“It’s integrity. If you don’t have integrity in your thoughts, it’s going to show. You’re going to come across as fake, and nobody wants to be associated with that.”

Victoria Rusk, a mitigation specialist and investigator from Houston, TX, credits the Trial Lawyers College’s In Defense of the Damned program with giving her the tools that enhance her civil case preparation and her strategy for consulting criminal defense attorneys. She helps clients understand what mitigation is and how the discovery and presentation of their background is critical to saving their life.

The TLC method teaches that if the jury perceives that an attorney is disconnected from or embarrassed about their client, the jury could adopt that bias and judge the client harshly. Drawing from this, Rusk feels that assessing the case and witnesses help a lawyer better understand their clients’ background.

When attorneys genuinely empathize with their clients, they can present their client’s mitigation story in a compelling way that helps jurors to overcome the feelings of anger stirred up by the prosecutor. Trial Lawyers College teaches lawyers to identify universal themes to be those many people can relate to, such as parenthood or significant loss.

“As a mitigation specialist, we meet people where they are.”

Important Links

Registration is now open for our winter and spring 2022 programs! Take a look at our current course list and get ready for another amazing year of connection, education, and empowerment with TLC.

  • Opening Statement – in partnership with North Carolina Central University School of Law, TLC’s first-ever program with an HBCU Law School • January 21-23, 2022 at Durham Hotel 21c in Durham, NC
  • Final Argument • January 21-23, 2022 at Mo Ranch, Texas
  • Voir Dire – in partnership with Thomas Kline School of Law of Drexel University • February 18-20, 2022 at the Canopy Hotel in Philadelphia
  • Cross-Examination • February 18-20, 2022 at the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, AK

NEW PROGRAM: The Courage to Ask: The Psychodrama of Money and Freedom in the Courtroom • March 25-April 1, 2022 at Sleeping Lady Resort in Leavenworth, Washington.

Episode Guest, Victoria Rusk

122 Victoria Rusk HeadshotA passion for justice and fair sentencing, a drive to empower attorneys and defendants, and a working knowledge of the intricacies of the legal system all compel Victoria Rusk to serve clients as a dynamic mitigation specialist and consultant.

Additionally, Victoria educates clients and their families with her new book, The Handbook for Mitigation. The book is a strategic tool for clients and their families to work together with their defense attorney.

Share This