Hate Speech

Trial Lawyers College, a private organization whose members commit to fight for equality and justice, seeks to foster and nourish an open atmosphere of caring for people that reflects TLC’s Mission Statement in word and in spirit.

In an intimate and trust-based community such as ours, the corrosive effect of hate speech is too great for hate speech to be countenanced. Therefore TLC prohibits conduct (oral, written, graphic or physical) that targets any person or group of persons because of their race, age, creed, religion, national origin, physical abilities, gender, or sexual orientation; and conduct that has the purpose or the reasonably foreseeable effect of creating an offensive, demeaning, intimidating, or hostile environment for that person or group of persons.

If students or staff believe that hate speech must be presented in the context of a teaching exercise or personal psychodrama (for example, because hate speech was used against or by a client, or against a student), TLC strongly urges the speaker to provide a preface of the word or words to be used and the reason therefor. TLC also trains and strongly urges staff to be mindful of the impact of hate speech on the hearer, even in a teaching exercise, and to process with the group the use of hate speech in any exercise or personal psychodrama.

Guidelines for Ethical Conduct

The standards presented here serve as guidelines which Trial Lawyers College hopes will assist staff members, paid and volunteer, in their continued goal toward professionalism while at the same time fostering and encouraging creativity and spontaneity in the training experiences offered by the organization. The primary purpose for a code of ethics is to guide staff members, paid and volunteer, in helping students absorb, understand, experiment with, and experience the methods and process taught at Trial Lawyers College, while behaving in a fair and decent way to both students and colleagues.

The issuing of these guidelines is by no means intended to instill a sense of distrust on the part of the organization, or to further oppress any of us in our creativity, spontaneity and overall enjoyment of the Trial Lawyers College experience. They are instead meant to support and encourage the staff’s already existing high level of sensitivity around the issues, concerns and well-being of the students and each other.

It is not the intent of these guidelines to prohibit the natural development of relationships among staff, paid or volunteer, through disciplinary action, but rather to provide creative arrangements that will make it possible for staff, paid or volunteer, to continue to provide effective and professional training experiences for the students. Friendships among staff members, paid and volunteer, and students are encouraged and contribute to the spirit of Trial Lawyers College and our common purpose of training lawyers for the people thru the use of the psychodramatic process.

The demands placed upon staff members, paid and volunteer, are in direct relation to the ever-growing need to train more lawyers to fight for justice for the people. In keeping with our commitment to provide the students with a safe and nurturing environment, we realize and recognize the need and importance of a safe and supportive working environment.

There will always be gray areas; situations where the guidelines are simply not enough. It is then that we are called upon to utilize our best judgment.

Speeches and Presentations

TLC staff members, TLC and F Warrior Board Members and Officers, and TLC Alumni are not authorized to speak on behalf of Trial Lawyers College when making speeches and presentations to other organizations and groups. All such representatives of Trial Lawyers College are directed to state that they are not speaking on behalf of the College, and that their comments do not reflect the opinions or views of Trial Lawyers College, and that their statements are not to be attributed to Trial Lawyers College. 

Trial Consultants and Competing Programs

It is the existing policy of Trial Lawyers College to prohibit faculty members from soliciting cases from students during a TLC course. This policy is hereby extended to include lawyer faculty members from soliciting or offering trial-consulting business during a TLC event, Local Working Groups or on the TLC list-serves. The policy is further amended to prohibit faculty from promoting their own teaching programs that in fact compete with TLC, while being trained as a teacher by Trial Lawyers College. Trial Lawyers College will not train a faculty member or other alum who markets his/her trial skills program, holds it out as his/her own, for profit or self-promotion; nor will Trial Lawyers College allow faculty or other alums who no longer represent actual clients, and who now hold themselves out as “trial consultants”, to explicitly or implicitly market their services at TLC events, Local Working Groups, or on the TLC list-serves.

On Use of List Serv for Promotion of  Other Programs

With regard to seminars being promoted by TLC staff or alumni which have not been approved by the Board, these seminars should not be marketed or promoted using the trademarked name “Trial Lawyers College” without TLC’s permission. Any such seminars being conducted for fee-generating purposes to promote and financially benefit the seminar sponsors should not be permitted if the seminar is being marketed using the name “TLC”, and the TLC list-serves should not be used for that purpose.


Policy On Use of Trial Lawyers College Name

Trial Lawyers College encourages TLC alumni to form Local Working Groups to work on cases, to explore psychodramatic techniques, and to practice Trial Lawyers College methods. This TLC network is essential to our mission. We also greatly appreciate those who have promoted Trial Lawyers College by mentioning the TLC programs at various bar association meetings and CLE presentations, and encouraging the trial lawyers in attendance to attend TLC programs. Trial Lawyers College does not authorize the use of Trial Lawyers College name to advertise and conduct seminars without the consent of Trial Lawyers College Board of Directors. If a Local Working Group or individual is utilizing the TLC methods and would like assistance in developing a CLE program, we invite them to contact the Executive Director of Trial Lawyers College.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment and/or sexual contact between faculty and students is prohibited. Trial Lawyers College aspires and is dedicated to training lawyers in trial advocacy. Any violation of this policy will result in immediate termination of the violator’s position, whether paid or volunteer with the College, without exception.

It is important for every staff member, paid or volunteer, to adhere to these guidelines and policies and to use good judgment to follow the “spirit” of the policy where specific situations are not fully stipulated. As these guidelines and policies are not all encompassing, any issues or questions regarding this matter should be brought to the attention of the Executive Director or to any member of the Board of Directors of Trial Lawyers College.

Alcohol and Drug Use

Trial Lawyers College has always maintained a strong commitment to provide a safe, efficient, and productive training experience for the students while encouraging and fostering creativity and spontaneity. Trial Lawyers College wishes to ensure that staff members, paid and volunteer, will perform their duties safely and efficiently in a manner that protects their interests and those of their co-workers as well as the students. Trial Lawyers College also desires to provide the highest quality training experience for the students. In keeping with this commitment, Trial Lawyers College has a strict policy regarding the inappropriate use and possession of drugs and alcohol. This policy recognizes that inappropriate use of drugs and alcohol can be extremely disruptive and harmful to the overall training experience. It can also adversely affect the quality of the training experience and the performance of staff, pose serious safety and health risks to the user and others, and have a negative impact on the reputation of the organization and those involved with it. Accordingly, Trial Lawyers College requires all staff members, paid and volunteer, to report to all training sessions and staff meetings fit to perform their duties and responsibilities.

No staff member, paid or volunteer, may use, possess, distribute or sell any illegal drug while on Trial Lawyers College property, nor be under the influence of or use alcohol while conducting training sessions or while operating a vehicle owned, leased or rented by Trial Lawyers College. For the purpose of this policy, a drug will be considered an “illegal drug” if its use is prohibited or restricted by law.