“Law is not justice and a trial is not a scientific inquiry into the truth. A trial is the resolution of a dispute.” -Edison Haines
Unable to come to a settlement, you and your team are now going to trial. Your first step is to familiarize yourself with the facts. Develop the theme and theory of the case and prepare for trial. Sort through the evidence to see what you can get in and what you might keep out. Hone lines of questioning and prep your witnesses. You’ll sharpen your cross examination skills by considering the possibility that a witness becomes hostile and preparing effective objections. Draft compelling opening and closing arguments. And at the end of the session, have your day in court. Your legal team will meet the opposition in a Yale Law School courtroom, where the trial will be adjudicated by either a currently sitting judge or practicing attorney.
Whether you love to argue the facts or prefer to debate back-and-forth during cross examination, this is the perfect course for students who want to practice their public speaking and problem-solving skills. Gain confidence in presenting arguments in an interactive and fast-paced way by jumping into the world of law, criminal justice, and civil procedure. No previous Mock Trial experience required.
Chart the elements you intend to prove while acting on behalf of either the plaintiff or defendant.
Analyze different styles of opening and closing statements, then write and deliver your own, engaging in self-reflection and group critique as you improve.
Evidence + Procedure
Practice the rules of civil procedure, such as introducing evidence, questioning a witness, and admitting exhibits into the court record.
In this course, you will meet practicing attorneys, professors, and legal scholars to learn about their work, while getting advice on law school, current legal issues, and what a legal career looks like in practice.
Miguel Almodovar is an attorney with Jacobs & Rodzich, LLC based in New Haven. Almodovar practices in the areas of commercial litigation, construction law, creditors’ rights, personal injury, land use, and housing law. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Connecticut and his Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut School of Law.
Phillip Kent is a Commercial and Civil Litigator Partner at Susman, Duffy & Segaloff P.C. He handles a wide range of private and institutional clients in commercial, employment, housing, bankruptcy, medical malpractice, personal injury, and family and criminal matters. He does pro bono work with Lawyers For Children America and Statewide Legal Services.
Rowena Moffett is a principal attorney with the New Haven-based law firm of Brenner, Saltzman and Wallman, LLP. She is part of BSW’s litigation practice group, where she specializes in commercial, employment, real estate, land use, and probate litigation. She recently served as President of the New Haven County Bar Association. Moffett is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she was the editor of the Connecticut Law Review.
Catherine Peña Gonzalez is a staff attorney in the Criminal Defense Practice of Brooklyn Defender Services, a public defender organization representing clients that cannot afford an attorney. Gonzalez was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to New York City when she was nine years old. A graduate of New York University and Pace University School of Law, Gonzalez spent many years advocating for those in underserved communities – even prior to becoming a lawyer.
Lincoln Caplan is a well known author and journalist currently serving as Yale Law School’s Truman Capote Visiting Lecturer In Law. Caplan is the author of several books on the law, including American Justice 2016: the Political Supreme Court. Also a staff writer for The New Yorker, Caplan is a regular contributor to American Scholar and Harvard Magazine. Caplan is a graduate of both Harvard University and Harvard Law School.
Fred Lawrence is a renowned scholar, teacher and attorney. He currently serves as the 10th Secretary and CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Lawrence has a distinguished career in higher education, where he has served as President of Brandeis University and Dean of the George Washington University Law School. He is the author of Punishing Hate: Bias Crimes Under American Law, which is an exploration of bias-motivated violence and its treatment in United States courts.
Brian Soucek is a Professor of Law at University of California-Davis School of Law. Before earning his J.D. from Yale Law School in 2011, Soucek earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Columbia University in 2006. Soucek is a renowned author and expert in the areas of immigration law and sexual orientation law. His articles have been cited by the Sixth and Seventh Circuits as well as leading casebooks on Immigration Law and Sexual Orientation Law.
James Forman, Jr. is a professor of law at Yale Law School where he teaches Constitutional Law and legal seminars on race and criminal procedure. He is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America. Forman is a legal scholar in the areas of criminal procedure and criminal law policy, juvenile justice and education law and policy. At Yale Law School, his criminal justice students study alongside men incarcerated in a Connecticut prison.
Michael C. Dorf (F) is the Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell University. Michael has authored numerous journal articles and books and was co-editor of the casebook and related materials Constitutional Law (West, 2015 and yearly updates). Michael holds an A.B. and a J.D. from Harvard University. He served as a law clerk for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States, and maintains an active pro bono practice. Before joining the Cornell faculty, Mike taught at Rutgers-Camden Law School for three years and at Columbia Law School for thirteen years. His popular writing appears regularly in Newsweek, Verdict, and on his blog, Dorf on Law.
Justice Richard Gabriel has served on the Supreme Court of Colorado since 2015 and served as a judge on the Colorado Court of Appeals beginning in 2008. A 1987 graduate of University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Gabriel spent 20 years in private legal practice before being appointed to the bench. During that time, his practice focused on commercial law, intellectual property law, probate, and products liability litigation.
Courses are just one part of your day at EXPLO. Workshops, clubs and societies, trips into town with your friends… We pack a ton into a single day — imagine what you can do in three weeks.
Choose from 40+ trip options each weekend.
Culture. Entertainment. Adventure.
Live, learn, and become lifelong friends
with students from six continents.
At EXPLO, we give you the tools to tackle it head on — from college to career to a life of purpose and meaning.