This simulation course will help you develop the written and oral advocacy skills you’ll need to be an effective appellate litigator (and which are highly desirable for many other forms of legal practice as well). You’ll learn how to prepare and write an appellate brief and how to prepare and deliver an oral argument in court. We’ll discuss both general principles of persuasion and more on nitty-gritty matters such as how to organize an argument; how to write effectively using well-constructed paragraphs and clear and crisp sentences; how to prepare for and handle oral questioning; and when if ever to adroitly split an infinitive or to end a sentence with a preposition you are enamored with.
Class sessions will include presentations, interactive conversations, and in-class exercises. Over the course of the semester, you’ll produce several drafts of a brief or portions thereof, focusing both on merits arguments and on some of the other components of a complete appellate brief. Occasionally I might assign other short writing exercises, either for class time or for homework. You’ll present two or more oral arguments during class time.
The simulation exercises will be based on a mock appellate case. I’ll provide you with copies of court decisions, rules, and statutes deemed relevant to the mock case; little if any outside research will be required. This course will demand a good deal of your time and attention throughout the semester, which I expect will be repaid by lots of constructive feedback.
Your work will be assessed on the quality of your written projects, your oral presentations, and your class participation in general.