In May, the CEELI Institute launched a new advocacy skills training effort for young lawyers from the Eurasia region. The one-week program is designed to build the confidence of young legal professionals in areas that are most relevant to human rights advocacy in a trial setting – i.e. oral presentation and argument, motion practice, and persuasive speaking. Faculty included a roster of highly experienced international trainers. The course is highly interactive and incorporates daily participant exercises, reflecting tried and true interactive components developed for use in clinical legal education programs, including the international programs run by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA). Participants were very enthusiastic, noting that the practical aspects of the workshop were something they had never experienced in their prior legal education opportunities.

The program involved daily oral presentations, including witness testimony exercises, and culminated in a mock trial. Participants received detailed feedback from faculty mentors throughout the program, enhanced by the small size of the class and the high student-faculty ratio. The CEELI Institute looks forward to conducting further sessions of this training.