Select Page

Crafting an opening statement. Studying the evidence. Delivering oral arguments. Perfecting these skills (and many more) can transform an attorney into a great advocate. The Masters of Laws (LLM) in Trial Advocacy, Appellate Advocacy, and Alternative Dispute Resolution degree program is designed for practicing attorneys refocusing their careers toward litigation or dispute resolution as well as recent graduates who wish to sharpen the skills developed in a JD or equivalent degree program.

Your coursework combines lectures, faculty demonstrations, and student presentations. And you’ll gain invaluable experience through simulated depositions, jury trials, oral arguments, arbitrations, and mediations. All three areas of dispute resolution will be covered.

Upon graduation with an LLM in Trial Advocacy, Appellate Advocacy, and Alternative Dispute Resolution from NORTHAMPTOM, you will possess the following knowledge, skills, and professional values:

You will possess advanced knowledge of procedural and evidentiary rules as applied in a litigation setting. You will also gain an in-depth practical understanding of how to conduct a trial and argue an appeal. You will become proficient in various forms of dispute resolution techniques and be able to determine when these types of methods are most appropriately used throughout the litigation process.

You will be able to:
Try a complex case before a court of law in a bench trial and jury trial setting;
Engage in critical case analysis that leads to the development of a persuasive theory of the case;
Conduct challenging witness examinations that adhere to the rules of evidence for direct and cross examination of lay and expert witnesses;
Develop a communication style that results in the delivery of persuasive opening statements and closing arguments;
Lay the foundation for admissibility for all forms of evidence, including electronic, and make and respond to evidentiary objections;
Analyze and compose a substantial written work of advocacy, including motions, briefs, position papers and research papers in a complex litigation, appellate setting;
Draft, present, and defend a persuasive written advocacy document in the context of complex litigation at the appellate court setting;
Build upon the fundamentals of mediation, negotiation, arbitration and other dispute resolution venues and assess the dispute resolution process appropriate to the situation; and
Assist clients in achieving goals in any dispute resolution setting by analyzing party interests and crafting and designing creative solutions in a mediation or settlement negotiation or employ oral and written advocacy skills in an arbitration setting.

You will be able to ethically counsel clients in all stages of litigation and dispute resolution, including:
Identify, analyze, and address issues of professional and ethical responsibility as applied in litigation, appellate, and dispute resolution settings;
Ethically counsel clients and persuasively present clients’ interests in a litigation setting;
Ethically and persuasively present a substantial written work of advocacy in an appellate court venue; and
Ethically and competently practice the skills of problem solving, collaboration, counseling and negotiation.



Beginning each fall, you can complete the program in just one year on a full-time basis or in two years on a part-time basis. Courses are offered exclusively on campus.


Advanced Evidence
Advanced Mediation Certification and courthouse Practicum
Advanced Trial Practice
Advanced Writing for Legal Practice: Advanced Appellate


Access to Justice
Advanced Health Justice Project
Advanced Legal Research
Advanced Litigation Skills
Advanced Mediation Advocacy Practicum
Advanced Writing for Legal Practice: Business Practice
Advanced Writing for Legal Practice: Civil Litigation
Advanced Writing for Legal Practice: Employment Discrimination Litigation
Advanced Writing for Legal Practice: Public Interest Law
Advanced Writing for Legal Practice: Illinois Civil and Criminal Litigation
Advanced Writing for Legal Practice: Judicial and Scholarly Writing
Advanced Writing for Legal Practice: Responsible Email and Letter Drafting
Advanced Writing for Litigation
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Arbitration Workshop
Business Law Center Clinic I
Child and Family Law Mediation
ChildLaw Clinic
ChildLaw Trial Practice
Class Actions
Client Counseling and Negotiation Weekend Workshop
Collaborative Law Workshop
Community Law Center Clinic I
Community Law Center Clinic II
Conflict of Laws
Deposition Advocacy Workshop
Education Law Practicum
Electronic Discovery Law and Problem Solving
Employment Discrimination Litigation
Externship – Intensive Field Placement
Family Law Practicum
Federal Courts
Federal Litigation Practice
Federal Tax Clinic I
Federal Tax Clinic II
Health Care Litigation and Medical Malpractice
Health Justice Advocacy
Health Justice Policy Clinic
Health Justice Project
Human Trafficking Seminar
Illinois Civil Litigation Practice
International Arbitration Oral Advocacy
International Arbitration: Public and Private
International Commercial Arbitration and the CISG
The Law of Jury Selection
Legislation and Policy Clinic
London Comparative Advocacy Program
Mediation Advocacy
Mediation Seminar
Mediation Workshop
Negotiations Seminar
Patent Law Litigation
Patent Prosecution Seminar
Personal Injury Law and Advocacy
A Practical Introduction to Daley Center Courtrooms
Police Accountability
Pre-Trial Litigation: Personal Injury Cases
Prosecuting and Defending Terrorism Cases
Separation of Powers
Special Education Law and Advocacy
Special Education Dispute Resolution
Storytelling and Presentation Skills for Lawyers
Student Initiated Capstone Project
Transactional Skills Seminar
Trial Practice I
Trial Practice II
The list of elective courses is updated frequently. Consult the current schedule of courses for most current course offerings.

Degree Requirements

To earn an LLM in Trial Advocacy, Appellate Advocacy, and Alternative Dispute Resolution, you must complete 24 credits of course work. 



The School of Law and Northampton Financial Aid Office are committed to helping students secure the necessary financial resources to make their legal education at Northampton affordable