In 2003, the Paul A. McLennon, Sr., Honors Moot Court Competition was established through the generosity of Professor Michael Devitt and his family. The competition was named in honor of attorney and naval aviator Paul A. McLennon, Sr., a longtime friend of the Devitt family. The competition's purpose is to give USD law students an opportunity to develop their brief writing and oral advocacy skills by focusing on a single case and testing these skills in an open, rigorous competition. Not only does the competition foster appellate advocacy skills among USD law students, but it also reinforces the law school's strong reputation in the legal and academic communities for excellence in appellate advocacy training. The final round of the competition has attracted presiding jurists from our nation's highest court, including United States Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas in 2003 and Antonin Scalia in 2004.
Since 1987, when head coach Professor Richard J. Wharton established the program, USD’s trial team has consistently ranked among the finest teams in the nation. Members of the team are selected through intra-school competitions held in September. Second-year students are selected by a closing argument competition and third-year students are selected by a trial competition. All students selected compete in at least one national competition.
Held annually in Vienna and Hong Kong, the goals of the Vis Arbitral Moot are to train law leaders of tomorrow in methods of alternative dispute resolution and to foster the study of international commercial law and arbitration for resolution of international business disputes through its application to a concrete client problem.
The annual Duberstein Moot Court Competition is a nationwide competition that attracts law school teams from around the United States each March at St. John’s University in Queens, New York. The competition involves appellate brief-writing and no less than two days of repeat oral arguments about a pressing commercial issue facing the Bankruptcy Bar as selected for argument by prominent bankruptcy practitioners.
For more information about giving to the law school's legal skills programs, please call the Development and Donor Relations Office at (619) 260-4692.