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Students Hone Trial Advocacy Skills in Intensive ProgramStory

Doris Cheng ’98 Named Director of Intensive Advocacy Program

February 26, 2014

Well-known litigator Doris Cheng ’98 has taken over as director of the Intensive Advocacy Program (IAP), a two-week summer course that teaches students practical legal skills in litigation and trial techniques and strategies.

Doris Cheng
Intensive Advocacy Program Director Doris Cheng ’98

Cheng, a partner with San Francisco-based Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger and president-elect of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, is widely recognized for her legal work, including winning one of the largest Northern California general damages verdicts ($3 million) as well as multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of disabled citizens throughout California. As a student, Cheng participated in IAP and credits it with providing her insight and confidence about trial work as well as connections that led to her job with Walkup.

“This is not an esoteric class, this is a pragmatic class,” Cheng said. “It’s about hitting the ground running when you walk into a courtroom or a law firm. From the time students walk in the door to the time they leave, they are so much better presenters, stronger advocates and public speakers. I can guarantee that each will be better advocates by the time they finish this course.”

The program features more than 80 hours of lectures, demonstrations, and practice workshops covering the ins and outs of all stages of trial advocacy. Additionally, students conduct a mock jury trial, working in teams of two to try either a civil or criminal case before a judge and jury. Throughout the course, students receive feedback and critique from IAP faculty, made up of dozens of seasoned lawyers and judges from across the nation.

Cheng has been involved with the program since 1999 and also is a frequent guest lecturer and adjunct professor, training lawyers and judges nationally and internationally.

“Doris Cheng teaches litigation to attorneys across the country, so what better person for our students to learn from?” said Dean John Trasviña. “She combines excellence in teaching with excellence as a trial attorney.”

For more information about IAP, including application instructions, go to www.usfca.edu/law/iap.