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California Desert Trial Academy College Of Law

Transferable Skills Learned In Law School, Part 1

Transferable Skills Learned In Law School, Part 1

Lawyers learn many skills in law school including hard skills, which include the knowledge of the substantive law, and soft skills, which include analytical, managerial, and interpersonal skills. Not every law school graduate may find that he or she wants to use a law degree to practice law. Fortunately, as will be discussed in this blog in the coming year, law students learn many skills in law school that are transferable to almost any business. The following is based on the book, “The Road Not Taken,” by Kathy Grant and Wendy Werner, the authors outline the skills obtained from the daily...

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Substance Abuse And The Other Bar

Substance Abuse And The Other Bar

Working long hours and dealing with the difficult challenges posed by their clients’ legal matters is a source of overwhelming stress for many attorneys. Some lawyers deal with this better than other lawyers, while, unfortunately, many attorneys turn to alcohol and drugs to help them cope, which may create more problems than it solves. In 2020, there are many programs and agencies to which attorneys may seek help. The Other Bar is one such resource. https://otherbar.org/ The California State Bar takes substance abuse very seriously as evidenced by the fact that attorneys must include substance abuse education in the twenty-five hours...

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The Problem Of Substance Abuse Among Lawyers

The Problem Of Substance Abuse Among Lawyers

A law practice often entails serving clients who are mired in a potentially bad situation. The most obvious example is criminal law where almost every case has the potential to send someone to jail or prison and deprive them of their liberty. In extreme circumstances, the consequences of a criminal charge may be life imprisonment or even death. Holding individuals’ fate and future in their hands is an enormously burdensome and stressful process that demands extensive focus and attention to detail while leaving little room for mistake. This kind of pressure on a daily basis may lead to problems with depression,...

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A Quick Guide To Running A Law Practice: Listening To Clients

A Quick Guide To Running A Law Practice: Listening To Clients

It is interesting how humans tend to categorize, explain, and distinguish some of their most basic activities, like listening, even despite the risk of overcomplicating it. Yet, when researching the term “listening” on the web, it is confusing to find terms like active listening, reflective listening, and empathic listening, especially when they are used both interchangeably and distinctively. Regardless of the terminology or intellectual analysis applied to the term, attorneys must have superior listening skills, especially when interacting with clients. The listening process is also critical to the success of a negotiation or mediation since it shapes the listener’s response. In its...

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A Quick Guide To Running A Law Practice: The Telephone – Friend Or Foe?

A Quick Guide To Running A Law Practice: The Telephone – Friend Or Foe?

Like many jobs, the life of an attorney is time-consuming. There are seemingly never enough hours in the day to complete every task. One of the tasks that attorneys seem to succeed at doing poorly, according to many clients, is client communication. Despite the day never seemingly having enough hours, there are a few key ways that attorneys may improve their communication skills with clients. Aside from a personal meeting, no form of communication equals the ability of attorney and client to talk on the telephone. While emails are a good way to exchange basic information like the time of a...

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Finding Your Comfort Zone In Public Speaking

Finding Your Comfort Zone In Public Speaking

At CDTA College of Law, all of your classes take place in our beautiful courtrooms/classrooms. From your first day of classes as a 1L, you will find yourself in a courtroom for every class. By the time you graduate, you will have a huge advantage over other law grads as you will feel exceptionally comfortable speaking in a courtroom. However, you may still benefit from some public speaking pointers specifically addressing courtroom speaking. Many attorneys have mixed feelings about public speaking, or, more specifically, speaking in a courtroom setting. It is not uncommon for attorneys to express that they have feelings...

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A Quick Guide To Running A Law Practice: Staff Orientation

A Quick Guide To Running A Law Practice: Staff Orientation

A law office, more specifically, a law practice greatly relies on people, which are one of its greatest assets. A priority of any business enterprise is the assimilation of new employees to their working environment, quickly and efficiently, so they may become fully engaged, devoted, productive, and invaluable employees. Formulating a new-employee orientation plan to be regularly used with each new hire, whether an attorney or staff member, will prove useful and provide a foundation upon which to build and perfect the process. It’s important to modify and refine this process until a firm’s goals for employee productivity and success...

