The Frank S. Polestino Trial Advocacy Institute (PTAI) is a
student organization committed to showcasing St. John's law
students' extraordinary talent and interest in trial work. PTAI was
dedicated in memory of Professor
Frank S. Polestino in Spring 2001.
With a focus on excellence in trial advocacy, PTAI offers the law
school community trial training programs, internal and external
trial competitions and trial-related legal writing forums and
events. In all our initiatives, PTAI promotes and supports the
Law School’s reputation as a leader in trial advocacy. During the
2004-2005 academic year, the National Institute of Trial Advocacy
(NITA) ranked PTAI the top trial team in the nation.
Every year in the fall , PTAI runs the Charles M. Sparacio
Criminal Internal Trial Competition and the Peter James Johnson
National Civil Rights Trial Competition. In the spring, we host the
Edward Hart Civil Internal Trial Competition, the McKenna Forum,
the Advocate in the Spotlight Forum and the Brian Peterson Memorial
First Year Trial Competition. Throughout the academic year, PTAI
organizes, trains and prepares numerous external teams to
participate in national trial competitions around the country,
including the NITA Tournament of Champions and competitions hosted
by the Texas Young Lawyers Association and the Association of Trial
Lawyers of America.
PTAI's Executive Board manages our daily operations and ensures
that PTAI events and competitions are successful. PTAI's office is
located on the second floor of the Law School. Late into the night,
the office is full of team members working on openings, closings,
directs and crosses. Team members agree that being involved in PTAI
is among their favorite law school experiences.
For more information about the Frank S. Polestino Trial Advocacy
Institute at St. John's School of Law, please contact us.