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Programs

The Advocacy Center consists of five diverse experiential programs that prepare students for all aspects of the practice of law: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Danny and Mary Becnel Trial Advocacy, International Law, Legal Research and Writing, and Moot Court.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program assists students who wish to develop skills to resolve legal disputes without litigation through arbitration, mediation, and negotiation. 

Because the overwhelming majority of cases are settled outside of court, ADR principles are useful in any type of legal practice. The program develops advocates with ADR skills who can facilitate settlement negotiations and advise clients in non-judicial proceedings. Students can engage in policy-making by filing amicus briefs and white papers on issues involving ADR.  Additionally, the program sends teams annually to compete in negotiation and mediation competitions nationally.

Students who wish to develop these skills can join the ADR Society in the fall semester in any academic year.  The ADR program also works with the Sports and Entertainment Law Society, which sends teams to compete in local sports law negotiation competitions, in the fields of professional football and professional basketball.

Courses suggested

Mediation & Arbitration, Arbitration Seminar, International Dispute Resolution, Divorce and Family Mediation

Skills courses suggested

Negotiation, Mediation, Plea-bargaining. Persuading People in Power

Faculty Advisor: Professor Imre Szalai

For more information, email ADR@loyno.edu

 

The Danny and Mary Becnel Trial Advocacy program prepares Loyola’s students to transition from the study of law to the practice of law.  Since 1982, students who participate in the program acquire critical advocacy skills that are essential to any area of practice.

In their second and third years, students are invited to seek membership into the Becnel Trial Advocacy program by performing a full trial after the conclusion of the trial advocacy course. Students take an intensive one semester course to learn and practice the intricacies of a trial under the direction of professors, seasoned trial lawyers, and judges. Existing trial advocacy program members staff a trial advocacy lab for students to receive additional feedback in preparation for their final trial. Students who excel are chosen for membership into the trial advocacy staff and advance to the intramural rounds. 

In preparation for the intramural rounds, student teams are paired with Trial Advocacy Board and staff members to prepare for trials held at the Eastern District of Louisiana presided over by current and retired elected and appointed judges. One team is announced champion and other individual awards are presented at the Advocacy Center annual banquet. With the skills developed during the competition, students are then chosen to compete in regional and national trial advocacy competitions throughout the country.  

The Becnel Trial Advocacy program focuses on learning by doing with practical instruction, demonstrations, feedback, and critique. Students have the opportunity to represent a mock client in a courtroom setting—from pretrial motions through closing arguments. Through the program, students learn how to speak persuasively, conduct direct and cross examinations, and prepare and present persuasive opening and closing arguments.  Students are taught how to impeach witnesses, tender experts, and introduce evidence. Students learn to analyze facts, develop strategies, and think on their feet while displaying a dynamic and professional courtroom presentation.

Courses required

Trial Advocacy and Evidence*

Courses suggested

Evidence, Civil Procedure, Pre-trial litigation, Louisiana Civil Procedure, Federal Jurisdiction and Procedure

Skills courses suggested

Developing a Theory of the Case, Direct and Cross Examination, Closing Arguments, Oral Presentation Skills, Evidence/Objections, Demonstrative Evidence, Pre-filing Fact Investigation

*Students can be enrolled when seeking membership.

Faculty Advisor: Professor Blaine LeCesne

For more information, email TrialAd@loyno.edu

In line with its rich Louisiana civil law heritage, Loyola places great value on the international experience for its students.  Students can choose to enroll in the civil law or common law program of study and can obtain a certificate in the other course of study to obtain the most comprehensive and comparative experience.  Students who seek a professional career in the global economy are also encouraged to obtain a certificate in International Law Studies.

Loyola offers a series of summer abroad programs to introduce students to the culture and legal systems overseas.  Students can obtain clerkship opportunities overseas in coordination with the summer abroad program. Further, students can participate in international moot court competitions, including the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court competition and the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot.

The International Law Society provides an additional information source for opportunities available abroad and for camaraderie with students and practitioners alike who share in the desire to expand study and work internationally.

Courses suggested

Law of the European Union, International Law, International Law Seminar, Immigration Clinic, International Trade Law, International Dispute Resolution

Skills courses suggested

Beyond Culture and Language in Immigration Advocacy, French Language and Legal Culture

Faculty Advisor for Vis International: Professor Robert Garda

For more information, contact the Faculty Advisor.

Loyola takes great pride in its rigorous legal research and writing training that prepares students for both objective and persuasive legal analysis.  In the first semester of a student’s first year, Loyola’s legal writing program lays the foundation for effective advocacy. Beginning with the Lawyering I course, students learn effective legal research and objective written analysis.  In the second semester, students continue with Lawyering II which shifts focus to persuasive legal writing and oral advocacy. The small class setting allows multiple opportunities for focused instruction and evaluation by the professor.

After completing the foundational year, students can focus on additional research and writing opportunities, which include Teaching Assistant positions for the Lawyering I and II courses, advanced writing courses, and scholarly writing courses.  Students can apply to work alongside professors of Lawyering, reviewing drafts, crafting legal arguments, and providing oral argument critique to students. Students also staff an onsite Writing Lab where first-year students receive one-on-one comment and critique on the various writing assignments authored throughout the year.

After the first year, students can also participate in writing competitions and journals, and each student must author a scholarly article or independent study paper through a seminar course or an independent study under the supervision of a professor.

Courses required

Lawyering I and II

Courses suggested

Advanced Legal Research; Advanced Legal Writing

Skills courses suggested

Scholarly Writing Series: Part I; Scholarly Writing Series: Part II; Effective Brief Writing

Directors of Lawyering Program: Professor Mary Garvey Algero and Professor Emily Bishop

For more information, contact the Directors.

The Moot Court program has a rich history built on consistency and excellence. Loyola entered its first National Team in 1954 under the direction of Professor Brendan Brown, and the program installed its first Moot Court Board in 1973. 

The Moot Court program is inextricably intertwined with the required course in appellate advocacy.  In the second semester of their first year, students are enrolled in Lawyering II: Appellate Practice, which provides training on persuasive advocacy, both in writing and orally.  Throughout the course, each student completes a full appellate brief and presents a ten-minute oral argument before a panel of judges, which includes the student’s professor and two practitioners.  The top 15% of appellate advocates are invited to join the Moot Court staff, and those new staff members immediately compete in an intramural competition. At the conclusion of the competition, four students receive Best Oralist awards and one student is awarded the Best Brief.

After the intramural competition, all staff members are invited to apply for team and coaching positions to compete in national appellate moot court competitions throughout the country.  In the fall, the Board conducts an “Argue-On” competition to allow students who were not named to the staff in the spring to become a part of the program in the fall.

The comprehensive Moot Court program gives students the opportunity to participate effectively in intramural and intercollegiate moot court competitions. Students build and perfect the art of persuasive oral advocacy and the skills of proficient brief writing.  Local practitioners assist students through mock arguments and guided question and answer sessions to prepare them to transition in and out of arguments and develop a deferential, conversational style.

Courses required

Lawyering I and II

Courses suggested

Advanced Appellate Advocacy; Advanced Legal Writing

Skills courses suggested

Developing a Theory of the Case, Oral Presentation Skills, Effective Brief Writing; Appellate Argument; Advocacy in School Disciplinary Proceedings

Faculty Advisor: Professor Monica Hof Wallace

For more information, email MootCourt@loyno.edu