McGeorge School of Law

GLS Final Four

From the 2018 GLS Final Four competition

McGeorge's Global Lawyering Skills II course, culminates in the "Final Four" competition, which is unique among law schools. While in most law schools students participate in Moot Court exercises, here students simulate a much more realistic litigation experience. Students work with a single case preparing and arguing motions in the trial court through the appeals process following a judgment. This way, students see how the case evolves, applying attorneys' analytical skills to solve real litigation problems. While other schools have students prepare to argue only in the U.S. Supreme Court, at McGeorge students experience the progress of a case in the same way the vast majority of attorneys experience it.

The 2017 Global Lawyering Skills Final Four Competition

The McGeorge Top Oral Advocate for 2017 is Wiemond Wu. Congratulations Mr. Wu.

Distinguished Judges for 2017 — Justice Elena Duarte, California Third District Court of Appeal; Justice Jonathan Renner, '96, California Third District Court of Appeal; and Judge Kendall Newman, United States District Court for the Eastern District of California.

These four students competed for Top Oral Advocate:

  • Wiemond Wu
  • Paige Davidson
  • My Tien Doan
  • Garrett Seuell

Top brief awards:

  • Wiemond Wu
  • Erin Riswold
  • Paige Davidson
  • Michael Laino

How the Competition Works

  • The competition begins in the Global Lawyering Skills II course, taken in the second or third year. The course is taught by professors with real-world litigation experience.
  • Students begin by writing trial memoranda and presenting oral arguments, providing them with a great writing experience and significant opportunity for oral argument while in a supportive setting. The case is then "decided" and the task becomes how best to appeal the judgment.
  • At the beginning of the spring semester the briefs are submitted and students prepare to present their oral appellate arguments.
  • All students in this required course deliver a 15-minute argument to a panel of judges. The top oral advocates from the final argument weekend are chosen for further competition. Preliminary rounds are held among the top students, with GLS professors as judges, and the field is narrowed to eight semifinalists.
  • The competition really heats up as those eight semifinalists compete to see who will be named to the Final Four.
  • The Final Four Competition is held in late March or early April before a panel of judges currently holding seats on the Federal and State bench. The appearance before the judges is realistic, with the jurists asking tough questions of the competitors as they present their arguments, just as in practice.
  • After the arguments, the judges and professors dine with the competitors and prizes are awarded to the students presenting the Best Briefs by an Appellant and by an Appellee, and for the Best Oralist among the Final Four.

Final Four top oral advocates receive the Diana P. Scott Award. These significant awards reflect the accomplishments of dedicated students who have decided to get the most realistic appellate experience they can while in law school. Awards are also given by for the top four Best Briefs, reflecting the importance of written advocacy in the process of litigation.

Final Four and Best Brief students have gone on to distinguished careers in every phase of litigation, and are among employers' most sought-after graduates.

The competition is always exciting, and judges have consistently reported that students in the Final Four have developed advocacy skills making them truly practice-ready.

Read about previous Final Four Competitions: