This year, I had the honor of attending the Trial Advocacy College of Texas (TACT) seminar put on by the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. As a new attorney, I jumped at the opportunity to gain practical trial experience. I expected that the three days would be challenging, but I did not expect to come away with everything that I did.
Each morning began at 6:00am, reviewing materials for that day’s exercises. We were in “court” from 7:00am until 7:00pm after that. We also left with “homework” to do each night to prep for the next day. I was fully immersed in the trial mindset the entire time. The faculty gave very beneficial and enlightening presentations before each phase, then the students were recorded as we presented voire dire, opening arguments, did direct and cross examination of the client, non-party witness, and expert, argued responses, and performed closing arguments—just to name a few. The faculty made it feel very similar to what a real trial would be like. They tried hard to throw in wrenches and keep all of the students on our toes during the exercises.
I also had the opportunity to connect with a wide variety of attorneys throughout the state of Texas and learn from successful and experienced trial lawyers. TACT was a great oral advocacy exercise and I feel like I left with a new set of skills to have in my arsenal for trial. It was an exhausting, yet thrilling three days, and at the end of it all, I was reminded why I chose to be an attorney in the first place.