Learn how to advocate for your client & prep for trial.

To advocate for your client in court, you will need to understand the trial process. Outside the courtroom, you will need to research and write briefs, advise your client, advocate for their interests, and negotiate with the opposing party’s counsel. Acquire these critical lawyering skills in our Trial Advocacy, Negotiation & Client Counseling program.

Trial Advocacy

Get an introduction to the trial process as well as training in trial skills. You will be in small classes taught by leading New England judges and practitioners, who use simulated cases to teach the realities of the courtroom. After completing a basic trial advocacy class, you may opt for an advanced class that immerses you in the trial of an intricate, multi-party case, where you will perform as counsel in a simulated trial. Trial advocacy classes cover topics including:

  • Opening statements and closing arguments
  • The preparation of witnesses
  • Developing a theory of the case
  • Objections
  • Introduction of real and documentary evidence and expert witnesses
  • Direct and cross-examinations


Negotiation skills are in great demand in the legal arena. In our Negotiation course, you will develop and hone your negotiation skills and approaches through a series of interactive exercises (i.e., role plays), discussions, lectures, and written assignments. You can also take specialized courses that focus on negotiations in mergers & acquisitions and business agreements. And you can enter BU Law’s annual Negotiation Competition, where you will participate in a simulated negotiation session based on a hypothetical fact pattern, with the opportunity to advance to regional and national competitions sponsored by the American Bar Association.

Client Counseling

Learn the intricacies of client counseling starting with the 1L Lawyering Lab and continuing with upper-class courses such as Entertainment Law and Counseling the Start-Up Entrepreneur. You will have ample opportunities to counsel real clients on a variety of legal matters in BU Law’s clinics, externships, and semester-in-practice placements. In BU Law’s annual Client Counseling Competition, you and a classmate will have an initial consultation with a client about whom you have limited information. To advance in the competition to the regional and national competitions sponsored by the American Bar Association, you will need to be able to ask the right questions and elicit the important information that will help your client.