AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA SCHOOL OF LAW
History

In 1981, this College was co-founded by Professor Stephen A. Saltzburg, then of the University of Virginia School of Law, and now the Wallace and Beverly Woodbury University Professor, George Washington University Law School, and the Honorable Herbert J. Stern, then United States District Court, Newark, New Jersey.

Virginia Continuing Legal Education and the University of Virginia School of Law partnered with these individuals to create an “Annual Institute of Trial Advocacy.” This Institute has evolved into what today is the National Trial Advocacy College, a partnership between Virginia Continuing Legal Education and the University of Virginia School of Law, with Stephen Saltzburg as its Director.

The College has attracted a prominent faculty of trial attorneys, judges, professionals, and experts, many of whom have a long and distinguished tenure with the College. With an enrollment of approximately 150 lawyers per year, the College has refined the skills of thousands of lawyers from across the world, from Australia to South Africa to Japan.

The format of the program has remained its cornerstone: lectures and demonstrations by prominent faculty, followed by extensive training in small groups by a faculty member. In these groups, the lawyers practice and perform every advocacy skill in a simulated setting. Critique from the faculty and peers then ensues, all video recorded for the benefit of the attendee. After this hands-on trial skills training, the lawyer teams with a member of the group to prepare and try a case against another pair of attendees—before a live jury with an experienced trial judge.

In 1987 the College instituted the Brennan Award in honor of Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.  The honorees, many of whom also lecture at the College, include:

1987

Judah Best, The Honorable Robert R. Merhige, Jr., The Honorable Herbert J. Stern

1988

The Honorable Charles L. Becton, James D. St. Clair, Stephen A. Saltzburg

1989

William J. Brennan III, Terence F. MacCarthy

1990

John J. Curtin, Bruce I. Goldstein

1991

The Honorable Frederic N. Smalkin, Gregory P. Joseph, Peter J. Kenny

1992

Thomas F. Campion, Stephen M. Duncan

1993

The Honorable James T. Turner, John C. Lowe

1994

James M. Brown, Barry I. Fredericks, Charles B. Gorham

1995

The Honorable Ralph Adam Fine, Colin J. S. Thomas

1996

Raymond M. Tierney, Mary Lynn Tate, Edward R. Slaughter, Jr.

1997

Stephen B. Farmer, The Honorable Norman K. Moon

1998

The Honorable Stephen H. Helvin, Gerald A. Messerman

1999

The Honorable Helen S. Balick, The Honorable Bernard Balick, Robert M. Taylor

2000

Michael R. Fontham, The Honorable B. Waugh Crigler

2001

Brian J. Donato, Arthur J. Schwab

2002

David Boies, Gerald F. Ivey

2003

James J. Brosnahan, The Honorable David G. Lowe, The Honorable Clifford R. Weckstein

2004

The Honorable Antonin Scalia

2005

The Honorable Peter Hill Beer, The Honorable Adrian G. DuPlantier

2006

Benjamin R. Civiletti, Peter J. Neufeld

2007

The Honorable Leonie M. Brinkema, Robert A. Clifford, Jo-Ellan Dimitrius

2008

The Honorable Barbara J. Rothstein, Theodore V. Wells, Jr., Kenneth R. Feinberg

2009

The Honorable Mortimer M. Caplin, The Honorable Julian Abele Cook, Jr.

2010

Otto F. Feil III, Kathy L. Nusslock

2011

The Honorable Liam O'Grady

2012

The Honorable Russell E. Carparelli, The Honorable Ricardo M. Urbina

2013

The Honorable Gerald B. Lee

2014

The Honorable Bernice B. Donald

2015

The Honorable Robert J. Conrad, Jr., Kenneth W. Curtis

2016

The Honorable Henry Coke Morgan, R. Craig Wood

2017

The Honorable Karen A. Henenberg, Brenda Rodriguez-Howdershell

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