Access to Justice

Legal Services Advocacy Training Program

The Legal Services Advocacy Training Program is designed to offer intensive trial advocacy training, at no cost, to attorneys at clinics and legal services programs who do not typically have access to traditional continuing legal education trial skills programs.

The program was first presented at the Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, and for over 20 years has been held annually at prestigious law schools and law firms across the country.     

The two-and-a-half-day workshop is modeled after the National Institute for Trial Advocacy format using both a donated NITA casefile and volunteer NITA instructors, with emphasis on student performance, faculty critique, and video review. Some of the topics covered are the basic trial skills of developing a theme, direct and cross-examination, impeachment, introduction and use of exhibits, opening statement, and closing argument. After listening to informative lectures, students will break out into four small groups under the direction of faculty, where they will perform learned skills (while being videotaped) and then critiqued on their performance. 

Training Cost
All trainings are free of charge and depend on the volunteered time of experienced trial lawyers, judges and academics. Each year the Chair of the Section of Litigation hosts this training.  

This training is available ONLY to regional full-time Legal Aid Attorneys. With only 32 slots available, we must limit the number of attorneys from each provider to assure that we provide some slots for most providers in any given region.

The ABA will seek 13.25 hours of CLE credit in 60-minute states, and 15.9 hours of CLE credit for this program in 50-minute states. Credit hours are estimated and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules. Please visit for general information on CLE at the ABA.