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California Desert Trial Academy College Of Law

Online Education Delivery Modelis: The Asynchronous Model

Online Education Delivery Modelis: The Asynchronous Model

Even before the coronavirus pandemic reared its ugly head and changed life as we know it, distance learning was on its way to becoming one of the standard forms of instruction for American students at all levels of education, with a significant impact already occurring at the secondary level. Colleges are making distance classes available, and graduate programs, such as law, have followed suit as well. Distance learning goes beyond for-profit and entry-level colleges as some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, such as Stanford, UC Berkeley, and MIT have implemented distance learning programs. The “asynchronous” learning model, in the words...

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Online Education Delivery Modelis: The Synchronous Model

Online Education Delivery Modelis: The Synchronous Model

In 2011, the inaugural meeting of the Working Group for Distance Learning in Legal Education took place at Harvard University. The workshop brought together individuals from many of the most active legal distance education programs as an opportunity to exchange information on the state and breadth of current practice while investigating those practices that may be best promoted to advance the field. There are several models for delivering distance education and the curriculum taught in current programs. One such model is the “synchronous” model which more closely resembles traditional, in-class instruction. The California Desert Trial Academy College of Law (CDTA) allows synchronous learning...

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Answering The Question: Why Did I Become A Lawyer?

Answering The Question: Why Did I Become A Lawyer?

Years from now, after you have graduated from law school, you go out for a cup of coffee and, while enjoying it, initiate a conversation with a stranger. Ultimately, this stranger asks  “Why did you become a lawyer?” How do you answer it? Is your response as simple as “I love the law” or “for the money.” Or is it a longer, more well-reasoned response? So what is the best answer to the question "Why do I want to become a lawyer?" or "Why did I become a lawyer?" Because: I possess and convey knowledge of the ability to communicate and negotiate...

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Common Sense Legal Writing Tips

Common Sense Legal Writing Tips

How does an attorney make a legal brief more persuasive? Lawyers are always searching for the golden nugget that will persuade a judge or jury, but often it does not exist. Instead, an overall strategy that maximizes certain writing talents is optimal. One approach is remembering to practice the ABC’s of legal writing: Accuracy, Brevity, and Clarity. Here are some tips for implementing these writing ideals. Identify and know your audience Knowing your true audience is key. In the case of any legal brief, the audience, the reader, is the court and not opposing counsel or the parties. One good way to...

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Litigating In The Age Of Social Media

Litigating In The Age Of Social Media

Social media has “deprivatized” society and, as a result, people have varying opinions about the true usefulness of social media. While these opinions may correlate to certain age demographics, almost everyone to some extent finds some use for social media, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or Pinterest.  While social media may truly be significantly useful, it presents the potential to have deleterious effects on litigants. The availability of social media’s endless sea of information, much of it unchecked and unverified, presents various challenges for litigators. Litigating in 2020 requires attorneys to review and monitor any types of social media in...

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Simple Benefits Of Distance Learning

Simple Benefits Of Distance Learning

Students may derive many diverse but simple benefits from distance learning. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, students are in a prime position to realize these benefits. Since its inception in 2012 as a graduate institution that recognized the importance of distance learning, the California Desert Trial Academy College of Law has provided a cutting-edge online learning platform that takes full advantage of the benefits provided by distance learning. The CDTA is ready for the pandemic! When the COVID-19 virus closed businesses and schools, requiring the latter to embrace distance learning for the near future and perhaps longer, the details of each institution’s...

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Using Electronic Signatures In 2020 During The Pandemic

Using Electronic Signatures In 2020 During The Pandemic

In the last two decades, the federal court system has implemented online filing to modernize and streamline (reduce) costs related to time and money. While some courts within the federal system, such as bankruptcy courts, have, in most cases, permitted attorneys and litigants to execute their signatures electronically, documents with original signatures must still be filed with the court. Presently, more courts are adopting and allowing the use of electronic signatures on documents filed with the court. On March 18, 2020, Senate Bill 3533, the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020 (the “SECURE Act”), was introduced...

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Principles Of Professional Conduct – Competence

Principles Of Professional Conduct – Competence

The preamble of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct describes a lawyer and member of the legal profession as “. . . a representative of clients, an officer of the legal system and a public citizen having special responsibility for the quality of justice.” One primary principle of the Model Rules is that a lawyer must be competent as a representative of clients. In 2018, the California Supreme Court issued an order that approved 69 Rules of Professional Conduct for California attorneys, rejecting only one. These new rules became effective in November of 2018 and closely follow the ABA Model Rules of Professional...

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Factors Affecting Trial Strategy: The Client

Factors Affecting Trial Strategy: The Client

A lawyer’s plan of attack for a case that goes to trial utilizes certain trial tactics to implement an overall trial strategy. Because every case is different, the trial strategy of each case will be different as well. Just the same, specific universal principles may be applied in every case to formulate the best trial strategy for the case at hand. One factor that affects trial strategy in every case is the client. In personal injury cases, plaintiff’s attorneys are free to choose their clients while defense attorneys, who are retained by insurance companies, do not possess this same luxury. A...

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How To Write A Client Questionnaire – Criminal Cases

How To Write A Client Questionnaire – Criminal Cases

No attorney relies on an initial in-person interview as the first means of encapsulating the relevant information related to a client. Before an attorney sits down with a client for the first time, a diligent attorney requires a client to complete some type of intake form or questionnaire. A completed new client questionnaire provides an attorney with a checklist and self-screening device designed to obtain, in a short amount of time, the information required to review a client for the ability to pay fees and the absence of any conflict of interest or other potential problematic attorney-client issues that may...

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