Abbie Heller is accomplished as a trial advocate and as a coach and mentor to law students engaging in mock trial competitions.
Ms. Heller spent several years representing indigent criminally accused adults and juveniles as an assistant public defender with the Defender Association of Philadelphia. There, she tried major cases in jury and bench trials, representing defendants accused of attempted murder, aggravated assault, rape, robbery at gunpoint as well as less serious offenses. Outside the courtroom, her work involved research, writing and collaborating with expert witnesses in DNA and narcotics as well as with social workers to evaluate clients’ needs for mental health and substance abuse treatment.
Since 2014, Ms. Heller has also coached members of the law school’s Trial Team, including students who won national championships at the American Association for Justice Competition and the National Board of Trial Advocacy’s Tournament of Champions as well as regional titles.
Previously, Ms. Heller served as a program assistant to the Trial Advocacy program, creating a curriculum for and lecturing in a summer series of classes for new members of the Trial Team.
A ’14 graduate of the Kline School of Law, Ms. Heller received the Kline and Specter Trial Advocacy Award for her performance on the Trial Team, where she was a semi-finalist at the 2012 Peter Johnson National Civil Rights Competition and at the 2014 National Trial Competition’s Regional Competition. Prior to graduating, she served as a teaching assistant for Professor Donald Tibbs and as a fellow with the Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project.