First Year Program
All first-year students at USF participate in a complex oral advocacy exercise during the spring semester of the Legal Research, Writing and Analysis course. First-year students research and write a complete brief on an assigned topic. Using that same topic, students learn skills to prepare an oral argument and practice those skills in the classroom. The exercise culminates in a weekend of oral arguments, where each first-year student delivers an oral argument before alumni judges.
In addition to a professor’s supervision, first-year students are coached and mentored throughout the advocacy exercise by a "Case Counsel" — a second- or third-year student who excelled in the program. These dedicated students play a critical role in assisting the Legal Writing professors to develop topics, prepare a bench memorandum, and coach the first year students in their first oral advocacy exercise. The USF Moot Court Board is responsible for overseeing the administration of the oral arguments and selecting the Case Counsel.