What is the Trial Lawyers College?
Are you a lawyer or judge who is looking for ways to act as a “real person” in your profession, to better understand your clients and their stories?
The Trial Lawyer’s College is dedicated to teaching lawyers these types of skills, among many other things.
What is the Trial Lawyer’s College?
In its own words, the nonprofit Trial Lawyers College is “committed to training a new breed of lawyer — a warrior who has the courage to become a real person first, and … the heart to fight for justice in their own passionate voice.”
The curriculum is based on something called psychodrama — taking action based on words and stories — and it’s all an effort to help find justice for the following people:
- Poor people
- Injured people
- Forgotten people
- People without a voice
- People who have been oppressed by corporations or government.
It’s an organization that wants to train lawyers and judges to care for clients in an “open atmosphere” that ignores age, religion, nationality, disabilities, gender or sexual orientation.
Who founded the Trial Lawyer’s College?
Gerry Spence is a very successful trial lawyer from Wyoming. He has spent most of his career fighting what he describes as “the new slave master,” i.e. giant corporations and an overbearing government.
Some of his biggest cases include:
- Defending Imelda Marcos, the widow of a former president of the Philippines
- Defending Randy Weaver at Ruby Bridge
- Defending Ed Cantrell and Sandy Jones on murder charges.
Gerry Spence has never lost a criminal case, and he’s secured more multi-million dollar awards for his civil cases than any other lawyer in the United States. He was inducted into the American Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame in 2009.
How does the curriculum work?
Lawyers and judges can sign up for seminars that are held across the country throughout the year.
Topics of the seminars include:
- Cross examination
- Opening statements
- Voir dire
- Criminal defense
Who helps to teach these courses?
The faculty and staff at the Trial Lawyer’s College is all volunteer-based. These volunteers are some of the top trial lawyers from across the country. Not only do they volunteer their time, they pay for all their own travel expenses to teach these seminars.
“Every TLC course and seminar will teach you skills to help you choose you cases, understand your clients and the underlying stories in their cases, and seek justice in the courtroom,” according to the Trial Lawyer’s College website.
Testimonials from lawyers who have taken the courses say that the curriculum has forever changed the way they practice law.