Unique opportunity for lawyers to improve their advocacy skills

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Lawyers! Have you ever wanted to receive honest, personalized feedback from senior counsel and judges in order to take your courtroom advocacy skills to the next level? This is your chance!

The Continuing Legal Education Society of BC (CLEBC) is presenting its 18th annual Winning Advocacy Skills Workshop in Vancouver from July 5-7, 2017. Find out why this workshop is different from all the rest and invariably receives rave reviews.

At this three-day workshop, unlike any other course offered at CLEBC, senior colleagues of the bench and the bar provide you with the ultimate mentoring experience by helping you elevate your advocacy skills in a relaxed, safe environment. Within a practical and hands-on framework, you refine your skills and learn how to influence the people that matter at trial. The workshop offers a rare chance to experiment and make mistakes without cost to your client or your reputation.

The chairs of the workshop are The Honourable Madam Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg, The Honourable Madam Justice Catherine A. Murray, Sandra A. Cunningham, QC, and Andrew Nathanson. The Honourable Chief Justice Christopher E. Hinkson and The Honourable Chief Judge Thomas J. Crabtree will also mentor participants as special guests, along with a distinguished group of judges and lawyers acting as team leaders and guest instructors.

Over the course of three days, you will:

  • work through portions of civil and criminal trial fact patterns and case materials by 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 critique regarding each of your performance exercises from team leaders and guest instructors;
  • have a lifetime opportunity to be video-recorded for two 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 together with you;
  • watch live demonstrations of proper 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; and
  • dramatically improve your craft in a short time!

Since the program’s inception, judges recognized for their teaching and constructive feedback skills have volunteered to act as guest instructors for portions of the course. As a result, you may get feedback from more than one judge as well as from senior lawyers. Provincial Court judges have been strong supporters of the program, and say they appreciate the opportunity to help lawyers improve their skills and to support a high standard of advocacy in BC’s courtrooms.

Lawyers who have participated say:

“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.”

If you are a civil or criminal litigator, this is a 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 and to register, visit www.cle.bc.ca/1400. Bursaries are available for qualified applicants.