Shook, Hardy & Bacon Center for Excellence in Advocacy

The Shook, Hardy & Bacon Center for Excellence in Advocacy enhances the learning experience of students who aspire to become trial lawyers.


The Shook, Hardy & Bacon Center for Excellence in Advocacy capitalizes on its namesake’s distinguished history in litigation to cultivate a new generation of trial lawyers.

The Center has three broad goals:

  • Offer unique skills-based training to KU Law students
  • Present valuable programming for KU Law alumni and the regional bar
  • Open new scholarly opportunities for KU Law faculty and nonfaculty studying related issues

The Center was founded in June 2008 with generous support from Shook, Hardy & Bacon. The international law firm – based in Kansas City, Missouri – counts many KU Law graduates among its partners and associates.

Skills Simulations

Students who possess strong professional skills are better equipped for success when they graduate and enter the legal marketplace. At KU Law, students have ample opportunities to get hands-on experience while satisfying the school's experiential course requirement. Examples include:

  • Contract Drafting
  • First Amendment Advocacy
  • Kansas Supreme Court Research Practicum 
  • Trial Advocacy

Additionally, KU Law offers simulation workshops that allow students to gain experience in trial advocacy. Veteran attorneys teach the Deposition Skills workshop, providing invaluable guidance and feedback as students practice their skills with peers.

The Deposition Skills Workshop teaches students the art of taking and defending depositions.

This professional skills course exposes students to substantive and procedural law, as well as the ethical rules, pertaining to depositions. It provides students with a realistic deposition setting where they learn to conduct and defend a series of depositions in a simulated environment under the direction of experienced attorneys who serve as the workshop faculty.

A student presents an argument in the KU Law courtroom

In workshop courses, students have a chance to practice their skills in real-world settings.

A student presents an argument during a skills course.

Skills simulation courses are taught in the same way top firms train new associates, allowing students to develop litigation skills.

Two students sit at a table during a skills course.

In the Deposition Skills Workshop, students learn the art of taking and defending depositions.


Laura Hines
Director, Shook, Hardy & Bacon Center for Excellence in Advocacy
Centennial Teaching Professor

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