Will Hood is a Denver District Court judge. Before moving to the bench, Judge Hood was an AV-rated partner at Isaacson Rosenbaum P.C., where he did both civil and criminal trial work. He also worked as a prosecutor for ten years in Arapahoe County, serving as a chief trial deputy and, separately, as the chief appellate deputy. He graduated in 1990 from the University of Virginia, School of Law where he was a member of the law review. His legal writing on trial work and criminal procedure has been published by the Colorado Lawyer and the Virginia Law Review. Judge Hood is also a certified instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and a member of the Denver Bar Association’s Board of Trustees.
Judge Hood teaches basic trial advocacy using the “learning by doing” methodology created by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA). Students will learn trial skills primarily through their own incremental performances. For example, students will learn how to do direct examination in one segment, then cross examination in another, then direct and cross with exhibits and ultimately complete examinations of witnesses with exhibits. Brief critiques will follow each performance.
Typically, Judge Hood uses the NITA text “Modern Trial Advocacy” (assigning one chapter each week) and two NITA case files (one civil, one criminal) during the semester.
Judge Hood tries to cultivate an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual support. Students learn both by doing and watching their peers, without being unnecessarily competitive or combative. Students who are not necessarily interested in becoming trial lawyers are welcome. Individual growth over the semester is at least as important as comparison to other students in the class.
The semester will culminate in a mock trial in the Denver City & County building courthouse, usually before reading period begins.