Episode 50: Co-Leaders Mel Orchard & Vicki Slater on Restructure of TLCs Graduate-1

“We’re trying to empower the students and really all of ourselves as Trial Lawyers to be able to utilize every means available to communicate our clients’ cases. That’s really the bottom line of it and to make sure we all know ourselves and take care of ourselves so we can be available to help our clients.” – Vicki Slater, Grad-1 Co-Leader

In this episode, I talk with the co-leaders of the newly structured Graduate-1 program, Mel Orchard & Vicki Slater. I was able to take a backseat to the first-launched program last year and it was really incredible to see how they brought the TLC Graduates out of their comfort zones with theatrical arts and music as well as trial skills. Mel & Vicki talk highly about the effectiveness of bringing creativity in as an important skill in the TLC methods and how this can relay to the jury in trial. 

Included in this Episode

  • Ideas around the new structure
  • Why it is important to showcase creativity within the TLC Methods
  • Creativity in course structure of Grad-1
  • Graduate responses to the new structure
  • Information about the creative guests that join the Grad-1 Program

Important Links 


Episode Guest, Mel Orchard

Mel Orchard graduated from the Trial Lawyers College in 2008, and since 2009, has been a Senior TLC Faculty member and was recently selected to join the TLC Board of Directors. He graduated from the University of Wyoming, College of Law and has been a managing partner at Spence Law Firm in Wyoming since 2005. During his trial career, Mel has been a part of record-breaking multi-million dollar civil jury verdicts in Wyoming, Arizona, and Iowa and he has tried over 35 major cases in state and federal courts throughout the West. Mel has negotiated hundreds of cases totaling more than 100 million dollars for injured clients and families who have lost a loved one to wrongful death.


Episode Guest, Vicki Slater

Vicki Slater lives and practices in Mississippi and is a member of AAJ’s NCA Board of Trustees, president-
elect for AAJ’s Council of Presidents, second vice chair of the Women Trial Lawyers Caucus, a member of the Public Affairs Committee and the Election Committee, and serves on the faculty team of the Trial Lawyers College. She is a past president of the Southern Trial Lawyers Association, and in 2010, she received the Mississippi Business Journal’s Leadership in Law Award. Vicki is currently running for House representative of Mississippi.
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