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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Oral Argument, Quality of Performance in the Eye of the Beholder

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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Anyone who just went through moot court tryouts at the University of Houston Law Center this weekend would do well to keep the following in mind, regardless of the outcome. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun was known to grade the performance of oral advocates who appeared before the court -

A paper analyzing the effect of oral advocate talent based on the grades assigned by Justice Blackmun reveals that he gave average grades to the oral advocacy of three current U.S. Supreme Court justices: John G. Roberts Jr., Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Samuel A. Alito Jr. Those three justices appear to have managed to overcome Blackmun’s view of their oral advocacy skills.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results, as lawyers are fond of noting.

Law.com: May the Best Appellate Lawyer Win, Unless the Facts or Law Dictate Otherwise

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2 Responses

  1. Ray Ward says:

    For what it’s worth, my grade in Legal Writing was a mediocre C+.

  2. Brown Boy says:

    Mr. Ward has given hope to many courtesy of his comment. I distinctly remember hearing at the last journal orientation that there were at least a few students under the duress of academic depression. A case of the spirit being willing but the grades were weak, so to say.

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