All first-year students are required to participate in the University of San Diego School of Law First-Year Oral Arguments. This event is essentially the culmination of their first year of law school. The students argue one side of an appellate case based on an entire semester of research and preparation. The arguments are judged by members of the greater legal community. Therefore, our students depend on respected and talented members of the legal community to ensure a quality experience.
What does being an Oral Arguments judge entail?
Oral Arguments take place during the spring semester, generally during late March or early April. Each judge attends a short pre-meeting (which includes a meal) and hears a series of student oral arguments as a part of a three-member panel of judges. Each session is approximately a three hour commitment.
As a judge, you will have time to provide constructive feedback to the students; however you will not assign scores or choose a winner. One week prior to the arguments, judges will receive a bench memo, including sample questions, so they will have an idea of the arguments they will hear. Each year the students argue a variety of cases on topics ranging from Fourth Amendment violations to copyright infringement to defamation.
What should you do if you are interested in judging Oral Arguments?
Complete an interest form. This form will let us know that you are interested and give us the ability to contact you about volunteering as a judge.