Prior to graduation, students must take at least one course in each of the following areas:
Civil Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Trial lawyers or litigators are lawyers who represent clients in civil lawsuits. Most cases are resolved before trial, and trial lawyers often spend much of their time on deposing witnesses, pre-trial discovery of facts, negotiating and strategizing litigation, writing briefs and filing motions. Although not every case leads to a trial, litigators must have the skills (and confidence) to try a case before a judge or jury, as well as appeals.
Litigators must have strong legal research and writing skills and be well-organized and detail oriented. Trial lawyers must learn to be excellent negotiators and should enjoy frequent conversations with clients, witnesses, and opposing counsel.
Some trial attorneys specialize in a particular practice area, such as employment litigation or products liability. Others are generalists and can take any case to trial.
Alternative Dispute Resolution is an alternative to a trial. Mediation is an informal process where opposing parties are brought together to work out their differences. Arbitration is a simpler and faster alternative to court room trials. Civil litigators, mediators, and arbitrators require similar skills.
Stetson has consistently ranked as the best law school for trial advocacy in the United States, and students studying in this area can choose from a large number of state-of-the-art and leading edge courses. A concentration program in advocacy is available through the Center for Excellence in Advocacy.
Experiential Courses and Seminars
- ABA Sponsored James B. Boskey Law Student Essay Contest on Dispute Resolution
- American Bar Association Law Student Division, Regional Arbitration Competition
- American Bar Association Law Student Division, Regional Client Counseling Competition
- American Bar Association Law Student Division, Regional Negotiation Competition
- Dispute Resolution Law Student National Representation in Mediation Competition
- Liberty University School of Law National Negotiation Tournament
- NBLSA International Negotiation Competition
- Robert R. Merhige, Jr. National Environmental Negotiation Competition
- Tort Trial and Insurance Practice (TIPS) Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Student Writing Competition Young Lawyers Division Haiku Contest for Law Students
- Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot, Hong Kong
- Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, Vienna, Austria