Soft Skills

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...

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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...

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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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