Academics and Clinicals
UC Davis School of Law provides its students with an education that has a unique balance of theory and practice. Virtually every student who graduates from UC Davis participates in one or more of the school's trial and appellate advocacy programs. These programs include appellate advocacy, the various moot court competitions, the trial practice classes and the trial practice competition. Such programs are not only important to a student's legal education, but showcase the academic excellence of the UC Davis School of Law, contributing to the school's national reputation and the value of the degrees it confers. Without this type of applied skills training, graduates would advance to legal careers with virtually no experience in areas critical to the practice of law.
Each fall semester, a majority of the law school's second year students participate in Appellate Advocacy (commonly called "Moot Court") as an elective, attending lectures on appellate skills and participating in a series of practice oral arguments. The course in the fall culminates in the law school's annual Moot Court Competition, in which the students participate in appellate arguments which are judged and critiqued by dozens of local attorneys and judges who volunteer their time. Students who continue Appellate Advocacy in the spring semester focus their attention on appellate brief writing. The top students each year are selected to participate in the law school's annual Neumiller Competition, the final round of the law school's Moot Court Competition, which takes place each year during the UC Davis Picnic Day celebration.
UC Davis School of Law provides many additional opportunities for students to hone their skills as appellate advocates. All students are eligible to participate in interschool moot court competitions, with preference given to those who have taken Appellate Advocacy. Students who excel in the Appellate Advocacy class during their second year are selected as members of the law school's Moot Court Board during their third year. In addition, the top students are selected to represent the law school in the National Moot Court Competition and the Roger Traynor Moot Court Competition (the California state championship). UC Davis School of Law has been very successful in interschool moot court competitions over the years. In 2006, UC Davis School of Law won the state moot court championship, and students on several interschool moot court teams were finalists in other national moot court competitions.