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California Desert Trial Academy College Of Law

Understanding A Law’s Purpose

Understanding A Law’s Purpose

Because legislation is the product of a deliberative and informed process, it has discernible purposes and objectives. Lawyers and judges utilize tools to examine a statute’s purpose and establish the legislature’s intent for enacting the statute. Once the legislative intent has been established, it may be used to understand and interpret a statute’s meaning. Many statutes begin with a preamble or purpose clause, which may provide guidance in discerning the intent of the legislature where the statute may be ambiguous. Lawyers faced with choosing between different plausible interpretations may refer to the statute’s purpose to make a final decision. However, where...

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Tips To Improve Legal Writing

Tips To Improve Legal Writing

The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) accepted its first class of students in 2012, focusing on a more logical, practical approach to legal education in the 21st Century. This focus emphasizes the same extensive educational platform as traditional law schools while considering the traditional deficiencies of today’s law school graduates. At CDTA, not only do we educate students, but we also train and develop them to be exceptional trial advocates. Attorney-advocates must not only have the oral skills to represent clients in the courtroom, but they must possess the necessary writing skills as well. Lawyers are often judged professionally on interpersonal...

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About Study Groups

About Study Groups

Law students know well before their first day of class that they will be reading, reviewing, and outlining a vast, extensive amount of material. Once class begins, some law students form study groups as one way to manage such a daunting, time-consuming task. However, not every law student may want to join a study group. While law school study groups can be beneficial, their success depends on the individual members’ commitment, chemistry, and work ethic. All the group’s members must have an equal commitment to the group, while always acting to advance its purposes. Commitment also involves never missing a group...

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How To Brief A Case: Part Two

How To Brief A Case: Part One

The California Desert Trial Academy is a progressive law school tailored to meet the needs of anyone who is limited to seeking a legal education at their convenience rather than on a schedule. We emphasize providing an academic experience that emphasizes a practical approach to becoming a lawyer. We believe this is the most efficient and expedient pathway to a successful and rewarding legal career. In Part Two of “How to Brief a Case,” we’ll look at the analytical part of briefing a case. A comprehensive brief includes the following: Parties Facts of the Case Issues Decisions (Holdings) Reasoning (Rationale) Separate...

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How To Brief A Case: Part One

How To Brief A Case: Part One

Law students “brief” cases as a method of preparing for class. A brief is a short summary and analysis of a case. It identifies issues, parties, the decision, and the underlying reasoning of the decision. While case briefs include the same information, they vary as to their form. Regardless of the method chosen, law students should check with their professors to ensure that they have chosen an acceptable method that will enable them to learn what they need to know for the final exam. In Part One of our blog on how to brief a case, we’ll focus on the...

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A Quick Guide To Running A Law Practice: Managing Staff

A Quick Guide To Running A Law Practice: Managing Staff

Most law schools teach students how to pass the bar exam but fail to teach them how to transition into a successful legal practitioner. While these law schools teach students knowledge of the law, they provide little or no information about running a business. The California Desert Trial Academy educates, trains, and develops students with an emphasis on teaching them the practice of law, rather than just the knowledge of the law. This includes teaching skills that enable graduates to start their own firm if they should choose this avenue of practicing law. Once you start your own law practice, you’ll...

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The Tools Of Trial Advocacy: Skilled Cross-Examination

Cross-examination has been described as the “greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.” 5 J. Wigmore, Evidence § 1367, p. 32. Any good trial attorney must be skilled at cross-examination. This skill is necessary for anyone who wants to be a true attorney-advocate. Some say those attorneys who are best at cross-examination aren’t the most charismatic orators, but the hardest workers. They prepare for cross-examination as if they are preparing for a marathon race and observe the following course of action: Reviewing and examining every document, transcript, email, and writing; Listing the evidence available for every subject and cross-referencing...

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Why California Laws Are At The Forefront

Why California Laws Are At The Forefront

California laws are at the forefront of legislation in the United States. Whether related to cannabis, the environment, employment, human trafficking, consumer protection and privacy, the list of cutting-edge legislation is long. A 108-year-old California ballot initiative system enables anyone with the required number of signatures to get virtually anything on the ballot. “If a citizen wants to get a law passed, they don’t have to do it in a conventional way. That’s given rise to a do-it-yourself political culture that doesn’t exist in other places,” said California expert Jim Newton, author of “Jerry Brown and the Creation of Modern California.”...

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Regrouping For The Second Semester

Regrouping For The Second Semester

Law school is a marathon. Although you have a finite amount of time to earn your JD, the opportunities for mistakes during this time are vast. But the key is learning from these mistakes and not repeating them. It’s also essential to have the ability to regroup for the next brief, exam, paper, or semester so that you grow as a law student. If you have had an unsatisfactory first semester and want to regroup for the next, self-examination is the place to start. Be humble. You must be able to admit that you may be the problem and try to identify...

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Learn From Those Experienced

Learn From Those Experienced

The California Desert Trial Academy’s (CDTA) unique learning platform emphasizes that students learn the soft skills, utilize internships, and connect with mentors. This education develops the practical experience to help graduates immediately gain success working as attorney-advocates. While there’s no substitute for personal experience, the next best thing is learning from someone with more experience than you. It’s a simple notion but one that has been truly tested by time - learn from those who are experienced. The importance of learning from those around us cannot be overestimated. Making ourselves open to learning from others allows us to benefit from their...

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