National Institute for Trial Advocacy

Building Trial Skills: Dallas

June 1,2019 thru June 6,2019
Southern Methodist University
3315 Daniel Ave
Dallas, TX 75205
Tuition: $2945.00


Are you ready to step into a courtroom with the ease and composure of a lawyer with countless wins at trial? What about walking into a tense negotiation showing so much confidence that opposing counsel settles the case rather than risks facing you in the courtroom?

For over forty years, NITA has offered trial skills programming taught by the best trial lawyers in the country, volunteers who donate their time and dedicate it to your professional success. Nowhere but through NITA can you receive personalized coaching by a veritable “who’s who” of advocacy experts—trial lawyers, judges, and law professors—from coast to coast.


There’s no better place for you to practice what we preach than in a NITA classroom, where our advocacy instructors:

• help you break down what makes for effective openings and closings

• instructs you on how to direct and cross to greater effect

• demonstrates what are the best practices for admitting and using exhibits

• provides you with the tools to utilize the right tactics to impeach and rehabilitate witnesses


In front of the camera, you’ll perform each of these aspects of a trial, and learn not just from your own mistakes (and triumphs), but from those of your groupmates, too. On-the-spot video review allows you see and hear yourself the way jurors do. But unlike in a trial where the outcome is real, with NITA you get to make immediate course corrections and practice them over and over—with only your old habits at stake.

NITA’s “learning-by-doing” method, when practiced in the safe harbor of the classroom, allows you to feel more comfortable taking calculated risks and performing under pressure, without ever jeopardizing your client’s case or your own reputation.

The capstone of your training? Conducting a trial before actual jurors. Afterward, you’ll watch your jurors deliberate, then have a chance to question about the particulars of your performance. Within days, you’ll return to your office empowered to make immediate use of everything you’ve learned—skills that will serve you until the day you retire.


Now, you might argue that you don’t have time to leave your work and clients to attend a multi-day training session. Or maybe you can’t justify investing even more money in professional development after law school tuition and loans.

Our question for you is, what is your current skillset costing you in terms of confidence untapped? Leadership unstirred? Verdicts un-won?

Even if nine out of every ten of your cases settle before trial, when you learn trial skills by actually doing them, it translates into better outcomes for your clients. Whether you litigate, mediate, settle, or simply meet face to face with your client for advice, understanding the complexities of a trial empowers you to be a more influential advocate for your clients, in court—and out.

Scholarships are available for this program through the NITA foundation. Additional information on how to apply for a scholarship, can be found here.


– Course Materials

– Video Performance Review and Feedback

– Interactive Jury Trial with Feedback

*Qualifies as one credit toward the NITA Advocate Designation


"I thought the course was excellent. I feel much more confident about my ability to do direct, cross, enter exhibits, present opening/closing statements, etc." - Sarah Fitzgerald, Thompson & Knight

"I am amazed at how much I was able to learn about myself, new techniques and effective case presentation. I gained more from this seminar than I ever thought possible, and I think this course is vital for any lawyer who finds themselves in a courtroom." - Mallory Deckard, Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn LLP

"I really enjoyed the course and thought the practice of getting on your feet and practicing the trial techniques was very beneficial. I also thought the instructors I had each day were very knowledgeable and helpful." - Jeffrey Basso, Campolo Middleton & McCormick LLP

Robert M Manley

McKool Smith PC
Dallas, TX

See Full Bio

Stephanie M. Ledesma

Thurgood Marshall Sch of Law
Sugar Land, TX

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Annie C. Deets

DeKalb Cnty Public Defender
Atlanta, GA

See Full Bio

Michael D. Johnson

UALR School of Law
Little Rock, AR

See Full Bio

Charles M. Hamilton

Office of Charles M Hamilton
Flower Mound, TX

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Angela M Porter

Alternate Public Defender
Los Angeles, CA

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Avery Williams

McKool Smith PC
Dallas, TX

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Craig Smith

192nd District Court
Dallas, TX

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Dominique Sims

The Sims Law Group PLLC
Dallas, TX

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John D. Person

Aaron & Gianna PLC
New Orleans, LA

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Lee Morris

US Bankruptcy Court
Fort Worth, TX

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Cody McCullar

City of Mesquite
Dallas, TX

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Kirte M Kinser

Frisco, TX

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Rachael Jones

US Attorney's Office
Dallas, TX

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Dominic J. Gianna

Aaron & Gianna PLC
New Orleans, LA

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John R. Galvin

Law Ofc of John Galvin
Dallas, TX

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Paul V. Enriquez

Attorney at Law
Dallas, TX

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James J. Carter

Carter & McKee
New Orleans, LA

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Angela L. Brown

Gray Reed
Dallas, TX

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Kristina Baehr

McKool Smith PC
Austin, TX

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Lori L Moraine

Moraine & Associates
Colleyville, TX

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James Dewald

Jackson Walker LLP
Dallas, TX

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Tracy Walters McCormack

Univ Of Texas Schl Of Law
Austin, TX

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Matthew W. Williams

King County Courthouse
Auburn, WA

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Frederick C. Moss

Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX

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Richard F. Werstein

Lewisville, TX

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Daniel F. Solis

Dallas Municipal Court
Dallas, TX

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Mark E. Goldstucker

Mark Goldstucker
Richardson, TX

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Stuart M. Reynolds

Schneider Miller Reynolds PC
Richardson, TX

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You may check in for the program from 8:30am to 9:15am on Saturday, June 1.  The Program will start promptly at 9:15am on that date and will conclude Thursday, June 6 at 5:00pm.  The program will be held at the following location.

