January 10, 2014
New Orleans attorney Chris Teske (L '00) prepares "witnesses" before depositions in a civil litigation case.
New Orleans litigator Scott Bickford (L '82) conducts a deposition demonstration.
Attorney Noah Kressler (L '06), who practices in New York and London, advises students on due diligence as they prepare to hammer out the purchase of a craft brewery.
Attorney Laura Gasiorowski (L '94), who practices in New York and New Jersey, listens as students interview the "defendant" in a criminal case.
“Communication is the key to client happiness.” During a contract negotiation, “leave some good stuff for the end.”
In arguing a motion, use the facts you learned through discovery to make your case.
“When you make any statement to a court, it had better be accurate, better be true and you’d better be able to substantiate it.”
These are just a few of the practical tips that lawyers have provided more than 160 Tulane Law School students during a high-energy, heavy-workload week of “boot camp” designed to provide students with essential practical skills and simulate what new graduates are likely to encounter when they enter the legal profession.
Students have described it as “busy,” “intense,” “useful” and “fun.”
They emerged from New Orleans attorney Scott Bickford’s dramatic deposition demonstration centered on an unexpected confrontation in the classroom buzzing with excitement.
This is the third year that Tulane has held the innovative, immersion-style camp, which is taught primarily by almost 100 lawyers and judges, many of them Tulane Law graduates, who volunteer their time for the week. The program is the keystone of a creative and expanding array of experiential learning options aimed at translating doctrine into skills that new law graduates can use to help clients solve real problems from the very start of their careers.
Students in the civil litigation track have worked the plaintiff’s and defendant’s sides of a case involving homeowner liability for a wrongful death. Their week culminates with arguments before judges in U.S. District Court on Jan. 10.
Those taking the criminal practice track are prosecuting or defending a client in a case involving weapons and drug charges. They’ll argue a motion on evidence suppression Jan. 10 before judges in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.
Transactional track students have worked on representing the buyer and seller in a company’s purchase of a craft brewery.
In addition to Bickford (L ’82), instructors have included leading New Orleans attorneys; partners from Susman Godfrey, the Texas-based commercial litigation boutique; Michelle Bergman (L/MBA '94), a former general counsel for the Duane Reade drugstore chain; and lawyers from California to New York and Florida.
The criminal practice faculty includes Joseph Ettinger (L '56), a nationally known criminal defense attorney who provided the law school an endowment that helps sustain the boot camp. And the civil litigation track is led by New Orleans attorneys Lynn Luker (L '81, LLM '85, LLM '92), who has her own firm, and Chris Teske (L '00), a member of Gieger, Laborde & Laperouse.