Keri K. Gould
Assistant Dean for Professional Skills and Director of the Center
for Professional Skills
Professor Keri Gould has helped take the
School of Law’s Advocacy Institute to new heights
Professor Keri Gould believes strongly in St. John’s mission of
educating top practicing attorneys. As director of the Center for
Professional Skills, she coordinates and oversees many of the
School’s programs and initiatives aimed at helping students develop
and sharpen their courtroom skills.
“The Center for Professional Skills is really the epicenter for
a number of programs and features cutting-edge technology.”
The Center houses the externship and trial advocacy programs,
and its newly developed space in the St. John’s Law School building
features conference rooms where students meet with mentors and work
on their courtroom skills, and the mock trial courtroom where
students are able to use the kind of technology they’ll encounter
in real courtrooms across the country, especially federal
Through externships, Professor Gould says, students are able to
go out and work with lawyers in the community and come back and
reflect on their experiences.
“We have hundreds of students who do externships each year. They
go out and work with lawyers in the community, primarily in
not-for-profit and government agencies. They work with carefully
selected mentor attorneys who help introduce them and involve them
in their particular area of interest. Students get to network, they
can meet the players in all the different areas of law. Many
students go on to work full-time in these places or get jobs
through people they’ve met while working in their externship.”
Along with externships, Professor Gould is proud to offer
students trial advocacy programs that are virtually unmatched
anywhere in the nation.
“St. John’s has one of the best trial advocacy programs of any
school in the country. We offer a concentrated trial advocacy
program and an intensive trial advocacy program. We believe very
much in immersion as a way of learning in trial advocacy. To live
it, to breathe it, to do it. That’s what we try to recreate in our
concentrated and intensive trial advocacy programs.”
And it helps to be in such a premier location.
“We’re very lucky at St. John’s to be located in New York City.
Our students have more opportunities than most students in the
country. They can work in any kind of law placement that they want.
In New York they get the best attorneys, they get to see the best
trials, they can see the most cutting edge.”
In the end Professor Gould believes her efforts, and those of
everyone at St. John’s, deliver the kind of preparation that make a
difference throughout the careers of their graduates.
“At the end of their three years, our law students are ready to
jump into the courtroom and jump into any kind of legal position
because they’ve done externships, they’ve done trial advocacy,
they’ve done trial competitions. They’re lawyers the minute they
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