Trial Academy Provides New Lawyers With a Boot Camp Experience

By Jennifer Andrus

March 20, 2024

Trial Academy Provides New Lawyers With a Boot Camp Experience


By Jennifer Andrus

NYSBA Trial Academy 2023

A one-of-a-kind boot camp for trial attorneys who want to improve their courtroom skills is set to kick off on April 6 in Albany.

The five-day New York State Bar Association academy covers all aspects of a trial from jury selection to closing arguments. The event draws the best civil and criminal litigators from around the state to teach newer attorneys. Sitting judges also attend to give advice to young lawyers. Journalists are welcome, but please message Jennifer Andrus at [email protected].

Topics include preparation of a witness, the art of cross examination and the use of body language to communicate with a jury.

“The Trial Academy is what the New York State Bar Association does best, giving our members practical value and real world experience,” said New York State Bar Association President Richard Lewis. “New lawyers walk away feeling more confident and ready for their day in court. Now in its 15th year, continues to be a rewarding experience.”

What sets this program apart is the hands-on working approach, says co-creator, bar association member Tucker Stanclift.

“This program is designed to enhance trial skills and for some it’s the first time they are practicing those skills. It’s a well-rounded experience where new lawyers get fundamental skills in a safe environment,” he said. “Failure does not have consequences here, and real learning takes place.”

Deficit of Trial Experience

Stanclift says the trial academy addresses a major  problem in the legal industry. It’s hard for lawyers to develop trial skills because so many cases settle to avoid the high cost of a trial and the uncertainty of how a jury or judge will decide a case.

“These trial skills are necessary in order to deliver the justice that our clients deserve,” he said.

“Trial Academy was a great opportunity to learn the techniques needed to be successful,’” said Chris Matcovich who attended in 2017. “The hardest part of a trial for most is the art of the cross examination. So, hearing four different speakers provide guidance on proceeding through a cross was extremely helpful.”

You can find event registration information here.

Hear from co-founder, Immediate Past President Sherry Levin Wallach on her favorite part of the Trial Academy experience.


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