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Intensive Advocacy Program

The Intensive Advocacy Program (IAP) is a two-week intensive course, focusing on litigation and trial techniques and strategies. The program brings seasoned lawyers and judges from across the nation to train law students in the art of advocacy.

Law students conduct portions of a simulated deposition and trial, receive critique, and review their recorded performances under the guidance of experienced faculty members. Generally, each classroom has eight students and one or two faculty members. Each student is assigned a case file and a problem to use for his or her presentation. The IAP faculty provide lectures and demonstrations, as well as suggestions that will immediately improve the students' skills.

This exciting program features more than 80 hours of lectures, demonstrations, and practice workshops. Topics covered include taking and defending depositions, evidence, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, direct and cross-examination of experts, jury selection, opening statements, and closing arguments.

At the conclusion of the program each student conducts a mock jury trial. The student lawyers work in teams of two and try either a civil or criminal case before a judge and jury. The pressures and challenges of trial practice give students the opportunity to bring together all of the acquired knowledge and skills developed in the various workshops over the course of the program.

Kendrick 300
(415) 422-6910

The Intensive Advocacy Program is useful for all students, whether you intend to enter the courtroom or not. The purpose of the program is to develop skills in gathering information, marshalling facts, making persuasive arguments, and making real life court appearances. Most importantly, this course teaches students what to expect after graduating from law school and beginning their legal careers.

Program Dates 

The 2015 session will take place from May 26 to June 7, 2015.


Students who have satisfactorily completed one year of study at an accredited law school are eligible to enroll. 

Credit and Grades

The Intensive Advocacy Program is offered as part of the fully accredited curriculum of the University of San Francisco School of Law. Participants receive three units of credit. The program is offered on a credit/no credit basis. If a student's home school requires a letter grade, this can be arranged on an individual basis. The program complies with ABA requirements.


JD - Tution for 2015 is $5,010 ($1,670 per credit) 
LLMTuition and Fees Schedule for Academic Year 2015-16 
$100 non-refundable materials fee (assessed on the student account)

Deposits, Payments, and Refunds

Enrollment is limited and applicants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, limited to 50 spots. A waiting list will allow students to enroll as applicants withdraw their applications.  

The University of San Francisco reserves the right to cancel the program, in case of emergency or under-enrollment. To date, the program has never been cancelled. In the event of such cancellation, all payments will be refunded. 


Online applications for 2015 are available here. Hard copies are also available in Kendrick 300. Please complete and submit to the Faculty Services Office (Kendrick 300) or mail to the address below. Once you have submitted your application and it has been reviewed, you will automatically be registered. Just after the deadline of April 6, you will be contacted concerning the $100 non-refundable materials fee which will be assessed on your student account. At that time, please go to USFconnect and pay those fees. You will have 48 hours to process that payment.

Visiting Students:

The Intensive Advocacy Program will hold two spots for visiting students.

Students from ABA accredited law schools are required to have their home schools provide a letter of good standing indicating permission to enroll in IAP before registration will be permitted. If your school requires that IAP issues a letter grade, that must be stipulated in that letter. Members of the bar are required to present their bar card.

Non-USF students must submit a $50 non-refundable application fee to cover processing. This is in addition to the $100 non-refundable materials fee. This should be a check or money order made payable to: USF School of Law.

Online applications for non-USF students are available here.  In addition to the application and letter of good standing, visiting students are required to submit a personal data form

Please complete and mail all necessary items along to the following address:

Intensive Advocacy Program
University of San Francisco School of Law
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117

The Application deadline is 4/6/2015.

* Materials fee is required at application to secure a place in the program.

Financial Aid

Students enrolled in the IAP program may or may not qualify for financial aid. Please note that if an enrolled student does not qualify for financial aid, s/he will be required to pay tuition in full by the May 1, 2015 deadline.

Summer financial aid information for USF students
Financial aid information for visiting students 


Deadline for Applications: 4/6/2015
Window for paying $100 materials fee in USFConnect 4/7/2015-4/9/2015
Priority deadline for financial aid (USF Students): 4/1/2015
Deadline for tuition: 5/1/2015
Last day to drop and receive a refund (not including the $100 non-refundable deposit): 5/18/2015
Last day to withdraw with a W, no refund: 6/1/2015 

Student Testimonials

IAP is one of the best courses USF has to offer.  The hands on experience of learning trial advocacy with the guidance of dozens of volunteer seasoned attorneys and judges is priceless and an opportunity that would be foolish to not take advantage of.  IAP covers the ins & outs of all stages of trial advocacy – depositions, evidence, direct & cross-examination of witnesses, experts, jury selection, opening statements, closing arguments and of course, the art form of trial advocacy.  Whether you plan on pursuing a career as a litigator or not, you have a lot to gain from this program.  By the end of the two weeks, not only will you have learned trial techniques and strategies that will put you ahead of the pack but you will also have a new profound confidence that will help you as you transition from law student to a new practitioner.  I will forever be grateful for the time and effort exhausted by the 2013 IAP faculty, volunteers and of course, Professor Brown.  Professor Brown made the program what it is today – a huge success.  Whoever takes over as IAP lead faculty will have some big shoes to fill.
- Stephanie Drenski

