CDTA

CDTA: Making The Difference

CDTA: Making The Difference

When John Patrick Dolan and Irene Garcia Dolan were inspired to start the California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) they wanted to provide a path to the legal profession that featured a more practical and modern approach to the way that law students were educated. The Dolans were inspired to not only train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys, but to also train them to be exceptional trial advocates. Simply put, the Dolans wanted the CDTA to provide a law school experience different from that offered by traditional schools. CDTA accepted its first class of students in 2012, focusing on a more...

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Preparing for Your 1st Year Of Law School At The CDTA

Preparing for Your 1st Year Of Law School At The CDTA

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 (CDTA) 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. We (hopefully) experience many significant events in our lives. A few of these events fill us...

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Reconciling Priorities In The Attorney-Client Relationship

Reconciling Priorities In The Attorney-Client Relationship

The California Desert Trial Academy supplements traditional law school curriculum with both hard and soft skills, as well as the values and historical perspective that equip students to be lawyers on the day that they graduate from the CDTA. We help students develop the interpersonal skills necessary to serve clients. This includes the ability to effectively communicate with clients to fully understand their needs, goals, and expectations. When anyone hires an attorney, he or she has expectations about what the relationship will produce whether money damages, specific performance of a contract, criminal defense, or other remedy or service. Clients also have specific...

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Tools Of Trial Advocacy – Preparing For Voir Dire

Tools Of Trial Advocacy – Preparing For Voir Dire

There are many tools of trial advocacy that are important for attorney-advocates to perfect in law school and their practice. One tool that is often overlooked is the voir dire process – choosing a jury. The process of selecting those individuals responsible for fact-finding and deciding a legal matter is not one to be taken lightly. Voir dire may help attorneys identify jurors who can be fair and impartial, rather than unfair and biased. Attorneys are seeking those members of the jury pool who need to be removed and the questions of attorneys should be structured to expose them. As a preliminary...

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CDTA’s Courtroom Atmosphere

CDTA’s Courtroom Atmosphere

The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) is a modern, 21st Century law school. We provide legal instruction with an emphasis on transforming law students into not just lawyers, but effective attorney-advocates. One way that the CDTA facilitates this unique focus on the training of attorney-advocates is how each class provides a courtroom, rather than a classroom, atmosphere because it is in a real courtroom setting. Every class in each subject is presented by one of CDTA’s experienced professors in CDTA’s modern courtroom facilities. In fact, class sessions at CDTA typically include more than one legal scholar. These professionals interact with students...

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Studying & Time Efficiency

Studying & Time Efficiency

By now, graduate-level students know that having time to study is only beneficial if such time is used wisely. One of the most important (soft) skills in law school is maximizing time efficiency when studying. Closely related to this skill are a law student’s organizational and time-management skills. Law students who are not organized will probably be less efficient with the time they expend studying and preparing for class. Here are some tips to help law students get the most out of the precious time they have allotted to study. *Specifically designate your tasks for each study session. Do not just...

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Study Groups: Dividing The Workload

Study Groups: Dividing The Workload

When discussing the best ways to study while in law school, the mention of study groups tends to elicit differing reactions. Some students thrive in such groups while others perceive them as useless and a waste of valuable time. The success of a study group often depends on how and what work is divided among its members. In any given semester, the opportunities to participate in a study group may be minimal and any interested student may have to initiate the process. It is not unusual for many students to have little or no interest in study groups, which may make...

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How Long Should An Attorney Retain Client Records?

How Long Should An Attorney Retain Client Records?

Physical space may not be as great an issue in the digital age regarding the storage of client files, but the fact remains that the storage of client files is necessary for some time. But how long? Each state’s Rules of Professional Conduct specifically describe trust account records and for how long they must be kept by an attorney. A state’s ethical rules typically prescribe, as suggested standards, minimum periods for retaining client files that pertain to certain practice areas, with exception of trust account records. Attorneys are free to choose a longer or shorter term of retention of client files....

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There are Many Paths To A Meaningful Legal Career – Energy, Natural Resources, And The Environment

There are Many Paths To A Meaningful Legal Career – Energy, Natural Resources, And The Environment

There are a vast number of non-traditional legal careers that do not require a law degree. Based on data from the Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP), annually approximately 10-15% of law school graduates find jobs after graduation in non-traditional legal positions. Employment available in alternative fields varies and can depend on a law school graduate’s undergraduate education and prior work experience. Many alternative careers are in compliance and regulatory affairs, management at all levels, policy analysis, strategic planning, labor relations, personnel and benefits, government, education, and nonprofits. There is a large amount of material out there listing alternative and non-traditional...

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What Is An Alternative Legal Career?

What Is An Alternative Legal Career?

At some point during their law school tenure, law students ponder and consider career options outside of the traditional practice of law. Students and graduates seek alternative careers for various reasons, such as a high level of personal interest in a sector, company, or job type. Alternative careers may be considered simply to facilitate a desire to work a less rigorous schedule than that required by the traditional practice of law. An alternative career may be any career outside of the law firms, government agencies, public interest organizations, and judiciary at the heart of the current establishment of the legal profession....

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