Advocacy Certificate (Harrisburg)
The advocacy certificate provides students with course work and hands-on learning opportunities in litigation (civil, criminal and administrative) and dispute resolution. The program is designed to enhance the placement opportunities in the region’s district attorney and public defender offices, public agencies that conduct administrative hearings and private law firms.

All students must take:

Course Work
  • ITAP (Intensive Trial Advocacy Program) or Trial Methods and
  • Advanced Trial Methods
Students must additionally take for a grade (pass/fail courses do not qualify) one class from each of the two lists below. Students should be aware of course prerequisites so should plan on taking Evidence, Professional Responsibility and Criminal Procedure as early as possible but no later than by the end of the second year for Regular Division students and by the end of the fifth semester for Extended Division students.

At least one of the following courses
  • Pre-trial Methods
  • Pennsylvania Civil Practice
  • Pennsylvania Criminal Practice
  • Legal Methods III – Appellate Advocacy
  • Legal Methods III – Specialization (in civil, criminal, or administrative litigation)*
  • Negotiations
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Mediation
* Course must be approved by Advocacy Program Director as satisfying the program requirement

At least one of the following courses
  • Advanced Criminal Procedure
  • Advanced Evidence
  • Law and Policy of Sentencing and Corrections
Experiential Learning
Participation as a an attorney in one of the following:
  • an intramural competition (Moot Court or Trial Advocacy),
  • an interscholastic competition,
  • a "live client" hearing either through a Clinic or through some other experience under the supervision of a faculty member, and
Observation of a full trial in either the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas or the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The student must submit a Trial Observation Report (.pdf) on the experience to the Director of the Advocacy Certificate Program, and

Preparation of a Trial Brief, either as part of the mandatory experiential component of the Program, or as part of Advanced Trial Methods.

Additional Requirements
In addition to successful completion of the course and experiential requirements, students must earn a B- or better in all certificate courses and maintain an overall GPA of 2.8 or higher.

To satisfy the program’s writing requirement, students must prepare a trial brief. This may be satisfied in conjunction with an advocacy course (such as Advanced Trial Methods) or the fulfillment of the experiential requirement. The brief must be approved by the program director.

Students who are interested in the Program should complete the Expression of Interest and return the completed form to the Registrar’s Office early in their academic career. A student who submits the form to the Registrar’s Office is not required to complete the Certificate Program.

Students who have fulfilled all requirements for the Program should complete the Application and submit the completed form to the Registrar’s Office during their final year of law school.

Contact Information:
Program Director: Professor J. Palmer Lockard, II
Phone: (717)-541-0320