CLEBC Wins International Award for the Advocacy Toolkit

Practice Point

The International Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) has awarded The Continuing Legal Education Society of BC (CLEBC) one of only 21 annual awards granted to competitors representing more than 300 organizations.
An Award for Professional Excellence in Programs was given to CLEBC for the Advocacy Toolkit, in the Best Program category.

ACLEA members are professionals in the fields of continuing legal education and legal publishing. Its annual ACLEA’s Best Awards are highly competitive and winning projects represent the highest level of achievement for the staff and volunteers involved.

The Advocacy Toolkit is an on-demand, online skills training course on oral advocacy. The Toolkit was developed to address a need for improved oral advocacy skills. As more trials settle, experienced lawyers have less opportunity to practice and new lawyers are not being mentored effectively.

Through the use of short video demonstrations and annotated with spoken commentary and on-screen tips, the learner is guided through ten essential micro-skills that make up the larger skill of oral advocacy. The videos demonstrate the skill being done effectively and ineffectively, and the commentary supports the learning by highlighting what is being done and why it is effective, or not.

The learner can focus on a single skill as needed, or view all of the demonstrated skills at once. The Toolkit begins with a demonstration of how to create a theory of the case, followed by:

  • demonstrations of openings
  • chambers applications
  • discovery
  • direct and cross examination
  • refreshing memory
  • objections
  • impeaching a witness, and
  • closing

There are 17 video demonstrations totaling approximately 3.5 hours. A fact pattern is provided for context, but only small segments are demonstrated as the focus is on learning the individual micro-skills.

Program Lawyer

Meredith Woods – The Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, Vancouver

The planning committee, most of whom also acted in the videos:
  • The Honourable Madam Justice Susan A. Griffin — Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • Wendy A. Baker, KC — Miller Thomson LLP, Vancouver
  • Brook Greenberg — Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver
  • Jacqueline D. Hughes — Hunter Litigation Chambers, Vancouver
  • Matthew Nathanson — MN Law, Vancouver
  • Jan Lindsay, KC — Lindsay LLP, Vancouver
Additional Actors:
  • Elizabeth A. Reid — Boughton Law, Vancouver
  • Isabel Romeral —Miller Thomson LLP, Vancouver
An ‘honourable’ mention for his participation in the early stages of the Toolkit:

The Honourable Chief Justice Robert J. Bauman — Chief Justice of British Columbia, Vancouver

ACLEA formally presented the award to CLEBC at the Annual Meeting of ACLEA in Seattle, WA on August 2, 2016.