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April 22, 2024 ABA-TIPS/ABOTA National Trial Academy

2024 ABA/ABOTA National Trial Academy

Sponsored by the ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section and the American Board of Trial Advocates

JUNE 8-12, 2024

View the brochure
 and apply today

Deadline to Apply: May 17, 2024

About Trial Academy

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 specialties. Affectionately called the country’s top “Boot camp for Lawyers” in 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 30 students. 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.

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.


The Academy curriculum will involve a core case study taught by a faculty of leading plaintiff and defense trial lawyers from throughout the United States as well as professors from the National Judicial College. Each faculty member will have responsibility for three students and will participate interactively through exemplar trial court presentations as well as constructive feedback including videotape reviews of the students’ performance in the courtroom.

In addition to individual courtroom presentations, the students will also be provided with lectures and courtroom demonstrations by faculty members on a variety of trial skills including direct and cross-examination of medical and scientific witnesses, opening statements, closing arguments and jury selection. Each student will be videotaped while conducting an opening statement and a closing argument. Physicians from the Reno Nevada area and engineers from a nationally known engineering firm will serve as expert witnesses. Two nationally renowned faculty members will assist the students in a mock jury trial that will take place on the final day involving the actual case study involved in the program. Jurors will be summoned and selected from the surrounding community. The trial will conclude with televised jury deliberations and a subsequent panel discussion with jurors, judges, and faculty members regarding the case presentation by each side.

Several weeks prior to the commencement of the Trial Academy, the students will receive a complete set of practice materials. The set will contain the core case study including excerpts from depositions, expert reports, and other materials necessary to the case. The core case study will form the basis of the program participation and the mock trial. Prior to the commencement of the Trial Academy, students will be required to submit a trial brief, jury instructions, and a set of stipulated facts for the trial.

On Wednesday night, June 12, 2024, after the trial, there will be a dinner and ceremony honoring all the students and faculty participants with beautifully engraved plaques for their completion of the academy.


Participants will be transported each day to the Nugget Resort Spa for meals and hotel accommodation. The fee for the Academy is $4,600.00 and includes hotel accommodation, meals, transportation to and from the College and the use of the National Judicial College and their state-of-the-art 21st Century courtroom.