Appellate Advocacy

B642 is taught by S. Lahn

The goal of this skills course is to enable each student to argue a case confidently, effectively, and ethically in any appellate court. Mastering oral argument is important not only as a key litigation skill its own right, but also as a way to sharpen analytical and speaking skills applicable to a range of professional contexts including motions and trial practice; client presentations; and appearances before administrative or legislative bodies and public meetings.

The course is designed to work in tandem with the Fall 2017 Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition, in which all class members will participate and which provides an immediate opportunity to use and test the skills and knowledge that the course develops. In order to match the moot court competitions schedule, classes will meet twice a week and conclude by the end of October.

While the course will focus on oral argument, lawyers rarely argue without having first briefed a case or motion. And learning how to craft the components of an appellate brief (including the jurisdictional statement; statement of issues; and summary of argument) is important to shaping oral argument around concepts such as the record on appeal; preservation or forfeiture of issues below; and standards of review. The course will therefore touch on brief-writing and appellate process as well as oral argument.

Please feel free to contact Prof. Seth Lahn ( for more detailed course information. (Pass/Fail.)