Experience and education

Pencils. Notebooks. Glue. Scissors. It’s back to school time, so when better to talk about education? VTLA is deeply committed to helping each member become a better trial lawyer – through our education programs, our publications, our network of members and more.

We could start with reviewing the amazing fall we have planned for you – there is something exciting for everyone, regardless of your specific practice emphasis. And we will get to that in a minute.

Did you know that under consideration at the ABA Annual Meeting this week is a proposal “to address the shortage of trial lawyers”? The proposal is a plan for the judiciary, experienced members of the bar, and associations to help “junior” lawyers get the experience and education they need to effectively represent their clients.

“Every surgeon has his first surgery but the client and the patient don’t necessarily want it to be them,” said Laurence Pulgram, chair of the ABA Section of Litigation in the ABA’s Marketplace. It’s not enough to know the law, the article says. Becoming a good trial lawyer requires real life experience.

We agree.

Get some experience at VTLA programs this fall. We have several programs that don’t just talk about theories and ideas to be better lawyers – they actually show you in interactive sessions.

Beginning on September 12, be part of the return of our Trial from Start to Finish. This program takes a fact pattern and walks you through the trial, with some of Virginia’s best attorneys actually trying the case. After each portion, join in the discussion on techniques and decisions about presenting and arguing their positions.

On September 13, family lawyers will learn about spousal and child custody all in one packed day with our annual Family Law Seminar. Top it off at lunch with the annual case law and legislative updates and the day is complete.

Then on September 14, the Criminal Law Section follows a fictitious case, packed with hot issues facing their clients today, from J&DR and General District Courts all the way through the Supreme Court. Panelists consisting of a judge, a prosecutor and a criminal defense practitioner discuss each phase. Ethics is included in this program as well.

Watch for even more outstanding programs – the October Advocacy program on Evidence, a special tractor trailer retreat in November and more! We’d really like to see you this fall.

  • Valerie O’Brien
    Executive Director



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