Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy

Preparing law students to become confident, skilled, and effective litigators is the cornerstone of the Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy, part of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law's Bluhm Legal Clinic. The Bartlit Center was established in 1999, made possible by a gift from Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott in honor of senior partner Fred Bartlit, an innovative leader in litigation and business strategies.

Bartlit Center students participate in nationally-ranked, simulation-based teaching programs - among the finest in the country. In addition to Northwestern's preeminent residential faculty, the Center's adjunct faculty includes nearly 100 of the best lawyers and judges in Chicago - private practice, public service, state and federal judges, all of whom bring day-to-day insights into the practice of law. Coursework includes ethics and professional responsibility, evidence, pre-trial litigation, trial technology, and trial advocacy. Students are additionally able to gain unparalleled experience and feedback competing on trial teams and participating in moot court.

Student work is based upon experiential learning: education rooted in direct involvement in lawyering tasks. Via simulation-based training, students are able to perfect tasks and skills they will need as practicing lawyers.

"There are many fine law schools in the United States where students can receive a solid education," says Bartlit Center director emeritus Steven Lubet. "But here at Northwestern, we excel at uniting theoretical and practical law. Students take a class in the morning with a great legal thinker; they participate in a simulation program in the afternoon and work with one of the most successful trial lawyers in the country. It is that breadth of opportunity that is difficult to find elsewhere."

Students who complete work in the Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy feel comfortable in any courtroom. Says Lubet, "Our program provides them with comprehensive experience - from the moment they meet their client all through the end of a complete jury trial. They understand absolutely everything that happens in a case, and see these pieces of the puzzle as connected and integrated parts of a whole process."