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U of M Law School Will Put Increased Emphasis on Advocacy University News
For release: June 25, 2009

For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901/678-2843

Advocacy, or speaking on behalf of a client, is a skill that is key to a lawyer’s success in the courtroom.  This fall, the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis will begin putting more emphasis on the teaching of that skill, and law professor Barbara Kritchevsky has been appointed as the first Director of Advocacy.

Barbara Kritchevsky
Barbara Kritchevsky
Kritchevsky, a law professor at Memphis since 1983, has for the past 20 years served as faculty advisor to the school’s Moot Court Board and coached moot court teams, while serving officially as the school’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  Under her tutelage, the moot court teams have had notable success through the national finals of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition (runner-up to Harvard)  and the National Moot Court Competition (runner-up to Duke).  Team members have won the National Best Advocate Award and Best Oral Advocate Award, and U of M teams have won the Wagner Labor and Employment Law Competition three times.

In her new role, Kritchevsky will devote even more time to strengthening the advocacy skills of law students.  She also plans to create a Certificate in Advocacy specialty over the next year.  That program will enable students to specialize in the study of advocacy and gain recognition for their achievements, while making them even more attractive to future employers.

Law School Dean Kevin Smith said of Kritchevsky’s appointment, “As Director of Advocacy, Barbara will be in a unique position to use her many years of experience and national-level success to enhance an already strong academic program and to strengthen our school’s reputation for having one of the nation’s top advocacy programs.”

Kritchevsky is a summa cum laude political science graduate of Middlebury College and a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School.

The Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law was recently ranked fifth in the nation by preLaw magazine as a best value law school, based on the combination of three criteria: low tuition, the high percentage of graduates passing the Tennessee bar exam, and the success of graduates in finding employment.  The school is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, the society for legal education in the United States.  Graduates of the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law include judges, other public servants, and leading practitioners in the Mid-South and throughout the nation.   Beginning with the spring semester of 2010, the school’s home will be the historic former U.S. Customs House in downtown Memphis, near the city’s judicial and legal community.

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