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Temple University’s Beasley School of Law has done it again. The law school’s trial advocacy program has been honored for the second time with the American College of Trial Lawyers’ Emil Gumpert Award. The award recognizes excellence in teaching trial advocacy and comes with a $50,000 donation to the winning law school. Temple first won in 1989. Winning the award a second time required the school to achieve more than it did in 1989, said Edward D. Ohlbaum, director of trial advocacy and clinical legal education at Temple. “We are proud of the fact that we won the award for a second time because it demonstrates that we went way beyond what we were recognized for having done in 1989,” Ohlbaum said. “We have expanded our course offerings, we have made them more intensive, we have brought on more adjuncts, and we have entered more competitions while maintaining the same level of excellence and achievement.” Ohlbaum attributed Temple’s success to those who worked hard to make it happen. “We have wonderful students, many of whom come to Temple to participate in trial advocacy. We have wonderful coaches, who are dedicated and committed, many of whom are trial team champions themselves. And we work our tails off. There is no school that works harder or takes this enterprise more seriously than we do,” Ohlbaum said. Approximately 80 percent of Temple law students take at least one trial advocacy course during their law school careers. Trial advocacy has almost become a culture at the law school, said JoAnne A. Epps, professor of law and associate dean for academic affairs. “What it really says about the institution is that the program has been so successful that it has really set the bar for achievement and excellence, so that our students understand that participating in any level of trial advocacy at Temple is going to enable them to perform on a very high level because the standard is so high,” Ohlbaum said. According to Ohlbaum, the trial advocacy program is both comprehensive and integrated. It offers a semester-long advocacy course; an intensive yearlong course that integrates advocacy, the rules of evidence and professional responsibility; an advanced trial advocacy course; and, by invitation and selection, membership on a national trial team. For the past four years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Temple No. 1 in trial advocacy. And since 1995, Temple’s mock trial teams have won more national competitions than any other law school. Outside evaluators have also recognized Temple’s program. In August 2001, The National Law Journal surveyed firms across the country to find out which law schools best prepared their students for trial work, and Temple came out on top. Part of the $50,000 donation the school received will be used to further enhance technological innovations to the trial advocacy program.

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