University of Florida Levin College of Law prepares students to become highly skilled litigators and leaders.  This preparation involves more than just mere knowledge of the law.  Students must also hone their critical thinking skills and develop new skills related to legal analysis, case strategy, systems-thinking, and the types of oral and written communications expected by judges and clients.  Through coursework and co-curricular activities, we help students acquire the competencies they need to succeed in and out of the courtroom.  You may read more about our programming below.
Students develop core litigation skills in our semester-long Pre-Trial Practice and Trial Practice courses.  These courses are taught in small sections led by full-time Professors Paige Snelgro, Sarah Wolking, and Jennifer Zedalis along with Visiting Professors Jonathan Barry-Blocker, Stacy Biggart, and Pamela Marsh and Adjunct Professors Kim Cook and Joshua Silverman.
Students also have the opportunity to take compressed courses taught by practicing lawyers and judges.  These intensive learning experiences prepare students for a range of practice settings.
Basic Litigation Bootcamp: Bridging the Gap from Law Student to Litigation Associate
This course, taught by Judge Paul Huck, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and Stephen N. Zack, Partner, Boies Schiller Flexner, and Former President, American Bar Association and The Florida Bar, prepares students to be effective first-year associates in litigation departments of law firms of all sizes. Meeting at the federal courthouse in Miami, students engage with state and federal judges and law firm partners and associates from a range of national and state-wide law firms. This incredible teaching team provides students with the tools they need to work as part of litigation teams, exposing students to multiple aspects of pre-trial litigation as well as the soft skills necessary for success in law firms. Each student is paired with a judge or practicing lawyer who will serve as a mentor before, during, and after the course. Daily luncheons with panels of judges, senior partners, and young associates will provide opportunities for open discussions between students and panelists. Judge Huck and Steve Zack will be joined by: 

  • Judge Barbara Lagoa, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • Judge Robert Luck, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • Judge Roy Altman, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • Judge Jacqueline Becerra, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida   
  • Judge Beth Bloom, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida  
  • Judge Darrin Gayles, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida  
  • Senior Judge Patricia Seitz, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida  
  • Chief Magistrate Judge John O’Sullivan, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • Magistrate Judge William Matthewman, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • Judge Edwin Scales, Third District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida
  • Judge Peter Lopez, Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida 
  • Judge Michael Hanzman, Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, Complex Business Division
  • Judge Lourdes Simon, Miami-Dade County Circuit Court 
Law Firm Leaders
  • Richard Cole, Managing Partner, Cole, Scott & Kissane
  • Kimberly Cook, Partner, Davis Goldman 
  • Dori Foster-Morales, Partner, Foster-Morales Sockel-Stone LLC, and Past President, The Florida Bar
  • Michael Levine, Shareholder, Stewart Tilghman Fox Bianchi & Cain
  • Cori Lopez-Castro, Partner, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton
  • Dwayne Robinson, Partner, Kozyak Tropin Throckmorton
  • Jim Robinson, Partner, White & Case
  • Thomas Schulte, Shareholder, Ausley McMullen
  • Frank Shepherd, Partner, GrayRobinson
  • Lee Stapleton, Shareholder, Carlton Fields
  • Michael Tanner, Shareholder, Gunster, and Past President, The Florida Bar
  • Ursula Ungaro, Partner, Boies Schiller Flexner
  • Ben Widlanski, Partner, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton
Other Lawyer-Leaders 
  • Oscar Sanchez, Founder, OAS Mediation
  • Kerri Ruttenberg, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Litigation, Walmart
Deposition Strategy and Practice
This is an introduction to taking and defending fact and expert depositions. It provides essential strategies for planning for, taking, and defending depositions. The class is highly interactive, providing opportunities to practice preparing for and conducting mock depositions. In-class exercises will be recorded on video and critiqued by the instructor and other class members. The course is taught by:
  • Bob Denham, Retired Of Counsel, Robins Kaplan LLP, and Retired Partner, Powell Goldstein LLP.
Artificial Intelligence and Litigation Strategy
Artificial Intelligence has emerged as a critical tool in the litigation process necessary to achieve outstanding client service at reduced costs. This course explores the contemporary utilization of artificial intelligence within the litigation process, focusing on responding to Rule 34 requests for production, conducting early and prelitigation investigations, preparing to take and defend Rule 30 depositions, culling data sets for privilege and work product documents, and preparing for Rule 26(f) case conferences and Rule 26(a) disclosures. The course is taught by:
  • William Hamilton, Senior Legal Skills Professor, UF Law
  • George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness, Reveal  
Pleading the Modern Civil Rights Case (Spring 2022)
This highly interactive compressed course applied 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to a “real life” scenario. Students met a “client,” brainstormed causes of action and affirmative defenses, and separated into groups to draft a pleading. In the process, students learned about federal civil rights laws in modern practice, how those laws have been interpreted by federal courts, the many issues civil rights litigants face at the outset of litigation, and, most importantly, how to effectively plead the modern civil rights case. The course was taught by:
  • Judge Marcia Howard, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • Magistrate Judge Patricia D. Barksdale, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
The statewide Gerald T. Bennett Prosecutor/Public Defender Trial Training Program is the only one of its kind in the United States. This intensive week-long program focuses on developing trial skills in young prosecutors and public defenders. This joint training pays homage to the British system of Barristers and each year the distinguished Queens Counsel, the elite trial lawyers of Great Britain, join the program faculty. Working together in small groups, outstanding teaching faculty from both sides of the criminal bar, law professors, and judges, help young lawyers develop precise, intelligent witness examination and argument skills. Special emphasis is placed on professionalism and ethical considerations in lawyering.
The Tax Moot Court Team placed 1st in the Iberoamerican Tax Moot Court Competition held November 7 - 10, 2022, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  The Florida competitors were Mary Hudson and Audrey Rizk, who was selected as the best speaker overall.  

The Florida Trial Team has won 12 national titles, 4 regional titles, and 5 state titles in the past 15 years. Some recent highlights include: 
  • 2021 Georgetown White Collar Crime, National Finalist
  • 2021 Estrella Trial Advocacy Competition, Best Oral Advocate
  • 2021 All Star Bracket Challenge, Regional Finalist
  • 2021 TYLA National Trial Competition, Best Closing Argument
  • 2020 National Trial Advocacy Tournament, Quarterfinalist
  • 2020 Florida Bar Chester Bedell, Semi-finalist
  • 2020 All-Star Trial Competition, Best Advocate
The Florida Moot Court Team competed in multiple state and national competitions in 2021-2022, including the Hassell National Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition; Emory Civil Rights and Liberties Moot Court Competition; Billings, Exum & Frye National Moot Court Competition; FL/GA Husley-Gambrell Moot Court Competition; NYC Bar Association National Moot Court Competition; Zehmer National Moot Court Competition; Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Competition (National Champions);  National Online Moot Court Competition (Semi-Finalists); Duberstein Moot Court Competition; ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition; Howard University School of Law Bryan Moore; and The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Robert Orseck Moot Court Competition (Quarterfinalists).

The Florida ADR Team fields several teams each year for competitions selected by students. In recent years, the ADR Team has competed in various ABA-organized arbitration, negotiation, mediation, and mediation advocacy competitions. In fall of 2020, UF Law was host to the first-ever ABA virtual arbitration competition.
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University of Florida Levin College of Law,
P.O. Box 117623, Gainesville, FL 32611

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