Pupillage teams for the 2021-22 Inn year will be announced in September. Please check back for updates.
Each pupillage team is responsible for developing and presenting a 75-minute CLE at one of the Inn's monthly meetings. The co-chairs for each team lead the team members in deciding a program topic and researching and preparing a presentation and discussion for the entire Inn membership. Because of the Inn's focus on excellence in legal skills and professionalism, we strive to keep approximately a third of the presentations directed toward developing and improving litigation skills. The remainder of the presentations generally focus on litigation-related issues of general interest. For example, programs in recent Inn years have included:
- Technology and the Changing Nature of the Practice of Law
- Legal, Ethical, and Professional Considerations in Running for Office
- The Legality and Ethics of Assisted Suicide
- The U.S. Immigration System: Design, Priorities, and Challenges
- Predicting the Future of Trial Practice from Historical Trends
- Best (and Worst) Practices in Witness Preparation and Presentation
- Guantanamo: A First-Hand View of U.S. Terrorist Detention Policy
- Gun Control versus Open Carry
- Effective Strategies for Jury Selection
- Compliance Programs, Prosecutorial Discretion, and Corporate Malfeasance
- Keeping the Jury Interested with Exhibits and Demonstratives
- The Magna Carta
Topic selections should be given to the Inn program chairs before October 1, if possible, to ensure teams' topics do not overlap. Team co-chairs are encouraged to organize a team social to solicit potential topics and decide on one.
Inn programs generally take the form of a multi-section presentation, followed by an open question-and-answer session. Often, multiple members of the team will each present briefly on various aspects of the issue under discussion to provide a multi-faceted understanding of the issue and its context. Although all team members are expected to assist with planning and development of their team's program, not every team member need take on a speaking role. To ensure that programs remain as substantive as possible, the Inn strongly discourages skits or other forms of scripted entertainment. Guest speakers are permitted sparingly, generally as a supplement to a team's presentation, and should not be treated as a replacement for a strong presentation by the team members themselves.
Pupillage teams are also where much of the Inn's opportunities for mentoring arise. Because they combine lawyers and judges from all different levels of experience and areas of practice, the pupillage teams provide all Inn members with great chances to develop one-on-one relationships with icons of the Austin bench and bar. Working jointly with the Inn's Masters and senior Barristers through the small team structure provides unparalleled opportunities to learn skills and lessons won through years of practice and to foster informal mentoring relationships that can last for years. Other, more formal mentoring opportunities also exist within the Inn. Of particular note is the year-long series of monthly Larry York Mentoring Lunches, sponsored by the Lochridge Inn in conjunction with the other Austin-area Inns of Court. These free, brown-bag lunch events are open to all Inn members and regularly draw judges and senior practitioners to discuss professional self-improvement issues through panels, speeches, and small-group conversations.
Ensuring an Exceptional Experience
The Lochridge Inn leadership team is deeply committed to providing members with the best possible experience through their participation in the Inn. To ensure that goal is met, the Inn has embraced the standards set by the American Inns of Court for national recognition under the AIC Achieving Excellence program. And the Inn is proud that, every year since 2016-17, it has satisfied the qualifications for Platinum certification under the Achieving Excellence program in recognition of the exceptional service and value it provides to its members.
In addition, the Inn has always and will continue to seek out ways we can improve our programs, processes, and participation. Soliciting and receiving feedback from our members is a crucial component of this process of self-improvement, and the Inn takes that task very seriously. Rather than utilizing a form-based satisfaction survey, however, the Inn leadership has for years engaged every member in a personal conversation about their Inn experience and what steps, if any, the Inn could take to better itself and the services it offers its members. This personal iteration of the traditional survey, our Inn believes, encourages more voluminous and thoughtful feedback that is a critical component of the process of continuous improvement in which the Inn is engaged. Inn members can view results of the 2021 survey here.