TIPS/ABOTA National Trial Academy

The National Trial Academy sponsored by the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) offers a unique, interactive, diverse program combining today’s latest technology with the country’s top trial lawyers as personal mentors. With a three student per faculty member ratio, each student will receive individualized and personal mentoring.


2017 National Trial Academy Leadership


Director, William C. Callaham

Director-Elect, Chris A. Marks

Presiding Judge, Janet J. Berry

Here is What Past Attendees Had to Say About Trial Academy

"One of most useful things was getting to see the jury deliberate, because in voir dire and when prepping witnesses, I was able to talk to them intelligently about what kinds of things juries think and talk about and focus on when deliberating. I completely credit the experience I had at Trial Academy for this."

- Kate
DLA Piper LLP

"I learned so much from your academy, which I pulled from at a justice court trial last week. It would have been so much more difficult without having had that experience. Thank you!!"

- Tanya
Dyer-Lawrence Law Firm


You have probably received many brochures advertising various trial education programs. However, the National Trial Academy, sponsored by the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) offers a unique, interactive, diverse program combining today’s latest technology with the country’s top trial lawyers as personal mentors. Our faculty consists of six defense lawyers, six plaintiff lawyers, district judges, supreme court justices, jury consultants, professors and technical engineers who are all seasoned experts in their particular specialties. Affectionately called the country’s top “Boot camp for Lawyers” in the September 2002 issue of the ABA Journal, the intense 4½ day program utilizes a wide range of individualized teaching methods and approaches not found anywhere else.


The TIPS Trial Academy will limit participation to just 36 students, approximately 18 each from the plaintiff and defense bars. Employing state of the art technology and instruction, including the use of a 21st Century Courtroom, the students will be exposed to a broad array of trial techniques and methodologies ranging from computer animation and litigation software technology to instruction on voir dire by nationally renowned jury consultants.


With a three student per faculty member ratio, students receive the most individualized mentoring available at any trial academy. Moreover, having faculty members and students who represent both sides of the trial bar, students will be critiqued from both perspectives and learn from each other on how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments as well as schooling on professional and ethical conduct in a courtroom.


The National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, is where it all happens. The National Judicial College is where practicing judges from around the world come to be educated in all aspects of trial practice.


Academy Highlights

  • Offers a unique, interactive, diverse program combining today's latest technology with the Country's top trial lawyers as personal mentors
  • Faculty includes expert defense lawyers, plaintiff lawyers, district judges, Supreme Court justices, jury consultants, professors and technical engineers

CLE Credit

The students at the National Trial Academy will qualify for Continuing Legal Education credits in all states. Students who attend the Trial Academy will earn approximately forty (40) or fifty (50) hours of state accreditation depending on which state the student is licensed in, the cost of which is tax deductible. This transitional program is approved for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys in NY. For more information about CLE accreditation in your state contact Donald Quarles at Donald.Quarles@americanbar.org


Scholarships Available!

ATTENTION TIPS MEMBERS: Scholarships are available for this program. For programs with tuition costs over $500, qualifying attorneys will receive at least a 50% reduction in the course fee(s). To request an application or receive additional information, contact Daniel Chavez at 312.988.5561.


Who Can you Contact?

To ensure individual teaching and instruction, enrollment in the TIPS/ABOTA National Trial Academy is by application only. It is strongly recommended that any person who wishes to be considered for the 2017 TIPS/ABOTA National Trial Academy apply immediately. Please fill out the attached application and, along with a check payable to the American Bar Association, return it to Ms. Janet Hummons of the American Bar Association, Director of Meetings and Continuing Legal Education, TIPS, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60654; telephone number (312) 988-5656.