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Moritz College of Law


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Litigation

Perfect the methods necessary to successfully represent clients

Jamie Galvin

"Moritz offers students excellent ways to gain and use practical litigation skills. In particular, the writing skills I learned at Moritz have proved invaluable while doing litigation work this summer. My Legal Writing class made me think, write, and act like a lawyer through continuous feedback and student collaboration.

But Moritz students are not locked away pouring over the art of written persuasion; there are plenty of opportunities for students to practice oral advocacy. The Moot Court Competition is a favorite, but Moritz also offers many trial-focused options. For example, competing in the Colley Trial Practice Competition provided me with my first opportunity to put on a trial from beginning to end. Clinics allow students to try actual cases and represent real clients. And a broad range of trial practice classes taught by local judges and former litigators provide opportunities to learn from accomplished attorneys."

Jamie Galvin
3L
Hometown: Las Vegas

For those who wish to head to the courtroom after graduation, a mastery of procedures and
advocacy skills is essential. Of course, civil and criminal litigation also involves substantial pretrial
work: investigation, drafting a complaint or motions, discovery, briefing and arguing
pre-trial motions. Moritz offers a wide array of courses to deepen the understanding of the rules
and processes, explore theoretical frameworks, practice writing for litigation, and sharpen
planning, case management, and trial skills. From Civil Procedure II to Pre-Trial Litigation to
Trial Practice to Appellate Advocacy to several litigation clinics, students have numerous
opportunities to prepare for a litigation career.

In addition to the full-time faculty, practicing judges and lawyers also teach many of the
courses in this area. For example, many of the Trial Practice courses offered at Ohio State are
taught by sitting judges. Teaching combines student simulations of various aspects of a jury
trial with lectures and videotapes. These classes often are held in our state-of-the-art Frank C.
Woodside III Courtroom, which is fully equipped with video and recording technology.

During the first semester of their second year, all students participate in the Moot Court Program by taking Appellate Advocacy. In Appellate Advocacy I, students write an appellate brief on a case under the supervision of Professor Mary Beth Beazley and practicing attorneys. Students then argue their case before panels of judges, which may include faculty members, practicing attorneys, and third-year students.

Second- and third-year students also have an opportunity to gain experience in a variety of lawyering skills by competing in the various intramural and interscholastic lawyering skills competitions administered by Director of the Moot Court and Lawyering Skills Program Elizabeth Sherowski, who is assisted by the student-managed Moot Court and Lawyering Skills Governing Board.

Following completion of the mandatory Appellate Advocacy Course, further participation in lawyering skills offerings is voluntary. Appellate Advocacy II in the second semester of second year consists of an intramural moot court competition (also known as the Herman Competition), in which students write appellate briefs and face off against opposing counsel (fellow Herman competitors) in lively oral arguments before judicial panels.

Those who distinguish themselves in the Herman Competition go on to compete during their third year in national moot court, or "travelling" teams. The Moritz College of Law currently fields teams in about 20 different competitions, including prestigious events in general appellate advocacy, criminal procedure, evidence, labor and employment, civil rights, international law, representation in mediation, and many others. Because Moritz is committed to helping students gain hands-on experience, the number and variety of moot court opportunities is greater than those at many other schools.

In addition to practice in appellate advocacy (briefs and oral arguments), the Moritz Moot Court program also oversees intramural and interscholastic events for secondand third-year students in legal negotiation, representation in mediation, and in trial advocacy. The intramural trial competition, known as the Colley Competition, offers a chance to represent a side in a full mock trial, conducted before a judge at a nearby courthouse. An additional opportunity exists to serve on the National Trial Team, which each year travels to a different law school to compete.

A useful complement to moot court experience is the Civil Law Clinic. The practicum is a clinic course in which law students represent clients in pending civil cases, learning how to competently and professionally represent clients in civil matters through both live-client representation and extensive simulations. In addition to class meetings, students prepare each case, present it in court, or work to obtain a satisfactory out-of-court resolution. In recent years, students in these clinics have represented clients in both federal and state cases. Two of the cases in the Civil Law Clinic have gone to the U.S. Supreme Court, and clinic students have been crucial in preparing briefs and arguments; another case included a five-day jury trial in federal court that was tried almost entirely by Moritz students under the supervision of licensed law faculty.

Course Sampling

 Civil Law Clinic
 Civil Procedure II
 Conflict of Laws
 Constitutional Litigation
 Depositions
 Evidence
 Evidence in Trial Practice
 Federal Courts
 Jury Instructions
 Justice for Children Clinic
 Lawyers and the Media
 Pretrial Litigation
 Products Liability
 Supreme Court Litigation