New Courtroom Opens at Whittier Law School

COSTA MESA, Calif. – April 22, 2013 – To provide law students with even more opportunity for practice-oriented education, Whittier Law School recently completed construction of the Kiesel Advocacy Center, a new 4,400 square foot courtroom that contains a 134-seat spectator gallery, jury room and judge’s chambers. The courtroom provides a sophisticated and realistic environment for students to practice for mock trial and appellate competitions.

The facility also provides a bridge between Whittier Law School and legal community. Whittier plans to make the courtroom available to alumni and the Orange County legal community to rehearse high-stakes trials or to hold actual trials or arbitrations outside the formal court system.

Real Trials to Be Held in Courtroom
In addition, with California state budget cuts and reduced public access to courtrooms, Whittier plans to make the Kiesel Advocacy Center available to local courts to conduct actual trial and appellate proceedings. Penelope Bryan, dean of Whittier Law School, says, “Students can not only practice in the new courtroom, but they will be able to observe actual trials without having to leave the campus. We can hold proceedings right here.”

The courtroom was designed by John Secor of Archetype International, and funded by donations, including a major donation by Paul Kiesel, a partner in the law firm of Kiesel + Larson LLP, Beverly Hills. Kiesel graduated from Whittier Law School in 1985, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law in 2005. “From its planning stages, I intended the Kiesel Advocacy Center to create greater engagement between Whittier Law School and the entire legal community,” said Kiesel. “Whittier has a very rich tradition of training advocates who represent those who would otherwise be without a voice. I hope the Center inspires future generations of advocates.”

Whittier Law School students recently began to practice for national and regional trial and appellate competitions in the Kiesel Advocacy Center, using state-of-the-art technology to introduce evidence to the jury. According to Professor Martin Pritikin, the Associate Dean of Experiential Learning, “Whittier Law School is moving further in the direction or providing experiential learning opportunities for our students. The courtroom is a key component in our new “Experience the Law” curriculum, where students learn legal concepts but also put them into practice. We are training them to hit the ground running once they graduate.”

About Whittier Law School
Founded nearly 50 years ago and accredited by the American Bar Association since 1978, Whittier Law School offers a practical, hands-on legal education with experiences in the legal field to prepare lawyers for today’s practice. Whittier Law School is located at 3333 S. Harbor Boulevard in Costa Mesa, California.

Contact: Judy DeVine, Director of Communications, Whittier Law School: (714) 444-4141 ext. 131,

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