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    Welcome to the Mock Trial University and Trial Skills Live. We are here to teach mock trial students and lawyers on how to improve their court room advocacy. 


    A strong trial advocate learns and masters his/her craft in three ways: (1) through a firm grasp of the facts and theory; (2) lots of practice delivering the arguments; and (3) by watching and learning other great litigators presenting in court. Most of us are able to focus on the first two but not everyone has the luxury of spending hours in a court of law learning and watching skilled attorneys. The purpose of this website is to provide you with tips and techniques to help improve your trial advocacy (and hopefully win your case/mock trial) BUT we also encourage you to download our Trial Skills Live video. It's currently the BEST SELLING Mock Trial Video available at 

    For More Information and a FREE Preview: Click Here.

    Get the Video: Click Here

    Watch a Preview: Click Here



    The Law Insider

    Hey folks, this is Preston Clark. I created Trial Skills Live a few years ago with the help of David Podein. We had a ton of fun creating our Mock Trial video series-- and we hope that you are enjoying the great MOCK TRIAL and related content here on our website.

    As you may have noticed, it's been a while since we have posted anything new. David has been busy being a kickass attorney in Miami and my days are spent building-up a databse of awesome articles over at I've posted several mock trial videos over there as well.  

    When you have a few minutes, pay me a visit at You can also find me on Twitter @lawinsider

    If you are a Mock Trial teacher looking for a curriculum, please send me an email for more information.

    All the best,

    Preston Clark 


    How to Deliver a Closing Argument

    In this post, we are offering a sneak peak into our Trial Skills Live video series and showing off our Closing Argument video.


    Learning How to Deliver an affective Closing Argument is perhaps the most important skill set of any mock trial student or litigator. We encourage our Mock Trial students to watch this video as many times as you can. You are going to notice something different about how to deliver a closing argument each and every time you watch. To deliver a great closing argument may very well be the difference between winning and losing. Good luck with your mock trial competition and your closing argument. 


    How to Deliver an Opening Statement

    Welcome back to Mock Trial University and the home of the Trial Skills Live mock trial prep video series. Today we are offering you an important look at How to Deliver an Opening Statement.


    All of the "actors" in the video are practicing attorneys and international award winning trial advocates. How to deliver an opening statement is perhaps the most important piece to your mock trial. It is the first impression and sets the tone for the remainder of the mock trial competition. Please watch How to Deliver and Opening Statement as many times as possible. There is more to it than you might see after just one or two views.  

    To download more great videos from Trial Skills Live, Pleas Click Below. 



    How to Think Like a Lawyer 

    “Now that’s thinking like a lawyer.”

    Law professors and attorneys love saying that to students who are learning the law. But what does it really mean to think like a lawyer? Does it mean you have strong analytical skills or that you’re good at making and countering arguments?


    Let’s take a look at defense attorney Arthur Aidala who is representing NFL hall-of-famer Lawrence Taylor on rape charges. I know, it’s not the nicest of cases to be using as an example on my blawg but Mr. Aidala does a hell of a job of dancing around questions posed by the Fox News reporter about the charges and allegations against the retired NFL great

    (interview starts at minute 1:15).

    What you will notice is that Mr. Aidala is answering questions that anticipate his defense of Mr. Taylor.

    "What happened in that hotel room?"

    Mr. Aidala responds by saying that he doesn't want to focus on what happened but rather on what did NOT happen. That after all is the burden the court system will place on Mr. Taylor-- it is not the defense's burden to prove what happened but rather to create doubt surrounding what ALLEGEDLY happened. For that reason, Mr. Aidala, when giving his answers, is focusing on the facts that are most favorable to his client in countering the 3rd degree rape charge.

    It's easy to see where he's going with the argument, right? "There was no sexual intercourse!" It's not his job to prove that Mr. Taylor was not in the hotel room with the girl or that there was no sexual contact. It's his burden to undermine the statutory rape charge-- which means disproving that sexual intercourse occurred.

    Mr. Aidala is indeed "thinking like a lawyer." He may not win any humanitarian awards for his defense of Mr. Taylor, but he's certainly doing his job.


    Court Room Dress Code 101 – How to Dress for Court 

    Part 1 – Party to the Case – Plaintiff/Defendant

    If you have the misfortune to be either a Plaintiff or Defendant in a civil or criminal trial, it is important to spend a few minutes planning your attire. You are already investing a good deal of time and money into these proceedings and now is not the time to disregard such a simple yet important part of your presentation. How the judge or jury perceives you is one of the many factors that will influence a final decision. We can argue all day about whether as a society we should form opinions about people based upon appearance, but that’s not going to change the fact that we do.

    Chris Brown facing charges of felony assault in 2009. Chris dressed and acted conservatively in court. 

    With that in mind, lets talk about what you should wear to court.

    1. Whether you find yourself in Miami, Florida or Portland, Maine, the courtroom is a formal setting with conservative standards. You will need to dress yourself accordingly.

    2. For men, a dark suit, white shirt and tie is best. If you don’t own a suit, slacks, a white shirt and a tie will do just fine. But remember the key word here is conservative. I was recently involved in a criminal trial where the defendant was wearing a very expensive grey suit with a loud orange tie. He pretty much looked like an organized crime boss from South Beach and I can guarantee that the judge and jury took notice of it. 

    3. For women, wear a dark suit, dress or blouse. Avoid spike heels or open toed shoes. If you are wearing a dress, pantyhose are strongly recommended. Wearing a bra is strongly advised, as well.

    4. Comfort is important here, too. I know that many of us don’t wear suits everyday and it can be a little awkward putting one on. It’s important that you look comfortable and at ease while in court. I would suggest wearing it around for a couple of hours prior to trial to make sure you’re comfortable wearing it around.

    5. To reiterate the importance of dressing conservatively, lets talk about a few things NOT to wear: (a) lots of jewelry, (b) strong perfume or cologne, (c) revealing clothing, (d) loud colors, and (e) conspicuous hairstyles. These may some obvious to some and less obvious to others, but these are all things that you should not wear in court. They are distracting and will give the impression that you don’t respect the proceedings.

    In a nut shell, you don’t want to call any extra attention to your outfit either because of how nice/expensive it looks or because of how informal it looks. You are in court to make a good impression and while a couple of the jurors might appreciate your taste in diamond-studded Louis Vuitton handbags, it probably won’t help persuade the judge and jury to find in your favor. In fact, if you are a victim seeking money damages, showing off your wealth is not going to help your cause. Likewise, if you are being charged with a  crime, dressing informally or in a trendy fashion, will give the impression that you’re not taking the proceedings seriously.

    Coming up next... How to Dress for Court: The Jury