As a part-time evening student, I figured taking the full-time two week Intensive Advocacy Program (“IAP”) was just going to be a good way to get three quick credits, when it turned out to be a great way to get three credits, but also one of the best classes I have taken at USF. IAP was an outstanding way to learn practical legal skills from prominent USF alums and attorneys. From learning deposition skills and strategies from USF Class of ’92 Alum, Mert Howard, to being critiqued on public speaking by USF Class of ’84 Alum and American College of Trial Lawyers Fellow, Larry Cirelli, IAP provides students with an opportunity to learn from the best litigators in the Bay Area. After completion of IAP I felt well-prepared to speak with practicing attorneys about their cases and to understand the strategies behind each decision being made in preparation for trial. I would highly recommend that every student participate in such a valuable course.

- Mark Griffin

One of the best decisions I made during my law school career was to participate in the Intensive Advocacy Program at USF.  IAP provides an invaluable opportunity to any law student whether they aspire to be a trial attorney or simply desire to improve their public speaking skills.  For two full weeks I was surrounded by some of the best trial attorneys and judges from across the nation.  In a small classroom setting, I received hands-on training from the experts and learned by doing.  In addition, these experts provided me with constant constructive feedback throughout those 14 days.  I walked away from IAP knowing how to create a theory of a case, to depose a witness, to hone case strategy, to prepare a witness for testimony, to conduct voir-dire, to create compelling opening statements and closing arguments, and how to properly and effectively examine and cross-examine witnesses on the stand.  While it will take years for me to become an expert in the art of trial advocacy, I know that IAP has prepared me to hit the ground running in any legal setting and will set me apart from my peers.  I highly recommend this program to all law students.
- Leslie Fales

When I asked a former IAP participant whether or not I should apply for the program, the only reaction I got was "Do it!" I have to say, after finishing, I completely understand why former participants were so emphatic about IAP. This was by far the best experience of my law school career. This class embodied hands on learning, with the students on our feet doing drills and workshops implementing what we had learned from short lectures. This was about learning through doing, something most law school classes don't offer.

Was it tough? Yes, because we were doing things many of us had never done before. Was it grueling? Yes, because two weeks of 8-9 hour days of learning, plus prep for the next day, was a tonof work. Was it worth it? Absolutely, without reservation, yes. Learning from trial attorney faculty, some of whom have been trial attorneys for over 40 years, was an immeasurable learning and networking opportunity.  In addition, these experts provided me with constant constructive feedback throughout those 14 days. In groups of 6 and 8, we learned how to direct and cross examine witnesses, depose a party, and develop a trial theory. This experience is one I will proudly highlight on my resume and in any interview I have. The only thing I can say to anyone thinking about doing IAP is to just DO IT!!! - Cassandra Jenecke 

Participating in the two-week IAP course was definitely one of the highlights of my law school experience. Think about it: when in the course of your career will you have the opportunity to have attorneys from around the country critique your trial techniques for a full two weeks? IAP provides that and more! In most cases, the prospect of performing in front of a group of professionals would spark anxiety to say the least. However, working with fellow students in the program helps to take away much of the apprehension that one might feel. In fact, practicing new trial techniques in front of the group was fun and enjoyable! IAP taught me the skills I need to begin a career in the courtroom. I recommend the course to all students
Richard K. Owen

2014 Faculty

P. Terry Anderlini Tyler Draa  Michael Kelly  JoAnne Roake
Khaldoun Baghdadi John M. Drath  Paul F. Kelly  Michael Roake
Casey Bates Hon Lynn Duryee (Ret.)  Lawrence E. Kern  Doug Saeltzer
Robert Bennett Elspeth Farmer  Ronald S. Kravitz  Richard Schoenberger
Constance Bernstein Hon. Samuel K. Feng  Melissa Krum Dooher Steve Schrey
Xanthe M Berry R. Manuel Fortes  Justice James Lambden (Ret.)  Mitchell A. Shapson
Brian Blackman Cecilia Fusich  Cindy Lee  Scott Shepardson
Joseph Boyle Ken Gack  Frank C. Liuzzi  Rick Simons
Therese Cannata      Richard W. Gates  Hon. Patricia Lucas  Frank Sommers
Joseph Cannon Geoffrey R. Gordon-Creed  Theresa Moore  Michon Spinelli
Adam Carlson Wilma Gray  Neil J. Moran  Justice William Stein
Doris Cheng Christina M. Habas  Spencer Pahlke  Patricia Timm
Lawrence M. Cirelli Geoffrey K. Hansen  Craig Peters  Stephen M. Vernon
George E. Clause Amy Hoffman  Rob Peterson  Tia Welch Maerz
Dusty Colliver Phil B. Horowitz  Hon. Lorna Propes  Hon. Monica Wiley
Joshua Davis William J. Hunt  Thomas W. Pulliam Jr.  Hon. Patricia Williams (Ret.)
Jim Day Hon. Teri L. Jackson  Jon P. Rankin  Clifford Yin
Melinda Derish Hon. Ursula Jones Dickson  Benjamin T. Reyes II

Joseph R. Zoucha