    Heidi Feinan
    Jorge L. Fernandez
    Wilfredo Fernandez
    Katherine Fernandez-Rundle
    Howard Finkelstein
    Mary Ann Flannigan
    Rhoda Glasco-Foderingham
    Jeffrey Hearne
    Don Horn
    Richard Jurgen
    Karen Kuhn
    Morton Laitner
    Sharon Langer
    Janet Lewis
    George Lopez
    Pury Lopez-Santiago
    Christopher Martin
    Sharon Matthews-Swain
    Victoria Mendez
    Barbara J. Mitchell
    Margaret Nocero
    Kenneth Noto
    Elizabeth Parker
    Richard Polin
    Susan Porter
    Paul Rashkind
    Nelson Rodney
    Kevin Rosen
    Ilenia Sanchez-Bryson
    Rose Schindler
    Christopher Smith
    Rory S. Stein
    Eugene Steinfeld
    Karen St. Cry
    Debora Turner
    Robert Scott Walker
    Robert Wilder
    Dawn Wynn
    Lisa Zamora

    PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

    J.D. Request Information
    LL.M. Request Information
    How to Apply

    CONTACT INFORMATION

    Litigation Skills Office
    3rd Floor, A310
    Kozyak, Tropin & Throckmorton Suite
    Phone: 305-284-2303
    E-mail: litskill@law.miami.edu

    Juror Registration: Participate as a juror the Litigation Skills final trials 
    Student Registration: Register for the Lit Skills Program

    Litigation Skills Staff

    Professor Laurence Rose has more than 30 years' experience training lawyers and directs our acclaimed Litigation Skills Program.
    Director
    305-284-2303
    lrose@law.miami.edu

    Celeste Higgins
    Associate Director
    305-284-2303
    chiggins@law.miami.edu

    Lydia Sanchez
    Program Manager
    305-284-3301
    lsanchez@law.miami.edu

    Michelle Rodriguez
    Program Assistant 
    305-284-2303
    Mrodriguez1@law.miami.edu

    PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

    J.D. Request Information
    LL.M. Request Information
    How to Apply

    CONTACT INFORMATION

    Litigation Skills Office
    3rd Floor, A310
    Kozyak, Tropin & Throckmorton Suite
    Phone: 305-284-2303
    E-mail: litskill@law.miami.edu

    Juror Registration: Participate as a juror the Litigation Skills final trials 
    Student Registration: Register for the Lit Skills Program

    Litigation Skills Staff

    Professor Laurence Rose has more than 30 years' experience training lawyers and directs our acclaimed Litigation Skills Program.
    Director
    305-284-2303
    lrose@law.miami.edu

    Celeste Higgins
    Associate Director
    305-284-2303
    chiggins@law.miami.edu

    Lydia Sanchez
    Program Manager
    305-284-3301
    lsanchez@law.miami.edu

    Michelle Rodriguez
    Program Assistant 
    305-284-2303
    Mrodriguez1@law.miami.edu