The Hammer Law Firm, LLC's St. Louis criminal defense attorneys Mark Hammer and Nicole Chiravollatti have just wrapped up another year of teaching Criminal Trial Advocacy II to third year law students at Saint Louis University School of Law. As part of the course, students were provided with a hypothetical murder case that was inspired by one of The Hammer Law Firm's actual past murder cases.
Professors Hammer and Chiravollatti taught their students how to handle a murder case all the way through the process, from the initial client interview to the actual jury trial. Each class covered a particular practice area as it related to their hypothetical case, including bond hearings, depositions, motion to suppress hearings, preliminary hearings, change of venue motions, opening statements, closing arguments, direct and cross examinations, objections, and admission of evidence at trial.
Legal Professors, Experienced Attorneys
Professors Hammer and Chiravollatti are passionate about their involvement with the law school and love teaching law students how to become practitioners in the area of criminal law. Their roles as professors highlight their experience in criminal defense and the fact that the local and legal communities trust them as educators of future attorneys.
When asked about how teaching relates to his practice, Attorney Mark Hammer said:
“The best way to excel at a topic is to teach it. I have been teaching the art of being a trial attorney since 2005. I have taught courses at two major law schools and have been on the faculty of the most respected prosecutor advocacy center in the U.S. Subjects have included advanced techniques related to opening statements, closing arguments, cross examination and expert witnesses. If you ever want to become proficient in a topic, teach it to somebody else. Teaching has been a win-win situation for me and my clients.”
Attorney Nicole Chiravollatti had this to say about teaching and her profession as a criminal defense lawyer:
“I first started teaching Trial Advocacy at the law school in 2012 and it has been one of the most rewarding experienced of my professional career. It was an honor to be selected by the law school to be an adjunct professor because it was recognition that I have achieved the trial skills necessary to teach others. There is nothing more thrilling than teaching law students how to become proficient criminal trial attorneys. When I see their excitement and passion during their own trials at the end of the semester, I am reminded why I chose this profession and it makes me a more dedicated, passionate, and effective advocate for my own clients!”