Two New Trial Advocacy Programs Invite Applicants


No Fee Programs to Focus on Diversity in the Courtroom, In-House Corporate Litigation Attorneys

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA (August 23, 2019) - The American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) is inviting applicants for two new trial advocacy programs. 

Diversity in the Courtroom Program

The College has long been committed to increasing its ranks of talented and accomplished trial lawyers, by including more women and persons of color, varying ethnicities, disabilities, and sexual orientation. Through this program, the College expands its commitment by helping to develop the next generation of diverse and inclusive trial advocates

“Our society is diverse.  Our courtrooms are diverse – judges, jurors, court personnel, and witnesses.  The trial lawyers should mirror the diversity in our society and in our courtrooms,” said ACTL Fellow Thomas J. Heiden of Latham & Watkins, LLP (Chicago, IL), who will serve as chair of the program. “The emergence of a broader group of talented diverse trial lawyers will benefit clients and our system of justice in general.  ACTL’s Diversity in the Courtroom Trial Advocacy Program will work to bring even more talented advocates of excellence to our courtrooms.”  

In-House Corporate Litigation Attorney Program  

The second trial advocacy program will focus on in-house corporate litigation attorneys.  Corporations and businesses are parties to almost all civil litigation. “In-house corporate litigation attorneys are charged with tasks essential to our civil justice system; yet most are not active trial lawyers and many have never been,” Heiden said. This trial advocacy program “will strive to equip and assist those in-house lawyers in tasks essential to the performance of their job, such as selecting diverse trial counsel, managing trial theme development, and guiding trial and settlement strategies.”

The programs, which will have no fee to attend, will take place in May 2020 in Chicago.  Both programs are organized by the ACTL Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy Committee and its Chair, Joseph C. Crawford of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller (Philadelphia, PA). Heiden will chair both programs. ACTL Fellows will serve as faculty sharing their extensive experience trying difficult civil cases in each corner of the country.  The programs will be held at the Chicago offices of Latham & Watkins, LLC.

Both programs will strive to build faith, trust, and belief in the civil justice system. Preserving and protecting the rule of law and the civil trial system depends in part on the commitment provided today. The ACTL is committed to these goals and to nurturing the next generations of excellent courtroom trial advocates.

Attorney applicants may click on the links below to download an application or by contacting Tom Heiden ( The submission deadline is December 18, 2019. Fellows are invited to volunteer as faculty for the Diversity in the Courtroom program. Please direct any questions or notes of interest to

Program Information Diversity in the Courtroom Program
Application Diversity in the Courtroom Program

Program Information In-House Corporate Litigation Attorney Program
Application In-House Corporate Litigation Attorney Program

About the American College of Trial Lawyers

The American College of Trial Lawyers is composed of preeminent members of the trial bar from the United States and Canada and is recognized as the leading trial lawyers organization in both countries.  Founded in 1950, the College is an invitation only fellowship. The College thoroughly investigates each nominee for admission and selects only those who have demonstrated the very highest standards of trial advocacy, ethical conduct, integrity, professionalism and collegiality. The College is dedicated to maintaining and seeking to improve the standards of trial practice, professionalism, ethics, and the administration of justice through education and public statements on important legal issues relating to its mission. The College strongly supports the independence of the judiciary, trial by jury, respect for the rule of law, access to justice, and fair and just representation of all parties to legal proceedings. For more information about the College, visit its website at

Eliza Gano
Communications Manager
American College of Trial Lawyers