Fordham Law alumnus Adam Shlahet ’02 and the Brendan Moore Advocates have good reason to be excited for the future of Fordham’s mock trial program, and it’s not just due to the team’s standout performance in competitions. Fordham Law recently announced plans to expand the Brendan Moore Trial Advocacy Center, including the appointment of Shlahet as the center’s new director.
Shlahet, whose new role will begin in July 2016, currently serves as a special assistant attorney general in the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York. He has served as an adjunct professor at Fordham Law since 2004 and as the School’s director of trial competitions. Last year Shlahet received the first Edward D. Ohlbaum Award from the Center for Excellence in Advocacy, which recognizes “a trial team coach and program director whose life and practice display sterling character and unquestioned integrity, coupled with ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession and the rule of law.” Shlahet will join James L. Kainen, who holds the Brendan Moore Chair in Advocacy, to provide leadership at the center.
“The expansion of our Brendan Moore Trial Advocacy Center is critical at a time when law schools need to do more to provide practical trial training for law students,” said Fordham Law Dean Matthew Diller. “Training not only entails hands-on learning about the trial process, fact analysis, opening statements, and cross examinations. Through programs and competitions at the center, Fordham Law students develop a deep sense of committed advocacy for their future clients, which is an important attribute that complements being supremely competent in the courtroom.”
“I have seen firsthand the benefits that our law students receive by taking part in the trial advocacy center’s competitions and training,” said Shlahet. “I look forward to continuing the important work of ensuring the Law School produces top-notch trial attorneys.”
In addition to the teams and training, the Brendan Moore Trial Advocacy Center holds symposia that bring trial lawyers to the School and offers a place for students to form legal teams and practice trial lawyering with law experts as their coaches.
An endowed clinical faculty position focused on trial advocacy also will be added at Fordham Law in the 2019-20 academic year. The School’s clinical program provides students with a wide range of opportunities to serve real clients who are facing real legal challenges and provides skills education through simulation courses in subjects as critical as counseling, negotiation, advocacy and trial skills. This new faculty position recognizes the importance of trial advocacy to Fordham Law’s approach to legal education.
Fordham Law School established the Brendan Moore Advocacy Center and the Brendan Moore Advocates Program to foster the teaching and study of lawyers as advocates at the trial level. Through the program, Fordham Law’s second, third, and fourth year students participate in trial competitions, both civil and criminal, and they have regularly won national, regional, and local competitions. They compete in approximately 18 competitions every year throughout the country, and Fordham Law’s trial advocacy program was recently ranked 16th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The center was originally made possible through the generosity of Thomas A. Moore ’72 and Judith Livingston Moore in memory of Tom’s brother Brendan Moore. The Moores also established the Brendan Moore Chair in Advocacy.