Workshop offers unique opportunity for lawyers to improve their advocacy skills

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Lawyers, would you like the opportunity to receive honest, personalized feedback on your courtroom work from senior counsel and judges? An upcoming workshop offers the chance to practise on your feet in a real courtroom and take your advocacy skills to the next level.

The Continuing Legal Education Society of BC (CLEBC) will present its 19th Annual Winning Advocacy Skills Workshop at the BC Provincial Court in Vancouver from July 5-7, 2018. The BC Provincial Court has been a strong champion of this workshop for the past 18 years, with judges acting as faculty and encouraging lawyers to hone their skills and contribute to a high standard of advocacy in BC’s courtrooms.

In this eNews, CLEBC’s Teresa Sheward describes the unique program.

“Unlike any other course offered at CLEBC, at this three-day workshop 17 judges and numerous senior counsel will provide the ultimate mentoring experience by helping you elevate your advocacy skills in a relaxed, safe environment. Within a practical and hands-on framework, you will refine your skills and learn how to influence the people that matter at trial. This is a rare chance to experiment and make mistakes without cost to your client or reputation.

Under the leadership of workshop chairs Madam Justice Catherine A. Murray and Andrew I. Nathanson, and the guidance of distinguished judges and lawyers acting as team leaders and guest instructors, you will:

• work through a civil and criminal fact pattern and case materials, completing advocacy performance exercises in a small group led by a senior litigator team leader
• experience the intellectual, ethical, emotional, and physical demands of trial by performing multiple and repeated direct examination, cross-examination, opening, and closing exercises in a mock courtroom setting
• receive real-time critiques regarding each of your performance exercises from team leaders and guest instructors
• be video-recorded for three of your performance exercises
• receive individual attention and personalized, constructive feedback during one-on-one sessions with a senior member of the bench or bar who will review your video-recorded performances with you
• watch live demonstrations of trial advocacy skills performed by experienced faculty
• act as a witness for other student performances to understand the witness experience at trial
• have the opportunity to understand the perspective from the bench
• dramatically improve your craft in a short time!

The feedback from previous lawyers who have participated in this workshop has been resoundingly positive and is a testament to the value of this experience:

“Fantastic. I was very impressed with both the amount of time senior members of the bar and bench dedicated to the course and to providing individual attention and constructive feedback. I improved and developed my skills and I left feeling far more confident about my abilities as a litigator."

“Excellent! As a ‘hands on learner’, I take away so much from doing and seeing rather than just listening. This was the perfect environment to experiment and try new things.”

“There are things you’ll learn in this course that even 10 years of trial experience won’t give you.”

So, if you are a civil or criminal litigator, or want to be, join us for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enhance your courtroom skills and confidence. They say there is no substitute for experience… but this is it! For more information or to register, visit Bursaries are available for qualified applicants.”