Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University
This Month @ Moritz

Woodside Moot Courtroom Busy Training Site for 21st Century Lawyers

Moot CourtroomThis semester alone, more than 90 students in Moritz clinics, trial practice, appellate advocacy and the moot court program will use the state-of-the-art facility that includes a digital evidence presentation system, five courtroom computer displays, plasma screens, video recording/projection systems and upgraded lighting and sound systems. Director of Clinical Programs and Isadore and Ida Topper Professor of Law David Goldberger says, "The renovated courtroom is giving our students a 21st century learning lab that will prepare them for practice in any courtroom in the country."

Cameras placed in the room record student advocates in real time. Replays of those recordings significantly enhance the quality of post-argument critiques. Students can also use recordings to preview their advocacy skills to prospective employers.

At the suggestion of Lawrence B. Stanley Professor of Law Greg Travalio, Judge John F. Bender '71 of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas scheduled a day-long criminal trial in the moot courtroom in October. Law students had the opportunity to drop in the courtroom between classes to observe a jury trial first-hand. Professor Travalio hopes to attract more trials from a variety of courts so students can observe a broader range of trials, jurists, and practitioners.

Moot Courtroom
Aaron Granger '96 (front) prepares for
the case in the new Moot Courtroom

Private contributors, including many Moritz College alumni and law firms, funded 85% of the renovation project. Included among our generous contributors is the law firm of Schottenstein Zox & Dunn. Attorneys from the firm were among the first to use the moot courtroom this summer when associates participated in their second in a series of mock trials designed to teach trial skills and demonstrate best practices. Participants like Aaron Granger '97 are enthusiastic about the training and the venue, "As a graduate, it was great to take advantage of the tools that transformed the sterile muted courtroom that I knew as a student into a vibrant multi-media simulator for hands-on training."

The moot courtroom renovation is the latest in a series of improvements designed to create a learning environment second to none among law schools. Other technological advancements include building-wide wireless Internet access, smart classrooms that equip professors with state-of-the-art presentation technology, webcasts of special events, and innovative use of the Moritz web pages for special educational projects such as Election Law @ Moritz. Faculty have begun to use blogs to provide analysis and commentary about legal issues as they arise. Professor Doug Berman's blog on federal sentencing was recently profiled in the Wall Street Journal and has been visited by nearly 200,000 visitors since it was launched in June, 2004.