September 2020 Trial Lawyers College


09/12/2020 - 10/05/2020




Dubois, Wyoming - Thunderhead Ranch

About “In a jury trial, as in life, great power is born of being a person.” -- Gerry Spence

The 3-Week College is TLC’s flagship course. Held in July and September, from start to finish this comprehensive program dissects courtroom procedures with painstaking detail to provide hands-on tools to achieve justice for your clients. Trial skills are only part of being a force in the courtroom. The trial lawyer’s power originates from within. Knowledge of oneself gives the lawyer the capability to know others and to connect with each person in the courtroom including the witnesses, judge and jurors. The power of TLC’s methods comes alive through creative, spontaneous, outside-the-box innovations that capture juries and move them to justice. The 3-Week College is led by a team of TLC-trained and experienced trial lawyers, behavioral and communication experts, with at least a 7:1 student-faculty ratio each week. Come join us. Learn how to win your cases with TLC’s methods. Meet other trial lawyers who will become life-long friends. Become reacquainted with the person you were before you started law school – before the system wore you away. Connect with a tribe of trial lawyers who want nothing more and nothing less than to win justice for those who are lost, forgotten, injured and damned.

Location Thunderhead Ranch, Dubois, Wyoming

The Thunderhead Ranch offers an opportunity to step back, take a break from your busy life, and reconnect with the land and yourself. Located 20 miles east of Dubois, WY and 100 miles east of Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park, the Thunderhead Ranch is rimmed by Wyoming's Absaroka and Wind River mountains. With the East Fork River flowing through the ranch, the TLC campus includes dormitories, classrooms, a cookhouse, and additional meeting rooms in our refurbished barns and 17 other ranch buildings.


All Trial Lawyers College courses are taught by graduates of the College, who volunteer their time, talents and resources to provide high-quality training not offered in any other CLE program. Because our faculty are volunteers, and are actively practicing in their respective firms, our faculty list is subject to change.

Week 1 Faculty Leaders: Paula Elliott Estefan and Ron Estefan
Week 2 Faculty Leaders: Kim Savo and Stephen Demik
Week 3 Faculty Leaders: Laura O’Sullivan, Mel Orchard and Tom Metier

Faculty will change each week. Special Guests during Weeks 2 & 3 will be announced.


OPENING DAY September 12: 3 - 5 PM – Registration

6 - 7 PM  Dinner

7 - 9 PM - First session

GENERAL SCHEDULE September 13 - October 4:

 8 AM - 9 AM Breakfast

9 AM - 12 Noon  Working Sessions

12 PM - 1 PM Lunch

2 PM - 5 PM  Working Sessions

6 PM – 7 PM Dinner

7 PM - 9 PM Working Sessions


Graduation ceremony from 10 AM - 12 Noon.

BBQ lunch from 12 Noon – 2  PM.

Your friends and family are welcome and encouraged to attend the entire day of graduation!

STUDENT DAYS OFF: September 19, September 27 & 28

Important Details

CLE Credits

Approved for 143.5 hours of CLE, including 2 hours of ethics, by the Wyoming State Bar.

Course Materials & Prerequisites

Several articles are required reading as a part of your course. Printed copies will not be provided to you. Download the TLC course materials here.

Applicant must be a member of their State Bar in good standing. Must also be a plaintiff's lawyer, public defender, or a criminal defense lawyer. TLC does not offer training to attorneys who are an employee of a corporation, insurance firm or of the federal government (other than legal services or public defenders).

Applicants are offered admission on a competitive basis. The application deadline is May 26, 2020. (Applications submitted on May 27 or afterwards will not be accepted.) Admissions notifications will be made by July 2020. All admissions decisions are made at the same time, not on a rolling basis.

Food, Lodging & Roommates

Meals are served buffet style in the Ranch Cookhouse. The dorm rooms are small and spartan (with two each of the following: twin bed, nightstand, table, chair, closet area). You will be sharing a room with a lawyer of the same gender. The men’s and women’s restrooms and showers are located at the end of the hallway. We provide a pillow and bedding (towels, pillowcase, sheets, blanket, bedspread), but you need to bring your own toiletries (e.g., shampoo, soap, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, earplugs). A laundry room is available for your use and laundry soap is provided. Due to space limitations, TLC is unable to provide housing to accommodate your family or friends.

Casual Dress: Plan to dress in comfort, not in style. When you’re indoors, sneakers (or good walking shoes), jeans, t-shirts and sweatshirts are appropriate. Bring a bathrobe, too. When you’re outdoors, cotton clothing is fine for warm days but has minimal insulating value, especially when wet. In September, temperatures in Dubois range from 60° F (average high) to 19° F (average low). The average daytime temperature can vary widely and the evenings are generally chilly. Bring wool and synthetic clothing that can be comfortably layered. Optional outdoor gear includes: rain/wind jacket and pants, down or fleece coat, water-resistant hiking boots, good socks, long underwear, winter hat, winter gloves or mittens, baseball cap, flashlight, water bottle, camera, daypack, sunscreen and insect repellant. For class time, bring a notebook or journal and a pen. Bring a printout of your flight itinerary, and a phone card to make long-distance calls (because cellular service is limited and Internet access is not available, except in emergency situations). If you’re a musician, bring your instrument!

Travel Information

LOCATION: 105 miles NE of Jackson and 75 miles NW of Riverton, both which have airports and are 1.5 - 2 hours away. RENTAL CARS: Rental car agencies are located in Jackson. Driving directions can be found on the TLC website.

FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE: Shuttle service will be provided on 9/12 and 10/5 from Jackson Hole Airport to/from Thunderhead Ranch. On 9/12, the shuttle will depart from the airport at 3 PM and arrive at Thunderhead Ranch no later than 5 PM. On 10/5, the shuttles will depart from Thunderhead Ranch at 2:30 PM and arrive at the airport no later than 5:30 PM. Additionally, the Jackson shuttle will stop at the Spence Law Firm in downtown Jackson on both travel days.

An email will be sent to registered attendees with course information.


If you choose to withdraw from a course, you may be eligible for a refund. Any registration for a TLC course made within 5 days of the start of the course must be paid in full at the time of registration. Cancellations must be e-mailed to TLCs Registrar,

For Courses held away from Thunderhead Ranch: Cancellations received at least 14 calendar days prior to the course will receive a full refund. Cancellations received 13 – 6 calendar days prior to the course will receive a 50% refund. We regret that no refunds can be made 5 days or less prior to the start date of the course.

For Courses held on the Thunderhead Ranch: Due to the high cost of travel via Jackson Hole airport, students (especially those who have been wait-listed) need as much notice as possible to be able to attend a TLC course held on the Thunderhead Ranch. Therefore:

  • Cancellations for courses held on the Ranch received at least 31 days prior to the course will receive a full refund.
  • Cancellations received 30-15 days prior to the course will receive a refund in the amount of 50% of the course tuition.
  • We regret that no refunds can be made 14 days or less prior to the start date of the course.

Graduate I and Graduate II Course Cancellation Policy: All students must remit a non-refundable $500 deposit at the time their application to a Grad Program is accepted by the Faculty Leaders, (not to be confused with the date of submitting one's application online.) After that, the standard Cancellation Policy for courses held on the Thunderhead Ranch (as described above) applies, less the non-refundable $500.00 deposit.