Students at KU Law preparing for careers as civil or criminal trial lawyers can take advantage of a rich range of curricular and extracurricular options. Experienced litigators and judges teach many courses in this area, which include skills simulation workshops, clinics and field placements.

The Shook, Hardy & Bacon Center for Excellence in Advocacy serves as an umbrella, organizing the many components of KU Law's litigation program and adding interdisciplinary, outreach and professional networking elements.


First-Year Courses

  • Civil Procedure
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Lawyering
  • Property
  • Torts

Upper-Level Courses

  • Advanced Criminal Procedure
  • Advanced Litigation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Antitrust Law
  • Business Association I and II or Business Organizations
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Criminal Practice in Kansas
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Deposition Skills Workshop
  • Employment Discrimination Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Evidence
  • Expert Witness Skills Workshop
  • Family Law
  • Federal Courts and the Federal System
  • Moot Court Competition
  • Practice in Kansas
  • Pretrial Advocacy
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Responsibility (required)
  • Torts II
  • Trial Advocacy

Course descriptions

Advocacy Certificate

Effective advocacy requires a solid grounding in all aspects of litigation — planning the lawsuit, pretrial practices and procedures, trial advocacy, and post-trial matters — and in alternative forms of dispute resolution. The Advocacy Certificate provides the means for students to develop basic knowledge and skills in effective advocacy.

Clinics & Field Placements

Students have a number of opportunities to work with live clients in clinics that give them litigation training in a real-world setting.

Legal Aid Clinic
Students represent indigent citizens of Douglas County, serve as public defenders in municipal and juvenile courts, and represent clients in domestic relations, landlord-tenant, and other civil actions.

Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence & Post-Conviction Remedies
Students represent state and federal prisoners in appellate and post-conviction litigation.

Criminal Prosecution Field Placement Program
Students serve as prosecutors in various Kansas state district attorneys offices. Under the supervision of a local prosecutor, they participate in virtually all phases of the criminal process.

Judicial Field Placement Program
Students see the court from the bench side as they serve as law clerks to federal and state trial judges.

Elder Law Field Placement Program
Students assist supervising attorneys with pre-trial work and with trial and hearing preparations.

Other Opportunities

Moot Court
Students may participate in any of a number of moot court programs with competitions on campus, regionally and nationally, including the National Moot Court Competition, the Jessup International Moot Court, the National Environmental Moot Court, and the National Native American Law Students Association Moot Court. They may test out their interviewing skills in the ABA Client Counseling Competition and their trial skills in the American Trial Lawyers Association Mock Trial Competition. KU Law students have had much success in these competitions.

Traffic Court
Students may participate in the university's Traffic Court as prosecutors or defense lawyers handling appeals of parking citations by KU students, staff and faculty.



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