Southern Methodist University
The Dedman School of Law
3330 University Blvd
Florence Hall
Dallas, TX 75205
Visit Law School Website 


Participants are responsible for making their own hotel arrangements.  Please contact the hotels directly for reservations and additional information.

Magnolia Dallas Park Cities
(1 mile from Southern Methodist University)
6070 North Central Expressway
Dallas, TX  75206
Hotel Lumen
6101 Hillcrest Avenue
Dallas, TX 75205
(0.4 miles from Law School)


Super Shuttle is available to or from DFW Airport.  They may be reached by calling 800.BLUE.VAN or 817.329.2000. Fare is approximately $28.00 for the first person and $8.00 for each additional person. 

Dallas Love Field Airport
8008 Cedar Springs Road, LB16
Dallas, Texas
5 miles from Law School

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
3200 East Airfield Drive
DFW Airport, TX 75261
19.25 miles from Law School

Parking Information

Parking is available in the university parking garage at the corner of Hillcrest Avenue and Daniel Avenue.  You will be issued a parking pass at registration, which will need to be used on the weekdays.  You will not need the passes on Saturday or Sunday.  Your pass entitles you to park in the parking garage located at the corner of Hillcrest and Daniel.  The parking pass must be displayed from your rearview mirror at all times when parked in the garage.  Failure to display the parking permit may result in a parking ticket.  We cannot “fix” tickets, so please be sure to properly display your parking pass.


There are restaurants within easy walking distance to SMU and the hotel.  There is also a restaurant connected to the hotel that serves general fare.


Attendees are encouraged to wear "courtroom attire" during the program. Not only might a lawyer's appearance have an effect on the trier of fact, and is thus a matter of concern for the serious advocate, but it has been our experience that attendees dressed more formally than the usual CLEattire find themselves more easily “getting into character” and presenting a more polished performance. Dressing for court also provides each attendee with more realistic feedback when watching the recorded performances each day. On occasion, there may be a casual day during the program that will be announced on-site.

CLE Credits

All states have different MCLE requirements. Please make sure that the state(s) you require credit for were either noted in your registration or communicated to the Program Specialist prior to the start of the program. NITA will not apply to states for course approval after the start of the program. Please note that if you do not complete the program in its entirety, some states do not award partial credit.

For an estimate of credit hours by program type, please see below.

States Based on a 50 Minute Credit Hour:
Trial Program: 36-75 Credits
Deposition Program: 16-25 Credits
Specialty Program: 8-22 Credits

States Based on a 60 Minute Credit Hour:
Trial Program: 30-63 Credits
Deposition Program: 13-21 Credits
Specialty Program: 7-20 Credits

If you need to know the exact number of credits for a specific program please contact your Program Specialist.


Pre-program preparation requires that you become familiar with the FACTS associated with the case file and/or problems. In order to get the maximum benefit from the program, it is imperative that you prepare as much as possible in advance, as time for preparation during the program is extremely limited. Please refer to the program schedule for assignment details to prepare for your performances in each workshop.

Program materials will be shipped approximately four weeks prior to program's start date from our fulfillment company Wolters Kluwer. For delivery or return questions related to NITA Program materials, please contact Wolters Kluwer at or call (800) 234-1660.

If you sign up 2 weeks prior to the course you will receive the case file by e-mail and the textbook will be shipped UPS Ground to your address. If any part of the textbook is necessary to your program preparation you will receive an electronic version of those sections as well.

Advocate Designation

Are you serious about developing a well-rounded foundation in advocacy skills?
Prove it by completing the NITA Advocate Designation program.

Be recognized for your NITA training! Achieving a NITA Designation allows you to demonstrate your expertise to clients and colleagues. Upon completion of your required coursework, NITA will send you a letter, certificate and an e-mail with a special graphic logo attached. Use these documents to demonstrate your advocacy knowledge through your website, advertising, etc. The NITA Designation logo will also be added to your Martindale-Hubble profile.

The required courses for the NITA Advocate Designation include one building trial skills course, one deposition skills course and one specialty course. The courses can be purchased individually but we also offer discounted package pricing.


(Total price if programs are purchased individually: $7135)

In addition to this trial skills course, here are the other upcoming required courses in your area:
    Currently, there are no courses available in this location.