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A Primer On Critical Thinking

A Primer On Critical Thinking

The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) provides instruction on the soft skills – those skills that go beyond the basic training of the substantive law that many traditional law schools are content to teach, and only teach. Why? Traditional law schools do not seriously consider these skills to be part of the “academic core” of their standard curriculum, although they are absolutely essential for anyone who wants to be an effective attorney-advocate with a successful and prosperous legal practice. The California Desert Trial Academy’s unique learning platform emphasizes that students learn the soft skills in addition to the core substantive law....

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Tips On Outlining Essay Answers – Analysis & Conclusion

The California Desert Trial Academy focuses on 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. At CDTA, we train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys and trial advocates. It’s obvious that law students want to get the most points out of every essay question on a law exam. They also want to do it as expediently and efficiently as possible. Wasting time on a question reduces any time remaining to review, revise, and correct prior finished questions. Outlining an answer to an essay question is a good way to improve any law student’s test-taking proficiency. Without entirely discounting the conclusion, the analysis is the most important component of a law exam answer since here is where examinees “apply the law to the facts.” An important tip for improving an IRAC-styled answer from average to excellent is to develop the analysis by presenting well-structured arguments on behalf of both sides (i.e., plaintiff-defendant, if applicable) for each issue spotted. Ask the following questions: • “What would the Plaintiff argue?” • “What would the Defendant argue?” This removes an essay answer from the IRAC format since the analysis entails more than just the law’s application to the facts. Rather, the answer is now presented as arguing and analyzing both the plaintiff’s case and the defendant’s case. Next, make every reasonable argument possible and include any reasonable creative arguments. Then make a statement as to which side of the issue has a better argument citing specific facts from the question’s details. Arguments may be shaped using and combining the following strategic formats. • Argue that the facts should be interpreted one way or another • Argue that the law should be interpreted one way or the other • Cite policy reasons for why the case should resolve one way or another • Argue that question should apply the traditional rule instead of the model rule (or vice versa) • Argue that the common law rule should be applied instead of the statute (or vice versa) • Argue that the majority rule should be applied instead of the minority rule (or vice versa) • Argue that the holding in one case should be followed rather than the holding in a different case. Any arguments must consider what the course’s professor emphasized in class, whether contradictory rulings in two different cases or a focus on common law vs. statutory law, majority view vs. minority view, etc. Finally, make a statement as to which party is more likely to prevail with an explanation of the underlying reasoning. The conclusion answers the question, “Who has the better legal argument?” This conclusion is not as crucial as the analysis. A conclusion must not be too inconclusive, i.e. “It depends on the view of the court.” After all, an inconclusive “conclusion” is not a conclusion! Just the same, a conclusion should not be too decisive (i.e. “The plaintiff will definitely prevail” or “The Defendant has no legal argument.”). It is a good strategy to avoid extremely strong words or phrases unless they are factually appropriate. Good usable keywords for a conclusion are “probably” and “most likely.” The key to mastering law exam essay questions is practice. This will improve issue-spotting, analytical, and reasoning skills that should culminate with exceptional readiness for the bar exam. Like traditional law schools, CDTA’s curriculum is designed to teach students the substantive law of core subject areas. Unlike traditional law schools, CDTA emphasizes training and developing students to be capable and competent advocates in any courtroom. The California Desert Trial Academy is a 21st Century law school that moves students toward a successful legal career on the first day of class. We believe that practical experience in tandem with legal knowledge is the best road to a successful, rewarding, and prosperous legal career. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.

The California Desert Trial Academy focuses on 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. At CDTA, we train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys and trial advocates. It’s obvious that law students want to get the most points out of every essay question on a law exam. They also want to do it as expediently and efficiently as possible. Wasting time on a question reduces any time remaining to review, revise, and correct prior finished questions....

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Tips On Outlining Essay Answers – IRAC, Issue-Spotting & Relevance

Tips On Outlining Essay Answers – IRAC, Issue-Spotting & Relevance

Whenever the subject of answering legal essays arises, the IRAC technique inevitably rears its ugly head. Why ugly? Because the IRAC method, in its most basic form, is not the optimal way to answer law exam questions. The IRAC method tends toward students devising simplistic and formulaic answers. Nonetheless, for any law student who does not outline his or her answers, IRAC is a good starting point for learning the tools to answer law school exam questions. In fact, practicing and developing it can help students improve their treatment of the analysis section resulting in more sophisticated exam answers. The IRAC method...

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