Training

Going Beyond 20th Century Legal Education: CDTA Teaches Important Skills Inside And Outside The Courtroom

Going Beyond 20th Century Legal Education: CDTA Teaches Important Skills Inside And Outside The Courtroom

Any lawyer must study and know the substantive law. Law schools have traditionally focused on teaching the substantive law and only the substantive law (except for core courses like civil and criminal procedure). At the California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA), we go beyond this idea based on our belief that practical experience and certain “soft” skills coupled with substantive knowledge provide the best opportunities for a successful, rewarding, and prosperous legal career. In furtherance of our goal of preparing excellent and capable trial advocates, our classroom facilities present a true legal environment. They include: A full-functioning authentic California Trial Courtroom; A...

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Mentors Are Invaluable

Mentors Are Invaluable

CDTA Founder and Dean John Patrick Dolan started the California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) to develop not just exceptional attorneys, but outstanding trial attorneys. Dean Dolan realized that a focus on trial advocacy skills would require a different approach to a student’s overall legal education. He conceptualized an educational curriculum that was analogous to a medical school residency program where doctors mentored students and provided them with hands-on, real-world scenarios to apply their new professional skills. Dean Dolan’s own experiences as a law student with an attorney mentor were priceless. These experiences provided invaluable practical skills because they placed him in the...

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Legal Writing: Learn to Be More Compelling to Your Readers

legal writing

You may be surprised to find that there is quite a bit of extremely bad writing stored away in law libraries. Not all attorneys are great writers and you will find that many attorneys submit poorly written motions and briefs to the Court. You will also find that these attorneys develop a less than stellar reputation with Judges and other counsel because of this. At CDTA, you will learn strong writing skills that will prevent you from ever submitting documents that rely on outdated legalese, with many unnecessary words thrown into the mix for good measure. You may also be surprised...

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Legal Contracts: Why Are They Usually So Hard to Understand?

legal contracts

Even before law school, you may have wondered why legal documents must be so ridiculously difficult to read; after all, the idea behind a contract or any other document being signed by one or more parties is to make sure that everyone is apprised of exactly what is included in the deal or agreement, and that they support every word which was clearly understood, motivating them to authorize permission with their personal signature. Legalise is not hard to come by in written documents. You may have been exposed to it numerous times over the years in a variety of different agreements—perhaps...

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Online Law Studies: Enjoying a More Personalized Experience

online law school

Upon the advent of the internet, few probably realized how much it would change the world, along with inventions like online law studies. And while traditional practices such as shopping at the mall and driving to a conventional campus to attend school are still appealing to consumers, the ability to use online resources presents us with choices about how we want to lead our lives. You may experience this today, even in the smallest of ways; for instance, perhaps you check your bank balance online every morning, but prefer to go to the bank to do your deposit. You may...

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Interviewing for Law School Internships: The Questions You Should Ask

internships

It is very common for law school students to take on internships, and although this may be possible sometimes during the actual school year, if you are attending California Desert Trial Academy College of Law it is recommended that law students take on such endeavors during their breaks. This can be an extremely valuable way to spend your summer or even just a winter break. The law school internship is often the result of heavy networking however, and you may see this in play with many other students as soon as you get into your law school studies. If you are...

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Understanding Alternative Dispute Resolution in California

alternative dispute resolution

As a law student, you may be surprised to hear that it is possible for attorneys to spend significant amounts of time with their clients, involved in mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution. This is often the case in divorce cases, but many times in business cases also. As a trial attorney you may hope to avoid processes like alternative dispute resolution and practice your skills in the courtroom, but it may be judge mandated. Mediation, for instance, may also be extremely popular with clients who want to avoid the stress of the courtroom. Litigation can, undoubtedly in some cases,...

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Writing an Effective Demand Letter

demand letter

While many students who go on to law school have majored in areas like political science, public policy, economics, or philosophy, the English majors or those who have a strong propensity for writing--and especially a demand letter--have a definite head start. As an attorney, you will be required to do an enormous amount of reading and writing in your career. But it all starts in law school. And there, you will also do copious amounts (to understate!) of reading in your studying assignments and writing for your classwork. Learning how to write an effective demand letter is vital—and especially when you consider...

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Problem Solving: Do You Have What It Takes?

problem solving

We are not all skilled at problem solving; in fact, you probably grew up with a friend or family member who was always a fixer and helped negotiate or smooth over any issue. Perhaps that person was you, or perhaps you are hoping to increase those techniques as you learn more skills in law school. No matter what your background, to be a good trial attorney (or any type of attorney at all!) these are skills that you will need to finely hone, beginning with compiling all the information you need. If there is a legal dispute at hand, speak with...

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Shrewd Negotiators Learn to Read Body Language

Shrewd Negotiators

If you are learning to be one of the shrewd negotiators in your field, it is common sense to check out the body language of whoever you are speaking with; after all, anything possible that can help you ease into an amicable settlement is usually welcomed, and usually by your client more than anyone else. Negotiating is a learned art, no matter how much arguing power you may have been naturally blessed with. And although you will most likely be paid by your client to come up with a suitable agreement and settlement, it is almost always best to seek...

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