November 11, 2015 — In February 2016, the Pepperdine School of Law moot court board will host the 40th annual Vincent S. Dalsimer appellate advocacy competition. The Dalsimer competition is the oldest and most prestigious moot court competition on campus, and previous final-round benches have featured Supreme Court and other high-ranking members of the judiciary and government officials from the United States and other countries. Students participate on two-person teams, writing an appellate brief (due January 25th) and arguing interesting and timely constitutional issues, similar to the first-year moot court experience.
This year’s competition involves key Second Amendment issues that are at the center of current political discourse in this country – specifically, the rights of private citizens and illegal aliens to carry concealed weapons in public. The federal circuit courts are split on questions involving the extent to which state and local governments may regulate these rights, and these questions are likely to generate lively constitutional and policy arguments during the competition.
All second- and third-year students are invited to participate; no prior moot court experience is required. The awards will be presented at the law school dinner on February 13th, and the prizes include $2,000 for the first place team, $500 for the second place team, $500 for the best individual oral advocate, and $500 each for the best petitioner and respondent briefs.
The competition provides an excellent way for students, beginning in the preliminary rounds, to practice their oral advocacy skills before prominent members of the state and federal bar who serve as judges for the competition. Students in past years’ competitions have added the competition experience to their resumes, and in some cases, the judges and attorneys who have judged particular rounds have made job offers to student advocates.