First-Year Research & Writing Seminar

In the First-Year Research & Writing Seminar, students master critical research and writing skills, receiving intensive, hands-on instruction from experienced practitioner-instructors in small classes of no more than 14 students. Because of the small class size, you’ll receive substantial feedback and individual attention from your instructor. You learn first-hand how to analyze complex legal questions at a professional level. In the first semester, you will concentrate on legal research and objective memos, while in the second semester, you will focus on persuasive writing. Legal Writing Fellows are also available to help you with writing assignments and first-year moot court.


Esdaile Appellate Moot Court

As part of the First-Year Writing Program, you will participate in the J. Newton Esdaile Appellate Moot Court Program in the spring semester. Here you will research and draft a brief, and present a case in oral argument before a panel of moot court judges made up of students, lawyers, and faculty. The process of brief writing is a critical component of the program because it teaches you to research an issue thoroughly and write a persuasive document, skills that all lawyers use in practice.

Moot Court Schedules

The schedules for moot court arguments for the spring 2017 semester will be posted below as they become available.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Student Judge Information and Application

2Ls and 3Ls may serve as student judges for Esdaile Moot Court arguments, which take place from April 10–26, 2017. Students who are interested in serving as student judges should fill out the application form (link posted below) no later than 5 p.m. on March 27, 2017.

Note: Writing Fellows are already slated to serve as student judges; if you are a Writing Fellow, you need not and SHOULD NOT fill out a student judge application.

A Student Judge Training Session will take place on Friday, March 31, 2016, at 1:30 p.m. (Writing Fellows, this is just your normal class; Student Judges will be joining you for the class). The session will be recorded and the link will be sent out. Attending the session is not mandatory but you must either attend or watch the video, as we will cover everything you need to know to successfully judge moot court.

The information posted below should answer most questions. If you have any other questions about being a student judge, please email