Faculty & Firm Left: Steve Fury and Maureen Howard Right: Joel Ngugi
“Learn by doing” is Seattle attorney Steve Fury
receive feedback from U.S. attorneys. The National
and UW Law Professor and former Chair of UW
Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) pioneered this
Undergraduate African Study Program Joel
method of instruction and it is the same method
Ngugi’s motto when they teach trial advocacy
employed in trial advocacy classes at UW Law.
to lawyers in Africa. In 2008, Ngugi and Fury assembled a team of
cy Program Maureen Howard met Fury when they
instructors to establish trial advocacy programs in
taught trial skills at a NITA’s Northwest Regional
Kenya. Originally from Kenya, Ngugi is an expert in
Program. She said Fury’s methods were inspiring.
the African judicial system. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Ngugi practiced law for three years in Kenya. Ngugi’s idea was to send a team to Africa for three years, until the programs became self-sustaining. In 2010, Fury and Ngugi co-founded Justice Advocacy Africa (JAA) with Judge Marsha Pechman. JAA works to encourage respect for legal institutions and establish self-sustaining trial advocacy programs for attorneys in Africa.
“He was so insightful in his teaching critiques, so powerful in his delivery, and so masterful at demonstrating alternative approaches to the skills the participants were practicing,” she said. Howard has collaborated with Fury and Ngugi on several projects. Last March, UW Law, in conjunction with JAA, invited African advocacy teachers to the law school for Advocacy Teacher Training. In August 2010, Howard also traveled to Kenya to teach with Fury and Ngugi in the JAA
Fury said he is not surprised that the JAA
program at the University of Nairobi Kenya School
programs are successful.
of Law. Howard and Ngugi have also collaborated
“It works simply because of the method of instruction,” he said. “If you practice something, you will get better at it, it’s straightforward and simple.” Participants in the JAA programs get involved with instructors and participate in discussions and lessons that allow students to learn trial advocacy by practicing it. Students practice statements and witness examination skills using mock cases and 32
UW Professor and Director of the UW Trial Advoca-
on developing UW Law’s first study-abroad program, which will allow students to study trial advocacy in Kenya over summer quarter. “[Ngugi] consistently motivates me to bring my ‘best game’ to the law school community through my service, teaching and scholarship by way of his incomparable example across these three fronts,” she said.
Spring 2012 UW Law alumni magazine