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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Dalsimer Appellate Advocacy Competition 2017

January 17, 2017| By Alexa Brown —The Vincent S. Dalsimer Intraschool Team Appellate Advocacy Competition is the oldest and most prestigious moot court competition on the Pepperdine Law campus. Previous final-round benches have featured United States Supreme Court justice and other high-ranking members of the judiciary, as well as government officials from the United States and other countries. Students participate on two-person teams, writing an appellate brief and arguing interesting and timely constitutional issues, similar to the first-year moot court experience.

Chair of this year's event, Professor Hilary Reed, provided insight into this year's case: "Our problem this year has to do with the foster and adoptive placements of a Native American child under the Indian Child Welfare Act, with both a statutory interpretation component and an equal protection argument.  It's a timely issue that has seen recent press and deals with interesting issues at the intersection of Native American Law, child welfare, and equal protection.  We are excited to see our students improve their advocacy skills and craft compelling arguments for both sides."

The issue of the Indian Child Welfare Act can be found in this article.

All second- and third- year students are invited to participate; no prior moot court experience is required. The prizes include $2,000 for the first place team, $500 for the second place team, $500 for the best individual oral advocate, and $500 each for the best petitioner and respondent briefs.

The competition provides an excellent way for students, beginning in the preliminary rounds, to practice their oral advocacy skills before prominent members of the state and federal bar who serve as judges for the competition. Students in past years' competitions have added the competition experience to their resumes, and in some cases, the judges and attorneys who have judged particular rounds have made job offers to student advocates. The competition will take place the weekend of February 25th.

The deadline for sign-ups is January 20, 2017. Briefs are due February 8, 2017.