Berkeley launches moot court for attorneys

University of California Berkeley School of Law is launching a moot court for attorneys whose cases are pending before the Supreme Court of California.

The school’s California Constitution Center, which launched this fall, will give attorneys a chance to practice their arguments, while also providing training for law students. Second- and third-year students will prepare bench memoranda and act as law clerks to mock jurists. One side of each case will be presented, with a mix of scholars, experienced lawyers, and retired judges on the panel.

The program has already filled up all available argument slots in the Fall semester. It was offered ona  first-come, first-served basis.

The program is open to most practitioners with cases before the state Supreme Court, with some special considerations. Cases involving compelling California constitutional issues such as same-sex marriage, for example, will be given priority; capital cases are ineligible due to their complexity.

“The California Constitution Center is another example of Berkeley Law using its outstanding legal resources to make a meaningful impact beyond the school,” said Goodwin Liu, a Supreme Court of California justice and former Berkeley Law professor. “Lawyers who appear before the Court, judges, and Berkeley Law students all stand to benefit greatly from this endeavor.”

The center was founded by David A. Carrillo, who will serve as the executive director.

The center will offer several academic programs, including a California Constitutional Law seminar, a yearly journal for articles on issues of state constitutional law and the state Supreme Court, and fellowships for law students.