The Trial Practice curriculum is part of the Law School's Litigation program. "Litigation" refers to the resolution of legal disputes through the court system. It encompasses everything from traffic court and small claims to murder trials, class-action suits, and Supreme Court cases on posting the 10 Commandments. Litigators must be competent in five areas: 1) the substantive law governing the subject-matter of the dispute (contracts, family law, criminal law, civil rights, torts, etc), 2) civil and criminal pretrial procedure, 3) negotiation and other alternative methods of dispute resolution, 4) trial practice, and 5) appellate practice.

The first year of law school gives students some preliminary exposure to litigation, but does not focus on trial practice, That comes in the second and third years. The IU Law School offers a sequence of three courses that should be taken in the order listed:

1. Evidence (fall or spring, 2nd year)

2. Trial Advocacy (spring of 2nd year or fall of 3rd year)

3. Advanced Trial Practice (fall 3rd year, if you took trial advocacy spring of the 2d year)

In addition, the school sponsors an internal trial tournament and several opportunities to compete in an external trial competition in the spring of the 3rd year. These opportunities are open to everyone, whether or not you have taken advanced trial practice. We have even had students participate who have not taken trial advocacy

Many other courses are available that have a litigation and skills focus -- Patent Trial Practice, Negotiation, Pretrial Litigation, Labor Arbitration, and a variety of clinical courses. See the Guide to Litigation-Related Courses .

last updated 11/13/12