Oral Advocacy 101

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Oral advocacy typically receives less attention than writing, even though it is just as crucial for competent legal representation in all areas of practice.  

Topics covered in this class will include the goals of oral argument (and what oral argument is not for), tips for preparing for oral argument, and strategies for effectively presenting an oral argument.  From appropriate demeanor to responding to questions from the bench, learn how to improve your oral advocacy skills to better serve your clients. 

This workshop is part of Leaders Forum Legal Skills Series, a joint collaboration between ChangeLawyers + John Paul Stevens Foundation.


Tiffany Gates

Tiffany Gates


Tiffany J. Gates graduated from UC College of the Law, San Francisco (formerly, UC Hastings) and is a specialist in appellate law certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

In her solo practice, she drafts and responds to discovery motions, dispositive motions, post-trial motions, appellate briefs, and writ petitions exclusively on behalf of plaintiffs in various types of civil cases—including but not limited to personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, product liability, and consumer class actions. She also represents indigent criminal defendants in their appeals from felony convictions as a panel attorney for the First District Appellate Project. And from September 2016 to May 2023, she served as a supervising attorney for the Hastings Appellate Project, where she guided third-year law students in their representation of undocumented immigrants before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in proceedings to challenge final orders of removal.

Tiffany’s work in the appellate courts has resulted in numerous published opinions, including favorable decisions from the First District Court of Appeal in Filosa v. Alagappan (2020) 59 Cal.App.5th 772, People v. Johnson (2022) 79 Cal.App.5th 1093, and Pacific Fertility Cases (2022) 85 Cal.App.5th 887, and from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Diaz-Reynoso v. Barr (9th Cir. 2020) 968 F.3d 1070.