Intensive Trial Advocacy Program Takes Students Beyond Lectures
Web Editor - Published: May 22, 2008

itap hbg“The class takes you beyond the casebook and helps you develop the real world skills you need,” says Cory Winter about the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program, or ITAP, adding, “It’s learning through experience rather than listening to lectures.” A demanding seven-day program, ITAP occurs at the conclusion of spring semester final examinations each year and offers students heading into their final year of law school a fantastic opportunity to practice important trial advocacy skills.

Running from May 15th to May 22nd, this year’s ITAP featured an opening lecture from William C. Costopoulos, Esq., a partner in the firm of Costopoulos, Foster & Fields. Mr. Costopoulos received his J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law and his L.L.M from Harvard University School of Law. He has served as an Adjunct Professor at Dickinson School of Law and is also the author of four books: The Price of Acquittal, The White Lady War, Principal Suspect, and Guilty of Innocence.

Students in the program benefited from the experience of the trial attorneys, judges, and law professors who served as ITAP faculty. This year’s program featured demonstrations on exhibit handling, direct examination, direct examination of expert witnesses, cross-examination, opening statements, and closing arguments. Students actively participated in simulations of each of these crucial parts of a trial in preparation for the program’s culmination, which consisted of a simulated jury trial.

“I feel like the program is beneficial because it’s easy to sit in the classroom and learn the rules of the game, but it’s different to play it,” says Jim Curry. Jim also pointed out that those students who are uncomfortable with speaking in front of groups benefit greatly because the program “forces you to get up in front of your peers and make your case.” For students preparing to be lawyers, ITAP provides an invaluable opportunity to practice trial skills.