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Institute of Trial and Appellate Practice

Much of what lawyers do today takes place outside the courtroom. Nevertheless, effective advocacy remains a fundamental skill of the legal profession.

To help students learn and refine these skills, Whittier Law School has developed the Institute of Trial and Appellate Practice (ITAP). You can gain extensive training, in-depth knowledge and insights from experts through participating in ITAP. The Director of ITAP, Acting Dean Martin Pritikin, has experience in both civil and criminal litigation. He, along with other Whittier faculty as well as seasoned practitioners and judges, teaches the ITAP curriculum.

Under the ITAP umbrella, two honors organizations, the Trial Advocacy Honors Board and Moot Court Honors Board, provide students with intense, challenging training and hands-on experience in all aspects of trial and appellate advocacy. In addition, a student group focused on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) trains and sends students to participate in negotiation and mediation competitions.

Students can earn a Concentration in Trial and Appellate Practice by satisfying certain coursework. Upper-division ITAP Fellowships are also available for students who demonstrate excellent academic performance and advocacy performance or potential.

ITAP also brings speakers to campus to give students an insider’s perspective on a variety of litigation and other advocacy-related topics, such as first-hand accounts of United States Supreme Court advocacy, developing a niche practice, cutting-edge issues of litigation technology, or what it is jury consultants really do.

Student Experience

Andrea Hernandez
Class of 2009, Trial Advocacy Honors Board Member

“Participating in mock trial was absolutely my best experience in law school. Thanks to the training I received, I feel confident as I head into the working world that I can handle whatever is demanded of me. Perhaps best of all, I’ve enjoyed the friendships I’ve developed with the incredibly talented people on the trial advocacy team, all of whom have a real passion for trial work.”

Matt Easton
Class of 2009, Chief Justice, Moot Court Honors Board

“I was fortunate enough to compete in both moot court and mock trial competitions. Engaging in high-level trial and appellate advocacy against top-tier school students has given me invaluable preparation for my future as a litigator. The experience has been a real confidence booster for me, and the times I spent in advocacy activities have been my most memorable in law school. I am forever grateful to the many professors and coaches that are part of the Institute of Trial and Appellate Practice for providing me with such a rewarding and enjoyable educational experience.”