2017 Educating Advocates: Teaching Advocacy Skills

May 22-25, 2017
Stetson University College of Law
Gulfport, Florida

Theme for 2017:
We are What we Teach: 
Modeling Appropriate Behaviors Across Teaching Modalities

Stetson's annual Educating Advocates: Teaching Advocacy Skills (EATS) conference will take place Monday afternoon, May 22, through Wednesday, May 24, 2017, on our beautiful campus in Gulfport, Florida. This year we will focus on the importance of modeling, mentoring, and coaching across all teaching modalities.  We will look at our profession and its goals through the lens of adult experiential education, identifying the best ways each of us can assist our students in making the road by walking it.  Coverage will include:

  1. How to get students to own their own advocacy education.
  2. Letting go to get results - bottom up as opposed to top down coaching.
  3. How ethics informs your teaching, coaching, and scholarship.

Attendees will spend two and one-half days developing their teaching skills, learning new techniques, and networking with some of the most recognized names in advocacy teaching. Everyone will leave well-equipped to empower their students to become better advocates. 

On Thursday, May 25, 2017, we will offer an optional full day Teacher Advocacy Training (TAT) session. This program will focus specifically on designing individual, short-term, and long term advocacy training calendars for firms and government agencies, to include practicing teaching methodologies and initiating internal advocacy teaching programs within your organization. Attendees will be taught how to critique and how to teach others to critique as well. There will be an additional charge to attend this training session. Space will be limited due to the hands-on nature of the training and critiquing that will occur.

Main Conference Agenda (We reserve the right to make changes to this Agenda.)

Monday, May 22 (12:00-6:15 p.m.) Welcome and panel discussions  
Tuesday, May 23 (9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.) Panel discussions and break-out sessions
Tuesday, May 23 (6:15-8:30 p.m.) Awards Reception and Dinner
Wednesday, May 24 (9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) Morning panel discussions; afternoon two concurrent sessions:

  • On Paper vs. In Person
  • Psycho Drama

Note:  The program has been designed so you can attend one of the two presentations listed above.  It is recommended that first time attendees participate in the session On Paper vs. In Person.

Thursday, May 25 (Optional Program, Additional Fee)
Teacher Advocacy Training (TAT)
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Early Bird Registration Ends April 21, 2017

The Main Conference
We are what we Teach:  Modeling Appropriate Behaviors Across Teaching Modalities.
May 22, 23, 24
Early Bird Rate $549
Standard Rate $649
Group discount $50 off each attendee is available for two attendees or more from the same organization.
Please contact Peggy Gordon at advocacy@law.stetson.edu to complete the group registration.

Post-Conference Training
Teacher Advocacy Training
Thurs., May 25
Early Bird Rate $199
Standard Rate $299

Both the Main Conference and the Post-Conference Training
Early Bird Rate $649
Regular Rate $749


Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching Advocacy

This award is presented to recognize those who have fundamentally changed the way in which the world approaches the teaching of advocacy. Previous recipients of this award include Terry MacCarthy, Thomas Mauet, Warren Wolfson, Barbara Bergman, James Seckinger, Edward Ohlbaum, Susan Poehls, Bill Eleazer, the Hon. David Erickson, Joshua Karton.

Edward D. Ohlbaum Professionalism Award

This award was created to pay forward the dedication and commitment our good friend Professor Edward Ohlbaum displayed, throughout his career, to the ethical teaching of an entire generation of advocates. The purpose of this award is to honor an individual whose life and practice display sterling character and unquestioned integrity, coupled with ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession and the rule of law. Previous recepients of the award were Adam Shlahet and Elizabeth Lippy. Professor David A. Erickson will chair the selection committee.  

Cornerstone Award

The Cornerstone Award recognizes exceptional members of the advocacy teaching community who work tirelessly to create learning opportunities across the profession. The recipients of the Cornerstone Award are recognized for their unwavering commitment to protecting the right to trial by jury, development of training opportunities for trial lawyers, and support of the profession in both word and deed.  


We will continue our practice of inviting vendors to update you on the latest developments in advocacy-related products and teaching materials.

What Participants Have Said About Our Conference:

“Anyone interested in teaching advocates should try this out. It’s important to protecting our profession and developing it along the path it needs to travel. EATS is really that important. It’s been an eye-opener for me, reconnecting with the trial advocacy community. I’m going to be encouraging a number of people at my school to attend in the future.”
-Lawrence Mann, Director of Practical Skills, Wayne State University Law School

“It’s the only opportunity I’ve ever seen to get together with other people who do what you do and love it. We all just want to get better. Collaborating with these people creates new ideas that make you a better version of the teacher you already are.”
-KellyAnne Holohan, Adjunct Professor, Fordham University School of Law

“EATS is in the vanguard of the legal profession. It teaches law professors to look to the future and to share all their work with other law professors. It’s gaining in strength and popularity year to year and is an example of what every law school needs.”
-Gillian More, Retired High Court Prosecutor Scotland

“It was great to network with teachers and coaches in the trial advocacy community in an environment, like this, that doesn’t involve competition or anything formal. The free exchange of ideas was invigorating and already changed the way I coach mock trial teams.”
-Mike Rasmussen, Adjunct Professor, Cumberland School of Law

“EATS is a very important thing to attend if you care about the way advocacy is taught. These are the folks who are on the cutting edge of the advocacy teaching profession. I always come away with a brand new, excellent idea for teaching my class.”
-Honorable Robert McGahey, Jr., Denver District Court