CDTA

Law Under An Evening Sky

Law Under An Evening Sky

Just a few decades ago, if working spouses or parents wanted to attend law school, their choices would be limited to attending a school with a traditional morning-afternoon schedule. Also, unless they lived in a large urban area or college town with a law school, commuting was not an option. Thus, many prospective students, especially those in smaller remote locations such as the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley, would have to quit their jobs and travel or temporarily move just to attend law school. But times have changed, and there are now options for prospective law students all over America,...

Continue reading

The Emotional Side Of Practicing Law

The Emotional Side Of Practicing Law

Aristotle posed that “the law is reason free from passion.” Of course, this is hardly close to anything that resembles the reality of the practice of law, nor life itself. While in its simplest terms, the law may be the words of a statute or an opinion of a judge, a law has far-reaching effects, and not just on plaintiffs and defendants. There is indeed an emotional side to practicing law. If anything, the law is never free of emotion. The law is the result of emotion – the emotional reactions of humans to a given situation. The practice of law...

Continue reading

The Tools Of Trial Advocacy: The Opening Statement

The Tools Of Trial Advocacy: The Opening Statement

A good opening statement is an effective trial advocacy tool. It carries a theme and tells a story that grabs the attention of the jury. Although the purpose of an opening statement is not to argue the case, it is nonetheless an attorney advocate’s first opportunity to persuade the jury. Objectively, there are some tips a trial lawyer can use to formulate an effective opening statement. Subjectively, advocates must find and develop those unique aspects of their personality, whether a strong voice or effective speaking style, etc., that will help them present a good opening statement. Jurors often base their final...

Continue reading

The Soft Skills: Critical Thinking

The Soft Skills: Critical Thinking

Critical thinking has been the subject of much debate and discussion since the time of ancient Greek philosophers, Socrates and Plato. Critical thinking in the context of the practice of law requires law students to learn to question and analyze what they see, hear, read, think, and feel with the understanding that first impressions are often wrong conclusions and often change after studious, meticulous analysis. Critical thinking is one of several soft skills that attorney-advocates must utilize to meet the needs of their clients. The California Desert Trial Academy’s (CDTA) unique learning platform emphasizes that students learn the soft skills in...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading