Attorneys, Advocates, And The CDTA Vision

Attorneys, Advocates, And The CDTA Vision

Attorneys, Advocates, And The CDTA Vision

From the time the California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) accepted its first class of students in 2012, it provided them with a unique, innovative, genuinely modern focus on legal education. While this emphasis implements the same comprehensive learning curriculum as traditional law schools, it contemplates and remedies the common shortcomings of law school graduates. At CDTA, we educate students to be lawyers, but we also train and develop them to be exceptional trial advocates.

The Attorney

Upon leaving law school with a JD, ideally, a graduate should understand the substantive law and be in the position to start her own practice or assume the role of a new associate. After all, she is no longer a student but a lawyer! She should be able to handle her new job, especially if it is in an area such as personal injury, criminal law, business law since these were all core substantive subjects taught in law school.

A couple of things may happen as she gets her first job as an associate. She may assist in a few cases until she becomes comfortable handling some on her own. Or she may immediately be given matters that are less complex to handle personally. If a case is in litigation, she may assist by doing research or drafting pleadings without ever appearing in court herself other than to observe.

She may never have cultivated her trial advocacy skills other than to take a basic class on the subject. She will hone and develop her trial advocacy skills and, over time, may become an effective attorney in the courtroom. Until then, she is still an attorney equipped to practice law and contribute meaningfully to a firm.

The Advocate

If a law school graduate wants to specialize in litigation work, she must have strong trial advocacy skills. If she wants to advance a cause she strongly supports, she must also have those advocacy skills that persuade. In both circumstances, she must have passion because she is not just an attorney, she is an attorney-advocate.

Of course, law schools cannot instill passion in every student, but they can teach effective trial advocacy skills. Some law schools, like the CDTA, focus more than other law schools on teaching advocacy skills, as well as the soft skills, those interpersonal and analytical skills necessary to succeed in any circumstance, whether job-related or not. As a result, some law school graduates have these advocacy skills from the first day of practice. In contrast, some law school graduates have these interpersonal and analytical skills from the first day of law school only to develop them further at schools like the CDTA.

The CDTA Vision

The CDTA’s Founder and Dean, John Patrick Dolan envisioned a law school experience where graduates were equipped with strong advocacy skills upon graduation, immediately ready to step into a courtroom. Dean Dolan wanted CDTA graduates, upon admission to the bar, to be fully educated, trained, and coached to represent their clients on their first day of practice with skills that go well beyond those of their contemporaries from other law schools. Simply put, Dean Dolan wanted to train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys and trial advocates.

If you are interested in becoming an exceptional legal advocate, consider the benefits of the California Desert Trial Academy. As a member of CDTA’s growing family, you will receive access to our student and alumni attorneys, who freely and openly share their legal experiences, career advice, and academic tips. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.

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