Barbara Hurst recently retired from her position as the Deputy Public Defender for the Rhode Island Office of the Public Defender. Before her appointment to that position, she was the Chief Appellate Attorney in that office, arguing hundreds of cases before the Supreme Court of Rhode Island.
LAW.680Advanced Advocacy: Criminal LawClick to Open
This is a skills-based course that will utilize the vehicle of an actual criminal trial transcript to learn the basics of persuasive writing and good oral advocacy. Instead of the soup-to-nuts approach of moot court, which covers every step in an appeal at a rather surface level, we will focus intensively on particular skills: issue-identification and framing, developing strategies for written and oral presentations, advanced research skills and analysis, partisan writing. Throughout the course, there will be opportunities to improve writing skills, to learn how to handle both helpful and harmful precedent, to structure oral arguments and field hard questions. Students should be prepared to critique their own writing and practice oral advocacy in class. Graded assignments will occur throughout the semester; there will be no final exam and no “big” paper. This course will help good researchers, writers and oralists become better, but even those whose skills are at a basic level will improve.