Welcome

As a current law student, we assume that you are viewing this page because you have an interest in trial practice.  And if that is so, we hope that you will one day become one of our Fellows. 

It won't be easy.  You can't apply - someone will have to nominate you.  It won't be soon.  Only lawyers who have been engaged in active trial practice for a minimum of 15 years are eligible for nomination.  And it won't be possible unless you mature into one of the very best trial lawyers in your state or province.  But if you practice your profession with skill and distinction and integrity for fifteen years - or if you become appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court - you can expect one day to get a call from us asking you to join our Fellowship.

About The College

The American College of Trial Lawyers is an invitation only fellowship of exceptional trial lawyers of diverse backgrounds from the United States and Canada.  The College is widely considered to be the premier professional trial organization in North America, and it is the only organization in which every Justice of the United States and Canadian Supreme Courts has taken the time to compose and deliver a speech at a College meeting in order to accept Honorary Fellowship (aside from Justice Suzanne Cote, who did give a speech, but was already a Fellow of the College before her appointment to the Canadian Supreme Court).  

The College seeks to maintain and 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.  Our Foundation has supported projects as diverse as the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, the Human Trafficking Courts Project at the Urban Justice Center and the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project.

For decades the College has been proud to sponsor four competitions for law students in the United States and Canada.  You can read more about our support on each of the competition pages on this site.

Recommended Publications

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Code of Pretrial and Trial Conduct (U.S.)

First published in 1956, the Code has been described by the Hon. John G. Roberts Jr. as setting out "aspirational principles to guide litigators in all aspects of their work as advocates of client interests.  The code looks beyond the minimal ethical requirements that every lawyer must follow and instead identifies those practices that elevate the profession and contribute to fairness in the administration of justice."
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Canadian Code of Pretrial Conduct and Canadian Code of Trial Conduct (bilingual)
These Codes, as introduced by The Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, P.C., offer "a thoughtful compendium of best practices, and a welcome reminder that the status of lawyers demands ethical behaviour and courtesy in every professional act, from routine letters all the way to appearances before the highest courts."