Roger J. Dodd grew up being led by many exceptional coaches. At a young age and well before law school, he began coaching. At first it was in sports, but soon progressed to academics. Once he went to law school, he was coached and mentored by practicing lawyers. While he was being coached, he expanded his coaching resume. Not just sports, not just academic subjects, and not just trial skills, but combinations of trial skills and outside the courtroom activities that impacted trials.
LLM in Advocacy: Over Three Decades of Teaching CLE
While in his early sixties, it occurred to him that not only did he want to get better as a trial lawyer and teacher of lawyers, but that there was a way to do that formally, and to keep up his practice at the same time. He took his LLM with Distinction in Advocacy from Stetson Law School, through a course that feature online modalities, use of other technologies, and in person education.
APPLICABLE TO DIFFERENT LEVELS OF SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
Professional Athletes Have Coaches Too
Just as experienced professional athletes, who are at the top of their games, in all sports, regularly employ coaches for individual coaching trial lawyers need that too. Whether it is in individual sports like golf, tennis, skiing or team sports, professionals realize that coaching is needed and works. Trial lawyers have always sought out CLE, but individual coaching is new. It is better too.
No serious trial lawyer ever stops learning and wanting to get better. There is always room for improvement and verification of trial strategy. From retooling Voir Dire tactics with our changing juries, tightening an opening, re-examining the order of proof, preparing to blunt the opponent’s attack, forming more detailed chapters of cross-examination, to putting a closing together that truly does serve as a ‘summation’ of our narrative, there is always room for improvement.
The ultimate coaching goal is to take the trial lawyer from whatever level she/he is at now, to where that lawyer wants to be for the next trial. It is better and easier to reach the lawyer’s full potential with individual coach directed training, advising and guidance.