Not only is Trial Skills Academy a great learning experience for newer lawyers, it is an opportunity for more seasoned lawyers to gain a new perspective on the practice of law. Every year, Trial Skills Academy enrolls lawyers with a broad range of experience--ranging from just out of law school to over 30 years of practice!
I'd like to share what an energizing experience going back to the SPD's Trial Skills Academy is for more experienced attorneys. When I went back to TSA after 10 years with the SPD, I was surprised by how much easier it was to understand the trial skills training than before. Those 10 years of seasoning and experience made the lessons taught by the outstanding TSA faculty much more valuable. Because time and experience had made me a more capable lawyer, I was better able to capitalize on the nuanced and subtle practice skills the faculty presented. Going back to TSA also gave me a chance to fall in love with criminal defense trial work all over again. I also really appreciated the close friendships I made with other experienced students at TSA. Those friendships have lasted through to the present, and I’m proud to point out that many of those colleagues are now leaders in the SPD.
-Larry Peterson, Assistant State Public Defender
After about 20 years of practice and after about 10 years with the agency, I attended the SPD's Trial Skills Academy. During that week I was taught the story telling method of presenting a case to a jury. Immediately after I returned from the training I began to apply the techniques I’d learned, not only in trial, but in interviewing clients, presenting sentencing arguments and in other ways. The training gave me a new perspective on approaching cases and I believe it made me a more effective advocate for my clients.
-Gene Bartman, First Assistant State Public Defender, Appleton Region
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