Law and Speaking

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Submitted By spbrown63
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Stepping Up to the Podium with Confidence: A Primer for Law Students on Preparing and Delivering an Appellate Oral Argument James D. Dimitri1 Virtually all law students are required to learn oral advocacy skills at some point during their legal education. Typically, these skills are cultivated through at least one oral argument assignment, which often consists of an appellate oral argument that is given as part of the students’ first-year legal research and writing course or as part of a moot court competition. While appellate courts do not grant oral argument as often as they used to,2 oral advocacy remains a critical skill for law students to learn and cultivate, no matter which facet of law practice they enter upon graduation.3 Unfortunately, the prospect of learning this critical skill through an oral argument assignment can be disquieting to students. The main reason for this unease is simple: most law students have little to no oral advocacy experience. Students may, however, ease their anxiety and ultimately deliver an excellent oral argument if they fully understand the purposes of the argument and if they thoroughly prepare for the argument. This article is targeted at oral argument novices. It discusses how you, as a beginner to appellate oral argument, may effectively prepare and deliver an argument, particularly if you are

Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis; J.D., Summa cum laude, 1993, Valparaiso University School of Law. Professor Dimitri is faculty advisor to his school’s Moot Court Society and has coached several award-winning teams in interscholastic moot court competitions. Before his appointment to the IU – Indianapolis faculty, Professor Dimitri served as a deputy attorney general in the Appeals Division of the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, where he briefed and argued federal and state…...

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