Going Beyond 20th Century Legal Education: CDTA’s Progressive Approach

Going Beyond 20th Century Legal Education: CDTA’s Progressive Approach

Going Beyond 20th Century Legal Education: CDTA’s Progressive Approach

Traditional law schools prepare students to be lawyers by a rigorous schedule that compresses legal education into three years. CDTA meets the needs of working people by providing a more relaxed “study at your own pace” approach to legal education that considers adult students’ responsibilities away from legal school. A student will take four years of classes at CDTA before graduation. This additional year allows a slower, more reasonable, manageable pace while providing courses and teaching skills that equip graduates to be competent advocates on their first day of practicing law.

Discussions with legendary trial attorneys, F. Lee Bailey and Gerry Spence, inspired founders John Patrick Dolan and Irene Garcia Dolan to start the California Desert Trial Academy. A consistent theme of their discussions was how law school graduates failed to possess the courtroom skills necessary for effective legal advocacy. And the rest is history. In 2012, CDTA opened its doors featuring a more practical and modern approach to legal education. An approach that uses a progressive yet comprehensive learning platform to address the traditional deficiencies of law students that exist when they graduate.

Not every law school graduate necessarily wants to be a trial lawyer. In fact, some attorneys never set foot into a courtroom during their entire legal career. However, because CDTA is the only law school in the country dedicated to trial advocacy, CDTA graduates will be exceptionally prepared for the courtroom should the opportunity or necessity ever arise in their legal future. In this way, CDTA has modified and improved the traditional law school model.

The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) is a 21st Century law school tailored to meet the needs of working people. We schedule classes and other important curriculum-based activities that consider that many students have paramount responsibilities, such as jobs and families. Not everyone has the time to devote the greater part of the day to attending several hours of class or reading several pages of case law.

In consideration of the obligations of working people, CDTA offers evening classes on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at our College of Law in Indio. Thus, anyone with a traditional 9-to-5 work schedule may still attend each scheduled class outside of this normal 40-hour per week window. Because of CDTA’s extensive online resources, every class is archived and available to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

But it doesn’t end here. CDTA utilizes the weekend – time outside of the traditional 40-hour workweek – to offer students an additional opportunity to learn important skills that help them prepare for law school exams and the bar exam. We also provide time on the weekend for students to learn other essential, legal skills, values, and historical perspectives.

These are just some of the different ways that CDTA is progressively different from other law schools. We go beyond the traditional discourse of substantive law as the primary focus of legal education. We believe that it is practical experience coupled with legal knowledge that develops an effective and competent legal advocate. At CDTA, not only do we train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys, we also train them to be exceptional trial advocates. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.


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