Announcing Diversity Trial Advocacy Program in Toronto


Tuition Free Program Focusing on Diversity in the Courtroom

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA (January 29, 2024) – The American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) is inviting diverse trial lawyers to participate in its highly anticipated Diversity Trial Advocacy Program, to be held in Toronto, May 10-12, 2024. Prior programs, each capped at 50 participants, have generated a waiting list of qualified applicants.

Diversity in the Courtroom Program

The College has long been committed to increasing its ranks of talented, accomplished and diverse 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. We believe the talented lawyers trying cases should better mirror the diversity in our courtrooms,” said ACTL Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy Committee Chair Thomas J. Heiden of Latham & Watkins LLP (Chicago, IL). “The emergence of a broader group of talented and diverse trial lawyers will benefit clients and our system of justice in general. We are delighted with the enthusiasm and talent of the participating lawyers and we will work to bring even more talented advocates of excellence to our courtrooms.”

After the first Diversity Trial Advocacy Program was enthusiastically endorsed by prior participants, faculty, and legal media, there was a universal plea that this program be continued as an annual event. “As a first-generation college student and new lawyer, your training was invaluable for my career,” said one participant.

According to a report by Ross Todd in AmLaw Litigation Daily: “After we heard rave reviews from faculty and participants, we offered up a pat on the back to organizers for pressing on through four COVID-related postponements to make the weekend program happen. But we also gave them a nudge to urge that the weekend not be a one-off.”

The response to the second program, held in May 2023, was even greater. A third ACTL Diversity Trial Advocacy Program was held in the fall of 2023 to meet the substantial increase in demand. “The participants were very engaged and worked so hard,” said one faculty member. “You could almost see them soaking up strategies and tactics, and they continued to get better and better throughout my time with them.”

The College is thrilled to announce the fourth Diversity Trial Advocacy Program will take place in Toronto, Ontario on May 10-12, 2024 at the Toronto offices of McCarthy Tétrault. This is the first College sponsored Diversity Trial Advocacy Program to be held in Canada. The event will again be organized by the ACTL Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy Committee and ACTL Fellows will serve as faculty.

You can help ensure the continued success of this program by nominating diverse litigators that you believe would benefit from this opportunity. There is no tuition charge for the program, which will again be limited to 50 attendees; place will be reserved in the order of registration.

Please contact Tom Heiden ( or Junior Sirivar ( with questions or to nominate a lawyer. Please contact Taryn Hunter ( for questions related to registration.

Read the entire press release here.