Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Law

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (3 credits - II sem. - OP)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Suggested background knowledge

The seminar is taught in English, therefore in order to successfully attend it, knowledge of English language is required.

Mission & Content Summary


Advocacy is the act or process of supporting a cause or an argument. Advocacy is also defined as the art of persuasion. The term Advocacy includes the range of skills that lawyers must have in order to adequately perform their role in different contexts and to effectively present their arguments, both orally and in writing, so as to convince their listener(s) or reader(s). The distinctive feature of Advocacy is that it combines the legal content of the argument with a meta-juridical know-how such as communication (written, verbal and non-verbal), public speaking and argumentative skills, all aimed at being persuasive. The use of Advocacy varies depending on the different context where a lawyer is involved. Students need to be aware of it. In fact, after graduation, students are confronted with different professional scenarios (whether as practising lawyers, magistrates or in-house) and in addition to the legal know-how learned at university, they will need to develop and use skills that are rarely trained at school. Among those skills, a fundamental one is Advocacy. The mission of the Seminar is to provide the students with the basics of Advocacy. It mostly focuses on Advocacy in an international environment (both of international arbitration and ADR) but the skills learned will be useful in any professional context.


  • The course provides students with an overview of the various professional scenarios and the related different forms of Advocacy, so that they will acquire a thorough understanding of its relevant features. An introduction to international arbitration and ADR (including negotiation) also be given to the students.
  • The basics of communication as well as of rhetorical techniques (written and oral) are explained and experienced. In particular, students gain direct experience, through forms of active learning (“learning by doing”) and the use of audio-visual tools, on the importance of communication (again the work is done both on verbal and written communication) and the different way a message can be made more persuasive before a tribunal or any other audience. Students participate in practical sessions (moots) in order to experience the importance of effective Advocacy. They prepare the moot sessions by drafting brief summaries of the arguments and the strategic approach they intend to use in the sessions. Students also be taught the basics of public speaking.
  • The course analyses the differences in the international arena between Advocacy in civil law and common law legal traditions. A special focus is given to international arbitration which, in view of its multicultural nature, represents the natural meeting point of the different traditions of Advocacy.
  • Advocacy also means professional ethics. Students experience how ethics and the legal profession are closely intertwined and how Advocacy is strictly linked to a high level of ethics, in accordance with the classical paradigm which required the great advocate to master not only logos and pathos but also ethos.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Recognise the different roles of a lawyer and the importance to exercise effective Advocacy skills in different ways appropriate to the different contexts.
  • Identify and distinguish the various forms of ADR (negotiation, mediation and arbitration) with a special focus on international arbitration.
  • Recognise and apply different communication techniques (both verbal and non verbal).
  • Analyse the readability and persuasiveness of a legal text.
  • Structure an argument (both written and oral) in a persuasive way, articulating logos ethos and pathos and other different rhetorical instruments.
  • Distinguish and categorise different Advocacy tools, both from the civil and the common law tradition (including cross examination).
  • Understand the main features of a cross examination and to structure it.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Structure an argument (both written and oral) in a persuasive way.
  • Effectively use logical and rethorical arguments.
  • Use communication skills (both verbal and non verbal).
  • Apply the basic features of public speaking.
  • Decline logos, ethos and pathos (the three rhetorical pillars) in any Advocacy context.
  • Structure a cross examination.
  • Orientate himself/herself in the various forms of ADR and international arbitration.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


  • Guest speaker’s talks: an English barrister is invited to the seminar to explain in a highly interactive way cross examination to the students.
  • Moot exercises and Group assignments/Interactive class activities: students are invited to work in groups to prepare advocacy exercises, splitting the class in two and collecting ideas, arguments and putting together a structure for the presentation.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


Attendance is mandatory (at least 80% of the seminar). Students attending are evaluated on their commitment and participation.

Teaching materials


Teaching materials (exercises and slides) are provided in class.

Last change 13/06/2019 12:44