NAC Course Offerings
The NAC offers courses in Basic Criminal Trial Advocacy, Intermediate Criminal Trial Advocacy, and Basic Civil Advocacy courses. The “students” are Assistant United States Attorneys and other attorneys that work for the Department of Justice. These student/attorneys apply to be included in the trial courses. The courses are made up of several components:
Lectures: During the course, instructors give lectures and on various topics such as: “Introduction to Sanctions,” “Anticipating Defenses at Trial,” “Handling an Accomplice Witness,” and “Legal Ethics: Brady/Giglio Issues.”
There are also Lecture/Demonstrations where the instructor gives a lecture and provides a demonstration on topics such as: “Direct Examination,” “Opening Statement,” “Exhibits, Evidentiary Foundations, and Demonstrative Aids,” “Cross-Examination,” “Impeachment,” and “Closing Argument.”
Workshops: The students in the course conduct an opening statement, direct examination, cross examination, and closing statement. The student’s work is videotaped and critiqued by the instructor.
View a sample agenda for the Basic Criminal Trial Advocacy Course.
How do University of South Carolina law students participate in the NAC courses?
University of South Carolina law students may participate in two ways:
Observer: Law students may sign up to attend and observe the lectures, lecture/demonstrations, and workshops. A student does not have to attend the entire course, but instead may choose a single day or half day to attend.
Workshop Participant: This requires the law student to attend the entire course. The law student will be a full participant in the course and complete the exercises in the workshop. The law student will complete an opening statement, direct examination, cross examination, and closing. These exercises will be taped and critiqued by the NAC instructors. The law student must have time to participate in the entire course. The law student should be able to meaningfully participate and it is suggested that students have already taken some core classes such as Evidence, Civil Procedure, and Criminal Procedure. The law school recommends participation by 3Ls and 2Ls who have taken the recommended course work.
How do I sign up for the NAC trial courses?
About six weeks prior to the course an agenda for the course will be published. There will be approximately 10 slots available for student participants.
Once a student has viewed the agenda and decided how they would like to participate (either as an observer or a workshop participant) the student should send an email to Associate Dean Jaclyn A. Cherry. The email should contain the following information:
- The student’s name and year;
- What trial course the student would like to sign up for;
- What level of participation the student is applying for (observer or workshop participant);
- If the student is applying to observe the trial course the student should indicate what lectures they would like to attend. A student may also elect to observe an entire day of lectures or multiple days;
- If the student is applying to be a participant in the course the student should indicate whether they have taken Evidence and Criminal Procedure (if they are signing up for the Criminal Trial Advocacy course).
The National Advocacy center will also offer internships. The position descriptions are below:
NAC Internship — Publications Unit of the Office of Legal Education
This position is located in the Publications Unit of the Office of Legal Education, National Advocacy Center, United States Department of Justice. The principal task will be to research, cite check, and edit legal textbooks and the United States Attorneys' Bulletin, but work may involve creating original content for publication. All other duties as assigned. Applicants must be able to write clearly, accurately, and grammatically. The normal schedule is fifteen hours per week during the school year, full time in the summer, but there is considerable flexibility. Please include cover letter, grade sheet, copy of unofficial Law School transcript, and a writing sample (preferably one that demonstrates knowledge of and proficiency with the Blue Book). There is one paid position available. The positions are full-time for the summer, and part time for 2L year. Possibility to continue job into 2L summer and/or 3L school year.
NAC Internship — Indian Country Training Team in the Office of Legal Education
This position is with the Indian Country Training Team in the Office of Legal Education, National Advocacy Center, United States Department of Justice. The principal responsibilities will be to research, edit, and cite check a practice manual on prosecuting violence against women crimes in Indian country, but work may include creating original content for this publication and others. All other duties as assigned. Applicants must be able to write clearly, accurately, and grammatically. The ideal candidate is one interested in Indian law and issues relating to violence against women. The normal schedule is fifteen hours per week during the school year, full time in the summer, but there is considerable flexibility. Please include cover letter, grade sheet, copy of unofficial Law School transcript, and a writing sample (preferably one that demonstrates knowledge of and proficiency with the Blue Book). There are two positions available.
Mary Beth Pfister
National Advocacy Center
1620 Pendleton Street
Columbia, SC 29201