Stetson University

Online LL.M. in Advocacy - Curriculum

Course Schedule

Fall 2013
Advanced Advocacy I (6 Credit Hours)

Spring 2014

Advanced Advocacy Colloquia (1 Credit Hour)

Advanced Advocacy II (6 Credit Hours)

  • Conducting Effective Discovery
  • Advanced Evidence
  • Motions Practice

Summer 2014
Electives (6 Credit Hours)

Fall 2014
Capstone Practicum (1 Credit Hour)
Advocacy Project (1 Credit Hour)
Electives (4 Credit Hours)

Course Descriptions

Mandatory Curriculum

Advanced Advocacy I (6 Credit Hours)
Students explore methods of persuasion from a theoretical perspective and apply the lessons learned through performance-based exercises designed to expand the boundaries of their understanding and mastery of techniques. This course includes a strong emphasis on establishing and maintaining personal connections in order to facilitate effective communication, and includes visiting lectures by prominent national advocates.

Advanced Advocacy Colloquia (1 Credit Hour)
Students attend an intensive, on-campus workshop designed to challenge their assumptions about what it means to be an effective advocate and remedy self-imposed limitations that inhibit students' persuasive abilities. This course is attended by all LL.M. in Advocacy program candidates.

Conducting Effective Discovery (2 Credit Hours)
This course explores the topic of discovery from technical and strategic perspectives. The technical perspective includes instruction on how best to identify potential sources of evidence and frame discovery requests most effectively. The strategic perspective examines potential evidence through the prism of ultimate relevance, admissibility, and usefulness in order to inform the attorney's technical decisions. E-discovery and depositions are important topics within this component.

Advanced Evidence (2 Credit Hours)
This course examines the challenges associated with laying proper foundations and presenting evidence such as forensics, electronic evidence, and expert witnesses. Attention is also paid to topics such as character evidence, impeachment, and the use of evidence beyond the case in chief.

Motions Practice (2 Credit Hours)
This course provides an overview of motion procedures and examines the best practices for drafting and arguing motions at all stages of litigation.

Advocacy Project (1 Credit Hour)
Under the direction of an adviser, each student will produce an advocacy-related research paper or project. Advocacy-related projects might include the development of training materials for professional settings or pedagogical materials for academic environments. All projects must be research-driven and include a demonstrative component.

Capstone Practicum (1 Credit Hour)
This practicum is conducted during the final semester of the two-year LL.M. program. Students test their advocacy skills during each stage of litigation, including client counseling, discovery, and pretrial negotiations, with voir dire and mock trial exercises performed on campus.

Elective Curriculum

Law Practice Management Advocacy (2 Credit Hours)
This course focuses on developing an understanding of professional development programs within the firm environment; creating in house programs, including mentoring, management, and professional development; and understanding how to properly identify and development best practice law management procedures for the 21st century law office. This course includes a strong emphasis on the internal persuasion considerations required to properly position an individual attorney within the firm environment from a professional development perspective, as well as a systemic understanding of how professional development and best business practices impact the viability of the practice of law.

Mastering Voir Dire (2 Credit Hours)
This course teaches students to analyze evidence for its persuasive impact on different personality types, construct questionnaires to identify those most and least likely to be persuaded, and conduct effective voir dire to seat the most sympathetic jury possible. This course also employs state-of-the-art opinion feedback technology and instructs students on how to use it effectively.

Technology-Enhanced Advocacy (2 Credit Hours)
This course exposes students to the latest in courtroom technology and demonstrates how technology is best employed as a tool to enhance storytelling, rather than as a substitute for it. Students not only learn how about various courtroom technologies, but are also required to demonstrate their mastery of technology-assisted advocacy.

Expert Witnesses (2 Credit Hours)

This course tackles the challenges associated with the use of expert witnesses. Students receive instruction on a variety of topics, such as forensics, medicine, and information technology, and then learn how to effectively communicate such information through expert witnesses.

Complex Counseling and Negotiation (2 Credit Hours)
This course seeks to teach students the skills they need to recognize hidden factors that can influence their persuasiveness when counseling clients or negotiating with others and to balance the individual needs of competing parties. In addition to lecture-based instruction, this course makes extensive use of role-playing and practical exercises.

Forensic Evidence (2 Credit Hours)
This course delves into the science, technology, and investigative techniques associated with discovering, analyzing, and presenting forensic evidence.

Damages (2 Credit Hours)
This course examines the various forms of economic and noneconomic damages, explores the most effective means of recovery, and develops the advocacy skills best employed when seeking to maximize or mitigate damages.

Sentencing (2 Credit Hours)
This course builds upon the substantive legal foundation of sentencing laws and seeks to develop the investigative and advocacy skills needed in order to effectively persuade judges and, when applicable, juries.

Teaching Advocacy (2 Credit Hours)
Tapping directly into Stetson's vast experience as the leader in advocacy education, this course examines the pedagogy of teaching advocacy and gives students first-hand experience in applying these lessons through lab-based exercises that involve coaching actual law school students. Whether interested in teaching advocacy as a formal educator or conducting training for fellow attorneys, this course is invaluable in helping students enhance their ability to teach advocacy.

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