Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

First-Year Law Students to Demonstrate Trial Skills for LA's Top Prosecutors March 24, 2011
First-Year Law Students to Demonstrate Trial Skills for LA's Top Prosecutors

Steve Cooley and Carmen Trutanich among distinguished guests set to judge Southwestern's intramural advocacy competitions

It's not every day that a first-year law student gets to demonstrate his or her newly-honed trial skills to Los Angeles' top prosecutors. But on April 9, that will be the case for two outstanding Southwestern students who are finalists in the school's 2011 Trial Advocacy Intramural Competition. The Hon. Steve Cooley, Los Angeles County District Attorney, the Hon. Carmen Trutanich, Los Angeles City Attorney, and the Hon. Andre Birotte, United States Attorney for the Central District of California, will serve as the members of the final bench for the competition.

These judges/jurists are among a who's who of prominent elected officials and leading judicial officers from around the country serving on the final bench panels for Southwestern's three intramural competitions - in trial advocacy, appellate advocacy and negotiation.

According to Dean Bryant Garth, "Our annual intramural competitions allow us to showcase the remarkable skills of our students - who haven't yet completed a full year of law school - to some of the most prominent members of the bench. We are delighted this year to also welcome southern California's leading prosecutors who will help make this a truly memorable experience for all involved."

The top advocates in the 2011 Moot Court Intramural Competition will present their appellate arguments to the final bench of the Hon. Scott Bales, Arizona Supreme Court; the Hon. Louis B. Butler, Jr., Wisconsin Supreme Court, Retired; the Hon. Rives Kistler, Supreme Court of Oregon; the Hon. Petra Jimenez Maes, New Mexico Supreme Court; and the Hon. Charles Wilson, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

The top team members in the 2011 Negotiation Intramural Competition will be judged by the current and past Presiding Justices of the California Court of Appeal, 2nd Appellate District, Division Four: the Hon. Norman Epstein and the Hon. Arleigh Maddox Woods, respectively.

These competitions represent the culmination of the institution's unique legal writing program. In 2009, Southwestern established a ground-breaking three-track approach to its Legal Analysis Writing and Skills (LAWS) program in which first-year students are able to choose from three areas of focus for their LAWS course: Appellate Advocacy, Negotiation or Trial Practice. Law schools have traditionally limited their programs to include only appellate advocacy or "moot court." This three-track approach is believed to be the first of its kind at any law school in the nation.

The Trial Advocacy and Negotiation competitions will take place at Southwestern's campus, located at 3050 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. The semi-final and final rounds of the Moot Court (appellate) competition will be held at the Richard H. Chambers Courthouse, located at 125 South Grand Avenue in Pasadena.