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Professor Lou Fasulo has seen Pace Law from both sides of the classroom. "It's a unique experience to teach students at the school where I was taught," he says. "My students and I have a shared investment. The atmosphere we create together is one that encourages you to take intellectual risks without fear of failure."
As Director of Pace's acclaimed Trial Advocacy Program, Fasulo—a practicing litigator who once supervised all staff training for the Legal Aid Society of New York—knows that only some students want to litigate. "Others would rather not stand up in front of the group," he says, "but they still want to learn about the process, and that's what we're here for. It's about their interests, not out agenda. This isn't a forum for visiting lecturers to give war stories. Instead, we focus on the students and on finding ways to help them develop there individual strengths."
Fasulo's program integrates substantive law with mock trial exercises. "Our students are better prepared than most at the end of this course," he points out, "because they've had to examine a complex case and think deeply about the theories of the case in order to answer the questions before them."
Pace Law School heralds a nationally recognized trial skills program. This comprehensive program interfaces with the traditional curriculum allowing students an opportunity for simulated learning skills sessions. Students' knowledge of substantive law is integrated in an intensive course study of trial skills. The program provides all students an opportunity to experience the vigor of a trial in a controlled simulated environment.
The program features introductory, as well as, advanced learning in the art of questioning technique, evidence, jury profiling and selection, theory, and platform skills. Students are given an opportunity to develop skills in openings, closings and examinations.
THE TRIAL ADVOCACY COURSE
The course focuses on four case files, which are developed throughout the semester. Each student performs a simulated exercise in each class in front of real judges and seasoned litigators. The students receive classroom critique and are videotaped in the state of the art simulated courtrooms. Peer critique is a key component of the learning process. Students are encouraged to take risks and to challenge themselves by self-analysis and through videotape review. They are required to prepare pretrial memoranda and trial notebooks on the cases.
In using the course simulation approach to learning, students are immersed in a trial lawyer’s world. The classroom law firms are responsible not just for the execution of the theory, but also for the development of the case theory. This helps the students learn how to analyze and attack the facts of a case. The faculty includes committed practicing litigators and sitting judges who are committed to teaching. Their experience includes civil, criminal, and commercial litigation. The faculty is given ongoing training sessions to enhance their teaching skills. All professors follow a uniform curriculum that emphasizes the changing nature of the law.
ADVANCED TRIAL ADVOCACY
This upper level course is intended for students interested in pursuing litigation careers. This course introduces students to theories and approaches that guide fact analysis, persuasion and rhetoric, trial planning, trial process, jury composition, evidence, advocacy, juror addresses, witnesses examination, and visual persuasion. Students practice and master the basic techniques of advocacy at trial, including voir dire examination, opening statements, closing arguments, direct examination, cross examination, exhibit handling, offering and objecting to evidence, and presenting and combating expert witnesses.
The focus of the course will be on the development of case strategies and the integration of those strategies to the case trial. Emphasis will be on the ability to develop persuasive direct and cross examination of witnesses. The students will also learn the effective use of technology in the courtroom. The course will be taught through simulation trials. Students will be responsible for a full length trial including the pre trial discovery process. Writing assignments will focus on advanced procedural and evidentiary issues.
Prerequisites: Trial Advocacy, Evidence and Professional Responsibility (Professional Responsibility may be taken concurrently) Note: This course is a prerequisite for some Pace clinics and for intra- and inter-school Trial Advocacy competitions.
Finally, the program sponsors a series of lectures featuring noted attorneys who provide insight into fascinating and complex litigation matter. These small and sometimes large seminars allow students a chance to question top litigators on strategy and technique. They provide an advanced intellectual discussion of modern trial problems.
THE TRIAL TEAMS
In conjunction with trial competitions and in addition to the classroom instructions, the program hosts an internal trial competition and has an extensive external trial team program. These external competitions include the interschool and Intramural Trial Competition, Inter-school Trial Competition, ABA Law Student Division's Negotiation Competition, ABA Law Student Division Client Counseling Competition, National Trial Competition, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition, and National White Collar Crime Mock Trial Invitational.
The trial teams participate in national mock trial competitions and receive one on one coaching from experienced litigators from the New York metro area. The teams have received top awards in National Tournaments. Pace has been awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York State Bar Association for excellence in trial advocacy. Pace has been recognized as regional winners in The National Trial Competition and Semi Finalist at the Association of Trial Lawyers of America Regional Competition. The University has also been the site for the National Trial Competitions.
Each team is mentored by one or more trained attorneys or faculty members of Pace Trial Advocacy.