Having met the challenges of the nation’s #5 ranked (by U.S. News & World Report) trial advocacy program, students interested in litigation have a chance to put their skills to the test in actual courtrooms, with real cases, before sitting judges—through Baylor Law’s Trial Advocacy Clinic. Open to third-year students, the Clinic connects volunteers to clients through two programs: Juvenile Court and Municipal Court.
Representing the accused in their initial detention hearing in Juvenile Court, students draw on their client counseling skills and Practice Court experiences to advocate for their client by appointment of the court. For many students, it’s the first time they come face to face with a real client, witness the inner workings of the juvenile justice system, meet with a prosecutor, and have the opportunity to address a judge.
Likewise, the Municipal Court program affords students who have completed Baylor Law’s Practice Court program to advocate for defendants who, because of cost, would likely go unrepresented. Focusing on Class C misdemeanors, students step into world they’ve been trained for—as they stand and deliver before the court, examine witnesses, interact with opposing counsel, and advise their client through each phase of the proceedings.
These “above and beyond” opportunities build poise and confidence in students, as they see their years of preparation pay off. Most find the experience both valuable and fulfilling, knowing that that they were able to help make a difference on behalf of someone in need.
For more information, please contact clinic director Joshua G. Borderud.