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Trial Advocacy Research Guide: Getting Started

This guide provides information about and links to the most popular and most cited sources for trial advocacy. Topics include opening/closing arguments, pre-trial procedure, trial evidence, examination of witnesses, and jury selection.

Introduction to Trial Advocacy

Trial advocacy is that course of study the intent of which is to make students/advocates more effective in all aspects of trial proceedings--pre-trial practice, voir dire, opening and closing statements, examination of witnesses, presenting and objecting to evidence and trial strategy.

Trials, and and the pre-trial procedures that lead up to trials, are governed by a myriad of statutes and court rules.  It is incumbent upon the practitioner to identify the applicable statutes, court rules or other guidance that direct a court's decision-making power in a particular case.  Many, but not all research resources, will identify the applicable standards.  Be aware that some of these resources, though helpful as guides, may not track the latest version of state or federal rules of procedure.

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Dan K. Webb Center for Advocacy

About this Guide

This guide presents links to and descriptions for a variety of legal resources on the topic of trial advocacy.  The guide covers all aspects of trial advocacy including  pre-trial practice, trial preparation, examination of witnesses, and closing arguments.  It does not includes sources on post-trial motions or preparing an appeal.

The resources in this guide are grouped by format: books, journals, databases, audio-visual materials and (free) web  resources.  Because trial advocacy covers a broad range of subtopics, where appropriate, the sources under a particular tab are subdivided by subtopic--pre-trial, examination of witnesses, etc.  One can identify these subtopics by scrolling over the top and viewing the drop-down boxes.

Access to some of the electronic resources included in this guide is limited to users who have a valid LUC ID and password.  Access to other resources is restricted to the Loyola Chicago law school community only.  If you are a member of another law school or university community check your library's electronic resources website to see if you have access to the same resources through your institution.

Basic Sources and Study Aids

These sources provide good starting points for novices.  Loyola students, staff and faculty can access these sources, and more, online via the Library's susbcription to West's Study Aids, available via Westlaw. 

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