What is 1st STEP?
This selective and innovative 10-week summer program offers a series of integrated evidence, trial advocacy, and motions courses specifically designed to improve your litigation and presentation skills. The program includes three uniquely designed Litigation Center courses, Evidence in the Courtroom, Presentation and Persuasion, and a new Brief Writing and Motions Advocacy course.
The specialized litigation training program offers 11-units during the summer session, giving students greater freedom and a competitive advantage to participate in full-time employment, GGU’s National Trial Team, moot court competitions, GGU’s on-site clinics, externship and internship programs during the upcoming fall semester.
What Our Students Are Saying
1st Step provides students with the foundation of how a trial should be conducted and mock trial enhances that understanding tenfold. It was through my experience in GGU's programs that I developed my own litigation style and was able to really learn and understand evidentiary objections and responses.
The Litigation Center was instrumental in my success as a current public defender for Santa Clara County. The 1st step program taught me early on how to prepare and dissect a case. Because of 1st Step, I was ahead of my peers in preparing motions as a law clerk. I felt comfortable speaking to the Court and fighting for my clients. I still use those learned skills every single day.
I honestly credit my comfort and knowledge in the courtroom to 1st STEP, mock trial, and the litigation center. In 1st STEP I was able to learn and explore my passion for litigation. Through mock trial I was able to practice using the skills I learned in 1st STEP to advocate effectively in a courtroom setting. There is not a day that goes by in which I don't use every skill that I was taught in these programs.
1st Step gives you the tools to forge a legal path towards becoming a litigator right after your first year. The interconnected classes and mock trial settings allow the student to unlock the strengths and weaknesses in a case and provide opportunities for advocacy development. The skills you acquire will help you in the courtroom and the classroom and will give you a boost when seeking viable internships.
I could not be more grateful for my experience with the 1st STEP Program. The intensive, yet exciting, curricula challenged me to become a more persuasive public speaker, taught me how to apply the rules of evidence in the courtroom, and how to effectively work up a case from start to finish. Under the guidance of some of the city’s most talented litigators and knowledgeable judges and professors, we received consistent feedback to help us grow exponentially in a short amount of time. I strongly recommend this program for anyone looking to become a strong litigator in their field, the experience you will gain is simply invaluable.
1st STEP gave me the skills and confidence to launch into litigation while still in law school. I was arguing against seasoned attorneys in an actual courtroom as a second-year law student. If you want to work in criminal prosecution, defense, or civil litigation, then you should enroll in 1st STEP.
The STEP program is intense, but well worth it. It was the most informative, foundational and beneficial experience of my law school career thus far. I feel confident in my trial skills and would not trade the experience for anything.
I could not have asked for a better experience than the STEP program. I was nervous about how a litigation program would translate online. However, Professor Brockl and her team's preparation made me feel like I was in an actual classroom. Before STEP, I would have never believed that I could complete an entire trial. This program has given me the confidence and skill necessary to litigate effectively in the courtroom.
Now that STEP is over, I have found myself reflecting on the incredible experience I had over summer participating in the program. 1st STEP has truly been a life-changing experience for me and has armed me with so many skills that are benefiting me in my classes and externship. Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to participate in such a transformational program and for making the experience so fulfilling.
1st STEP goes beyond teaching you basic trial skills. The professors, guest lecturers, and teaching assistants all surrounded us with support, while simultaneously pushing us harder than we had ever been pushed before. Their guidance throughout such an intensive process is invaluable, and the camaraderie you build with your peers and mentors will follow you into your career. Truly the most rewarding experience I have ever had!
- Learn from a cadre of seasoned trial lawyers
- Receive support from program alum
- On your feet on day one
- Try an entire case after only one week
- Integrate the rules of evidence at trial as you learn them
- Learn how to break down a case file and work up a case theory and succinct theme
- Begin crafting your advocacy personality
- Learn how to construct effective witness examinations
- Develop tools for dealing with difficult witnesses
- Guest lectures from top Bay Area trial lawyers