Firm Welcomes 40 NYC Lawyers to Annual Poverty Law Advocacy Training Program

Innovative program provides trial advocacy skills training for public interest lawyers.

October 25, 2012

This week, Latham & Watkins1 welcomed 40 poverty law advocates from 10 community public interest law organizations in New York City to the Poverty Law Advocacy Training Program. Coordinated by retired partner Jim Kearney and hosted in the firm’s New York office, the program employs a “learning by doing” model of simulated courtroom advocacy to provide participants with multiple opportunities to enhance trial advocacy skills, such as conducting direct- and cross-examinations and making closing arguments.

“We started the program several years ago because we wanted to build on our extensive pro bono and community service efforts while utilizing the approach developed for the in-house trial training program we have for Latham associates,” said Jim Kearney. “Over the years, we’ve helped more than 100 poverty law advocates become more comfortable in the courtroom and thereby enhance their legal representation of  the poor in New York City.”

The simulated courtroom setting—including five mock courtrooms—allowed participants to benefit from on-the-spot advice from experienced trial lawyers, including retired partner David Brodsky and New York associates Jason Sanjana, Adam Goldberg, and Craig Batchelor, as well as senior lawyers from several of the participating community legal service organizations. New York associates Katelyn Beaudette, Daphne Lyman, Shervin Rezaie, Rachel Wechsler, Matthew Salerno, Mira Dewji, and Timothy Kirby played the roles of the witnesses in the mock trial. Faculty members provided constructive feedback to participants and helped them build on their experiences through guided practice. Participants also had the opportunity to review their performances on videotape in five video review rooms, which has proven effective in helping individuals become more confident and comfortable in the courtroom.

First held by Latham in 2008, the Poverty Law Advocacy Training Program has proven to be very popular with public interest attorneys across New York City, who then use their enhanced skills to advocate on behalf of those in the community who lack the means to hire lawyers to secure their civil and legal rights.

About Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is a global law firm with approximately 2,000 attorneys in 31 offices, including Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Doha, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New Jersey, New York, Orange County, Paris, Riyadh, Rome, San Diego, San Francisco, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information on Latham & Watkins, please visit the website at

Notes to Editor

 1 Latham & Watkins operates as a limited liability partnership worldwide with affiliated limited liability partnerships conducting the practice in the United Kingdom, France and Italy and affiliated partnerships conducting the practice in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Latham & Watkins practices in Saudi Arabia in association with the Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi.

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