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Appellate courtroom

Advocacy Programs

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law has a national reputation for excellence in advocacy

The excitement starts early each school year with the fall intraschool Armand Arabian Advocacy Tournament, where 2L and 3L students compete individually for honors and prize money in an appellate format. In the spring, the Vincent S. Dalsimer intraschool team appellate advocacy competition takes place, with the exciting final round and the elegant law school dinner occurring on the same Saturday. In past years, the final-round bench has included United States Supreme Court justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Byron White, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Chief Justice John Roberts. The intraschool moot court calendar concludes with all 1L students participating in an appellate argument.

Interschool Trial and Appellate Advocacy Competitions

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law fields outstanding teams each year to compete against law schools from across the nation. Professor Harry Caldwell coordinates the interschool trial teams, guiding students through intense, challenging training through the Honors Trial Practice course. Both the trial and appellate teams have a remarkable record of success, winning numerous regional and national competitions. The list below shows some of the competitions we participate in.

Moot Court

The Moot Court competition program at Pepperdine helps students improve their advocacy skills through a series of national and international competitions. Teams are comprised of second and third year law students who demonstrate success in both appellate writing and arguing and are dedicated to improving their research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.

Trial Competitions

  • Buffalo/Niagara National Trial Competition
  • American Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Competition
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) National Trial Competition
  • Association for American Justice (AAJ) National Student Trial Advocacy Competition

Appellate Competitions

  • Foreign Direct Investment International Arbitration Competition
  • Tulane Law School Mardi Gras Sports Law Invitational Moot Court Competition
  • Stetson University International Environmental Moot Court Competition
  • Willem Vis East (Hong Kong) Commercial Arbitration Competition
  • Willem Vis Vienna Commercial Arbitration Competition
  • Veterans National Law Moot Court Competition
  • UC Davis Asylum and Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition
  • UCLA Cyber Crimes National Competition


National Entertainment Law

Not only do we compete internationally, we have hosted the National Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition for 18 years.