The National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), a nonprofit dedicated to providing opportunities for trial training, featured the Shook Scholars Institute, which connects second year law students and experienced trial attorneys while fostering a new generation of diverse lawyers.
“On August 13 and 14, the law firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon geared up for its third annual Shook Scholar Institute, an intensive fellowship for a select group of minority and LGBTQ law school students. Institute students participate in a trial boot camp,” wrote Alli Varoglu, NITA marketing coordinator.
NITA explored how the Institute provided trial practice experience remotely through the two-day virtual session. Both Shook Scholars and Shook attorneys connected via Zoom with breakout rooms for small group practice sessions, one-on-one mentoring and a program networking session at the end of the first day.
Shook Scholar Skyler Morgan told NITA that one of the most rewarding aspects of the Institute was being prepped for the trial practice program by Judge Jon Gray.
“Judge Gray was able to teach some of the most essential trial advocacy skills within an hour. After our amazing session with Judge Gray, we were broken up into teams and sent into breakout rooms to practice our new skills with a problem provided by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy [NITA].”
The Shook Scholars Institute, as in past years, used a NITA case file for the Scholars to practice while receiving immediate feedback from a Shook attorney. Judge Jon Gray worked with the Scholars, giving individualized feedback on cross-examinations, questioning, and more. The 2020 cohort of the Shook Scholars Institute was held remotely in August due to the pandemic.
Shook attorneys and professional staff from the Diversity Department were excited to host the Shook Scholars this year from across the country. Beyond the two-day remote program, the support networks and contacts created during the program will continue with the Scholars throughout their law school careers.