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 2019 Global Lawyering Skills Final Four Competition
The 2019 Final Four will take place at 5:30 p.m., April 11 in the McGeorge School
of Law Courtroom. A reception at the Grand Salon in the Legal Studies Center will
immediately follow the event.
Distinguished Judges for 2019
- Andrea Lynn Hoch, California Third District Court of Appeal
- Arthur G. Scotland (Ret.), California Third District Court of Appeal
- Kimberly J. Mueller, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
These four students will compete for 2019 Top Oral Advocate
- Consuelo Amezcua
- Carly Moran
- Blake Sequeira
- Celeena Wall
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