Baylor Law School hosts a first-of-its-kind, advocacy-focused summer study program in St Andrews, Scotland - the Baylor Academy of the Advocate at St Andrews. The Academy is the result of a partnership between Baylor University, the oldest university in Texas, founded in 1845 by the Republic of Texas, and the University of St Andrews, founded in 1413, the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. The Academy is a two-week program that provides students with intense and practical training in trial and appellate advocacy from some of the very best lawyers, judges, and trial advocacy professors in the United States and United Kingdom. The program links the art and craft of advocacy to the rich history of the British Common Law system and the traditions of the trial by jury and the right to appeal. The Academy instills in students the importance of professionalism, civility, and the ethical practice of trial and appellate advocacy.
Baylor Law School's Academy of the Advocate focuses on trial and appellate advocacy, including the comparison of trial and appellate advocacy techniques of British and American trial and appellate lawyers. The art of storytelling is a theme that runs throughout the program. The history of the Reformation and Inquisition in St Andrews provides striking examples of the power of the spoken word. The program also seeks to place trial and appellate advocacy in the context of the traditions of the British and American legal systems, using the development of Scotland's democracy and legal system as a case study.
The program is organized into three schools–the School of the Appeal, the School of the Trial, and the Advanced School of the Trial. The program is limited to a maximum of 60 students. Upon enrollment, students choose a school and complete the course of study in the two-week session. Students receive three semester or five quarter hours of credit for successful completion of any School.
The 2014 Academy of the Advocate will begin on July 27 with an orientation. Classes begin on July 27 and continue through August 10. Grades are be based on students' participation in discussions and performance on graded advocacy exercises, including a "Final Trial" for the School of the Trial and the Advanced School of the Trial students, and a "Final Argument" for School of the Appeal students. They will be held on the last day of the program.
The Academy of the Advocate takes place at the historic University of St Andrews. St Andrews has been one of Europe's leading teaching and research centers for 600 years. The unique history of St Andrews makes it the perfect location to learn about the history and development of our modern legal system.1 Students in the Academy have classes and advocacy exercises in classrooms that are hundreds of years old – but updated with modern technology – in one of the historic buildings on the seaside campus.
The program also includes visits to legal institutions, including Parliament Hall in St Andrews and the Modern Parliament Building in Edinburgh. Parliament Hall was the seat of Scottish Parliament for part of the 17th century. Scotland's current-day Parliament Building is located an hour's drive from St Andrews in Edinburgh. During these visits, students learn about the history and development of Scottish democracy and trial by jury.
To learn more about St Andrews' history, please visit www.st-andrews.ac.uk/about/
As a new program, the Baylor Law School Academy of the Advocate at St Andrews has been provisionally approved by the American Bar Association Accreditation Committee.