2021 Educating Advocacy
Teachers Conference

Advancing Advocacy Teaching Through Collaboration, Innovation and Technology

Due to the risks of COVID-19, Stetson’s EATS Conference is going virtual this year!

June 14-16, 2021

The Educating Advocacy Teachers (EATS) Conference has been hosted by Stetson Law for more than a decade and is well-known in the Advocacy community as being a truly dynamic and collaborative experience. The unique conference invites educators from around the country to share their experiences, while facilitating the exploration of new teaching techniques and technology in this specialized area. This year’s conference is comprised of various panels, workshops, and breakout sessions that promote small group discussion and interaction based on trending topics identified by the national trial advocacy community.

EATS is also a celebration of achievement in advocacy teaching. At the awards reception, we will celebrate the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching Advocacy, the Edward D. Ohlbaum Professionalism Award, and the first annual Advocacy Writing Competition Award winner.

Tentative Conference Agenda

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Speakers


Early Bird Registration is March 15 to April 30 - $250 for First Person, $100 for Individuals from the Same Organization – Group Rate)

Standard Registration is May 1 to June 10 - $300 for First Person, $100 for Individuals from the Same Organization – Group Rate)


Monday, June 14, 2021

2 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.
Welcome & Conference Logistics Overview
2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
All Group Session
  • What Are You Doing This Summer?
  • Summer training initiatives, courses, CLE programs & webinars
3:45 p.m. – 4 p.m.
4:15 – 5:45 p.m.
All Group Session

Future of Advocacy Education
  • National Association of Legal Advocacy Educators (NALAE) Update
  • AALS Section Distinction Discussion
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Awards Ceremony & Networking

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

11 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Daily Instructions
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
All Group Session
What Tools Are You Keeping From Our Time Online?
  • Using Canvas, Blackboard & Zoom to augment in-class teaching
  • Sharing ideas and materials
12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Breakout One
Advocacy Scholarship (SESSION 1)
  • Identifying challenges & obstacles
  • Creating a writing agenda & utilizing research tools & software
Breakout Two
New & Non-Traditional Rules & Competitions
  • Starting a new competition
  • Proposing a unique rule or competition process
Breakout Three
Designing an Advanced Advocacy Course
Breakout Room A - Trial Skills
Breakout Room B – Appellate Advocacy
Breakout Room C - Negotiation & DR
1:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Lunch Break
Sign Up for a “Lunch Table” informal chat (while you eat lunch)

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
All Group Session
Identifying & Handling Race, Gender & Other Prejudices in Cases
  • Discussing approaches to handling prejudices in cases
  • Maximizing real life examples in teaching without losing control of the narrative
  • Discussing techniques for teaching students how to integrate and address these issues in their presentation of a case
3:45 p.m. - 4 p.m.
4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Breakout One
Feedback Techniques
  • Using digital feedback software & performance rubrics
  • Balancing too much feedback with not correcting all deficiencies
Breakout Two
Techniques for Engaging Students and Working Through Speech & Presentation Style Issues
  • Student interactive session
  • Drills to build confidence & improve speaking skills
Breakout Three
The Coach’s Role
  • Mistakes we have made . . . 
  • Dealing with behavioral & disciplinary issues
  • Understanding where Title IX fits into the coach’s responsibilities
5 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
5:15 p.m. - 6 p.m.
All Group Session
Presentation by Advocacy Writing Award Winner and Panel Discussion
Integrating Advocacy Skills into the Doctrinal Curriculum
  • Course development & simulation sharing
  • Professor & administration buy-in
6:15 p.m. - 7 p.m.
All Group Session
Inter-School Collaborations
  • Collaborative courses & co-sponsored events
  • Inter-school competition scrimmaging

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
All Group Session
Moving Forward: Online v. In-Person Competitions
  • Fall 2021 short-term competition plans
  • Plans for online competitions after COVID
12 p.m. – 12:15 p.m.
12:15 – 1:15 p.m.
Breakout One
Creative Exercises in Storytelling
  • Storytelling foundations
  • Drills & exercises
Breakout Two
Concrete Ideas for Diversity & Inclusion
  • Recruiting faculty & team members
  • Using non-defensive communications
  • Thinking about accessibility
Breakout Three
Transitioning between Teaching Appointments (adjunct to tenure-track) & Advancement in the Advocacy Teaching Field
  • Identifying pitfalls
  • Sharing approaches & providing mentorship
1:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Breakout One
Collaborative Discussion: Teaching Closing Arguments
  • Techniques & materials
  • White paper from the community (NITA publication)
Breakout Two
Fundraising & Alumni Relations
  • Networks & data banks
  • Sponsorships for events & scholarships
Breakout Three
“Oh the Skills They have Learned”
  • How competition work builds soft skills & practice readiness
  • Applicable to trial, moot & DR
  • Discusses ABA standards
2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Lunch Break
Sign Up for a “Lunch Table” informal chat (while you eat lunch)

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Breakout One
Advocacy Programs Dissected
  • Alternative approaches to staffing advocacy courses & programs
  • Status of advocacy teachers & administrators within institutions
Breakout Two
Grading Advocacy Students
  • Challenge of talented v. hardworking students
  • Letter grades or Pass/Fail
  • Objective v. subjective assessments (using rubrics)
Breakout Three
Building a Winning Cultural for Competition Teams
  • Establishing expectations
  • Changing unproductive dynamics
  • Working within the Administration and with other academic programs
  • Student leadership within trial teams
4:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Breakout One
Competition Transparency
  • Selecting teams
  • Training judges
  • Releasing ballots
Breakout Two
Advocacy Scholarship (SESSION 2)
  • Discussing research topics
  • Giving feedback on pre-submissions in small groups
  • Exploring a mentor/mentee program
Breakout Three
Unique Courses
  • Discussing non-traditional & creative advocacy offerings
  • Sharing syllabi
5:45 p.m.
Farewell & See You Next Year at the Beach!


