Overview We boast an extensive program to prepare students in civil and criminal trial and appellate advocacy. We offer both simulated and live-client trial advocacy courses. Our simulated Civil Trial Advocacy and Criminal Trial Advocacy clinics culminate in mock trials before real judges and juries. In our live client clinics, students represent plaintiffs in civil trials, claimants in hearings involving wage and unemployment compensation claims, and defendants in criminal proceedings. We are home to a variety of appellate advocacy clinics, which allow students to brief and argue appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal and to prepare and file briefs with the United States Supreme Court. Students also can participate in clinics providing training in alternative dispute resolution, including specialized mediation, arbitration and negotiation clinics.

Related Courses

Civil Litigation


Cappello Trial Advocacy Clinic – Simulated Trial Advocacy

This course teaches students the skills needed to conduct civil jury trials, including conducting direct and cross examinations, making opening statements and closing arguments, using exhibits and making and responding to evidentiary objections. These skills are taught through a combination of lecture, discussion, demonstration and simulated role-playing exercises, culminating in a videotaped mock jury trial.

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Deposition and Discovery in Complex Litigation

This course focuses on the practical and theoretical aspects of deposition and discovery practice in civil cases. Students prepare for, take and defend depositions and prepare discovery plans in simulated cases.

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International Commercial Arbitration

This course provides students with the fundamental legal and jurisdictional underpinnings of the international commercial arbitration system: dispute resolution; the procedural mechanisms for conducting international commercial arbitrations; the domestic judicial tools to compel parties to arbitrate commercial disputes rather than proceed in domestic courts; and the enforcement of international commercial arbitration awards in domestic courts.

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Mediation

This clinic combines a theoretical exploration of mediation as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism with practical training on how to mediate in a variety of settings. Students learn mediation skills through participation in simulated role-play, observation of actual court mediation and, under the supervision of an experienced mediator, serve as a co-mediator of actual Superior Court cases.

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Negotiation Theory and Practice

This course provides an overview of the theoretical issues confronted by negotiators and gives students an opportunity to practice and hone their negotiating skills. Topics include negotiation preparation; integrative and distributive bargaining; the effect of psychological factors and social norms in negotiation; unique issues that arise when lawyers are involved in negotiation; legal rules affecting the negotiation process; the personal styles of negotiators; differences between two-party and multi-party negotiating situations; the role of trust and emotion in negotiation; and the use of mediation as a technique to facilitate negotiation. Students conduct weekly negotiations to develop their negotiation skills.

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Ninth Circuit Appellate Clinic

This clinic is a joint venture between UCLA Law and the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers. Certified law students, under close faculty supervision by O'Melveny & Myers appellate specialists, represent pro bono clients before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Pretrial Civil Litigation

This course provides a real-world overview of how pretrial civil litigation is conducted and explores how lawyers strategically use each step in the pretrial litigation process to advance their clients’ interests. Students receive hands-on training in conducting case analysis, taking and defending depositions, arguing motions and conducting negotiations.

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Supreme Court Clinic

This course provides students with the opportunity to work on real cases before the United States Supreme Court. Under the supervision of experienced clinical faculty, students draft cert petitions and Supreme Court briefs.

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Trial Advocacy

This yearlong course provides in-depth training in the skills needed to represent clients in pretrial and trial litigation. In the first semester, these skills ― including fact investigation and analysis, direct and cross examinations, opening statements and closing arguments, using exhibits, and making and responding to evidentiary objections ― are taught through a combination of lecture, discussion, demonstration and simulated role-playing exercises, culminating in a mock jury trial. In the second semester, students apply these skills by representing actual clients at hearings and/or trials.

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Criminal Practice


Criminal Defense

This course offers students a unique opportunity to explore the criminal justice system. Working under the close supervision of clinic faculty in collaboration with local partners, student represent criminal defendants in all stages of the criminal process, from the initial client interview and pretrial motions to plea negotiations, trials, and sentencing.

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Criminal Trial Advocacy

This course explores the theoretical and practical aspects of the criminal trial process and provides training in the skills needed to represent the prosecution and the defense in criminal trials: fact analysis, conducting direct and cross examinations, making opening statements and closing arguments, using exhibits, and making and responding to evidentiary objections. The course culminates in a videotaped mock trial before a judge and jury.

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Supreme Court Clinic

This course provides students with the opportunity to work on real cases before the United States Supreme Court. Under the supervision of experienced clinical faculty, students draft cert petitions and Supreme Court briefs.

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Public Interest Litigation


Asylum Clinic

Students in this clinic represent clients in connection with asylum petitions under the Violence Against Women Act and the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. Working with survivors of torture and trauma, students in this course receive training in such critical skills as interviewing, researching and writing declarations and briefs, fact development and trial advocacy.

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Civil Rights Litigation Clinic

This clinic allows students to work on civil rights cases in cooperation with public interest organizations such as the ACLU and private attorneys. Students spend class time learning litigation skills and then apply those skills in connection with their work on civil rights cases.

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First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic

This clinic is taught by Professor Eugene Volokh, one of the nation’s leading First Amendment scholars. Students file amicus curiae briefs on behalf of nonprofits and academics in First Amendment cases involving free speech and religious freedom.

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Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic

Students in this clinic work directly with the Right to Health Project (RHP), a medical-legal partnership operated by Bet Tzedek Legal Services in partnership with St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood and St. Vincent Medical Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Students receive intensive training and, under the supervision of project attorneys and UCLA Law faculty, interview community members referred to the RHP and, where appropriate, provide counseling and legal representation.

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Ninth Circuit Appellate Clinic

This clinic is a joint venture between UCLA Law and the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers. Certified law students, under close faculty supervision by O'Melveny & Myers appellate specialists, represent pro bono clients before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Supreme Court Clinic

This course provides students with the opportunity to work on real cases before the United States Supreme Court. Under the supervision of experienced clinical faculty, students draft cert petitions and Supreme Court briefs.

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Youth and Justice Clinic

This clinic examines the role of the lawyer in the juvenile justice process. Under the supervision of clinical faculty, students in this course represent detained youth on non-criminal, civil legal issues. The course provides opportunities, through both simulation and work on real cases, for students to develop skills in client interviewing and counseling, case preparation, expert interviewing, motion/brief writing, policy briefing and institutional advocacy.

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