My Profile Search Directory Submit News Contact Us Logout Alumni Home
Fall 2002UVA Lawyer - Home
Dean's MessageOpinionClass NotesIn MemoriamIn PrintFaculty Briefs Home


Appellate Advocacy Program Chills and Thrills Students and Alumni

Alumni are invited to serve as judges in an exciting appellate advocacy program for first-year students in the spring. As part of the first-year course in Legal Research and Writing taught by Professors D. Ruth Buck, Kathryn W. Bradley, and Margaret Foster Riley, students write an appellate brief and present an oral argument supporting it. During the oral argument, each student argues in front of a three-judge panel, typically consisting of one Dillard Fellow (an upper-class teaching assistant) and two alumni.

According to Professor Buck, the alumni are a critical part of the oral argument program. "Alumni have been serving as judges for the first-year oral arguments for a number of years now. They bring a 'real world experience' to the arguments, which is just invaluable. While the students are quite nervous before they argue, afterwards they are very enthusiastic about the experience, especially the feedback from the alumni judges."

The students are not the only ones who express enthusiasm over alumni participation. The alumni who serve as judges often write to the Legal Research and Writing faculty following the arguments, remarking on just how rewarding it is to help students in their quest to become lawyers and how enjoyable it is to interact with the other alumni judges.

For information on how to become an alumni judge for the spring 2003 first-year oral arguments, please contact Phyllis Harris at 434-924-8959 or

UVA Lawyer Home