Jim Roberts

Circuit Court Judge
Sixth Judicial Circuit
Tuscaloosa, AL
Head of National Trial Teams,
Samford University,
Cumberland School of Law


Kristen David Adams

Professor of Law
Stetson University College of Law
Gulfport, FL


Ramona Albin

Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Advocacy Program
Samford University, Cumberland School of Law
Birmingham, AL


Robert Altchiler

Founder & Principal
Altchiler LLC
White Plains, NY
New York, NY


Heather Baxter

Professor of Law
Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad College of Law
Fort Lauderdale, FL


AJ Bellido de Luna

Hardy Director of Advocacy; Service Professor
St. Mary’s University, School of Law
San Antonio, TX


Justin Bernstein

Director of A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy; Lecturer in Law
UCLA, School of Law
Los Angeles, CA


Brooke Bowman

Professor of Law; Director of Finances, Advocacy Boards; and Director, Moot Court Board
Stetson University College of Law
Gulfport, FL


Marian Braccia

Director of the LL.M. in Trial Advocacy Program; Practice Professor of Law
Temple University Beasley School of Law
Philadelphia, PA


Megan Chaney

Co-Director, Criminal Justice Field Placement Clinic; Professor of Law
Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad College of Law
Fort Lauderdale, FL


Carlos Concepcion

Professor of Law
San Juan, PR


Brandon Draper

Assistant County Attorney
Harris County Attorney’s Office
Houston, TX


Jules Epstein

Professor of Law; Director of Advocacy Programs
Temple University Beasley School of Law
Philadelphia, PA


Captain Valonne L. Ehrhardt*

United States Marine Corps


Lou Fasulo

Partner of Fasulo Braverman & DiMaggio, LLP; Director of Advocacy
Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University


Kristen M. Gibbons Feden

Attorney at Law
Saltz, Mongeluzzi & Bendesky
Philadelphia, PA


Kelly Feeley

Professor of Law
Stetson University College of Law
Gulfport, FL


Brandi Harden

Managing Partner
Harden & Pinckney, PLLC
Washington, D.C.


The Honorable Kristi Harrington

Retired Circuit Court Judge
South Carolina Circuit Court; Adjunct Professor – Charleston School of Law


Joe Lester

Associate Director of Advocacy Training of the Stephen S. Weinstein Advocacy Program
American University’s Washington College of Law
Washington, D.C.


Elizabeth Lippy

Practice Professor of Law; Director of the Trial Advocacy Program
Temple University Beasley School of Law
Philadelphia, PA


Robert Little

Director of Advocacy Programs; Lecturer
Baylor University, Sheila & Walter Umphrey Law Center
Waco, TX


Keith Morgan

Adjunct Professor,
University of the District of Columbia, School of Law


Kelly Navarro

Director of Trial Advocacy and Dispute Resolution Programs
The UIC John Marshall Law School
Chicago, IL


Spencer Pahlke

UC Berkeley School of Law; Associate Attorney, Walkup Melodia
Berkeley, CA


Jason Palmer

Professor of Law
Stetson University College of Law
Gulfport, FL


Susan Poehls

Director, Trial Advocacy Programs;
William C. Hobbs Professor of Trial Advocacy – Loyola Law School
Los Angeles, CA


Kaelyn Romey

Litigation Center Director and Associate Professor of Law
Golden Gate University School of Law
San Francisco, CA


Charles H. Rose III

Dean of the College of Law
Ohio Northern University Claude W. Pettit College of Law
Ada, OH


Laura Rose

Assistant Professor of Law
University of South Dakota School of Law
Vermillion, SD


Laurence (Lonny) M. Rose

Professor Emeritus; Director Emeritus
University of Miami School of Law
Miami, FL


Jared Rosenblatt

Adjunct Professor
Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY


Grant Rost

Senior Instructor of Lawyering Skills, Director of the Center for Lawyering Skills
Liberty University School of Law
Lynchburg, VA


Nancy Schultz

Professor, Director, Competitions and Alternative Dispute Resolution Program
Chapman University's Fowler School of Law
Orange, CA


Adam Shlahet

Director, Brendan Moore Trial Advocacy Center
Fordham University School of Law
New York City, NY


Catherine Stahl

Director of Trial Advocacy; Director of Moot Court Program; Teaching Associate Professor
Illinois College of Law
Champaign, IL


Gwen Stern

Director of the Trial Advocacy Program; Professor of Law
Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law
Philadelphia, PA


Stephanie Vaughan

Professor of Law
Stetson University College of Law
Gulfport, FL

*The depiction of Captain Ehrhardt in uniform, and her participation in this forum, does not imply or constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of the Navy (DON) or United States Marine Corps (USMC). Additionally, Captain Ehrhardt’ s participation in this forum is in her own personal capacity. Any views expressed by Captain Ehrhardt in this forum are those of Captain Ehrhardt and are not attributable to those aforementioned government entities.


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, and Travis H.D. Lewin.

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, Elizabeth Lippy and Mark Cumba. 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.

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

CLE Information

Although we only apply for CLE credit in the state of Florida, we will provide you with materials at the conference if you would like to apply for CLE credit in another state. For information regarding credits in other states, please contact ope@law.stetson.edu.


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