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Charleston School of Law Juris Doctor Program Catalog and Student Handbook 2022-2023: Advocacy Course Credit

Online Academic Catalog and Student Handbook

Academic Catalog Outline At-a-Glance

Below is a brief outline of the Charleston School of Law Academic Catalog. Click the + sign to see the linked list under each heading. You can also click on the top tabs to see a complete list under each heading tab. A complete list of content under each heading is found in the Detailed Academic Catalog Guide Outline.

Advocacy Courses

Students can earn course credit for external advocacy competitions through the below courses, described more fully below: 

  • The Transactional Law Team Program
  • The Trial Advocacy Board
  • The Moot Court Advocacy Board.

Transactional Law Team Program and Course

The Transactional Law Team: Selected Topics [8422, 2 credits] course offers the members of the Transactional Law Team [TLT] experience and practice in drafting, marking up and negotiating transactional documents in anticipation of participation in CSOL internal and external competitions. The course will include workshops, boot camps and guest speakers as well as weekly assignments. Students will use practice problems to prepare and hone their drafting and negotiation skills. Successful completion of the course is a prerequisite to competing in any TLT competition, which typically occur in the spring semester. The course satisfies the Skills or Drafting Requirement. 

This course will be open to both the 2L and 3L TLT members. Each member will have the right to compete in an internal competition as a 2L and an external competition as a 3L. Taking into account the number of national/external competitions and the budget needs for such, the number of members should remain fairly low to ensure that each member is granted access to a competition.

Tryouts for the TLT will occur the week of fall 1L Orientation and during the first week of the fall semester allowing for new members to add this class prior to the Add/Drop period. 

The tryouts occur in three phases: (1) sample contract provision drafting exercise; (2) mark-up contract provision exercise; and (3) a live negotiation exercise. The current TLT members will grade and rank the exercises. The TLT members use standardized grading matrixes for all exercises.

Applicant students will submit their drafts and mark-ups to the faculty member who will assign an anonymous number to each before they are distributed to the current TLT members for grading and ranking. This alleviates any possible favoritism or bias. The grades for the contract drafting exercise and mark-up exercise will be compiled prior to the final live negotiation, which will, of course not be anonymous. The current TLT members will judge the negotiations and grade and rank them. Thereafter the scores are tallied, and the new members are chosen.

The new members of the TLT will be notified by the Chair of Application Process & Recruitment.


Moot Court and Trial Advocacy Programs and Courses

The Trial Advocacy: Mock Trial Course [842-A, 2 credits] and the Appellate Advocacy: Moot Court Course [842-B, 2 credits]  offer the members of the Mock Trial Advocacy Board and Moot Court Advocacy Board experience and practice to prepare for external competitions, as well as for the practice of law, including for example:

  • Trial Advocacy: Mock Trial Course:
    • Learning and practicing trial preparation,
    • Learning and practicing direct and cross-examination techniques,
    • Learning and practicing open statements and closing arguments,
    • Learning and practicing making the record for appeal,
    • Learning and practicing evidentiary motions including making objections.

  • Appellate Advocacy: Moot Court Course:
    • Learning and practicing reading the record on appeal,
    • Researching and Drafting briefs,
    • Learning and practicing oral argument skills.

Each course satisfies the Skills or Drafting Requirement. Satisfactory completion of the Trial Advocacy: Mock Trial Course is a prerequisite to competing in any Trial Advocacy competition; satisfactory completion of the Appellate Advocacy: Moot Court Course is a prerequisite to competing in any Moot Court Advocacy competition.  These competitions typically occur in the spring. For those competitions occurring in the fall, students are able to compete concurrently with the course. For current Board members who have not taken either class, the current course credit structure will remain in effect until Spring 2023.

Tryouts for the Trial and Moot Court Advocacy Boards will occur prior to the start of the Fall Semester (Example: the week of Fall 1L Orientation or during the first week of the fall semester) allowing for new members to add this class prior to the end of the Add/Drop period.

The Fall Selection Process will be in accordance with the organization’s bylaws and conducted by the members of the respective Board.


Credit for External Law School Competitions (for students who joined prior to Academic Year 2022-2023)

For students who joined the Moot Court or Mock Trial Boards prior to fall 2022, they may be eligible to earn academic credit for school-approved participation in an external competition, such as moot court and other skills competitions such as mock trial or alternative dispute resolution competitions, where competitors write an argumentative brief, or prepare other appropriate written materials, and participate in competition thereby furthering knowledge of a particular substantive area of law, subject to certain qualifications and requirements listed below.

*Please note: credit for Moot Court Competition does not satisfy the Skills, Drafting or Upper-Level Writing Requirement.


  • Students must have satisfactorily completed 27 credit hours, including successful completion of Legal Research, Analysis and Writing I and II (550, 555).
  • Students must be in good academic standing.

Course Requirements.

  • Students must compete in the external competition.
  • Students must demonstrate specific skills associated with advocacy, written or oral, at competitions.
  • Students must conduct extensive legal research on various issues required by the competition problem.
  • Students must prepare written materials for the competition such as an appellate brief, a pretrial brief, or written drafts and/or scripts of motions in limine, direct examinations, cross examinations, openings, and closings required for trial work.
  • Students must log at least 100 hours of work, which may include written materials, preparation time, and performance in competitions. Students are solely responsible for tracking their time and presenting their time sheets to their coach for approval; the signed time sheet will be submitted to the faculty advisor for record keeping purposes.
  • In the event that a student seeking credit for an external Trial Advocacy or Moot Court competition fails to participate and/or attend scheduled practices, the coach and/or faculty advisor has discretion to deny the student’s request for academic credit.

Learning Outcomes and Objectives.

  • In addition to developing research and writing skills, students are expected to learn the essential procedural components of pretrial, trial, appellate, or alternative dispute resolution work depending on the venue for the particular competition.
  • Students must also develop oral advocacy skills similar to those in a traditional law school skills class.
  • Students are also expected to develop fact analysis skills and to learn how to work facts into their legal analysis.  

Course Registration and Credit.

  • Academic credit for participation in an external Moot Court competition is offered on a Pass/Fail basis only. Students must register for the course, with the approval of the faculty advisor, prior to the Add/Drop deadline established by the Academic Calendar in the semester the competition takes place. No credit is available for competitions occurring during Maymester or the Summer Semester.
  • Except in special circumstances, academic credit earned via an external competition shall constitute 2 credits.
    • Notwithstanding any other provision within this Catalog, including the course description, students may elect to complete the Moot Court course for 1 credit hour. In the event a student elects this option, the student must nonetheless comply with each requirement, including the provisions regarding the amount and type of work required. Students are not permitted to seek or receive a reduction in the amount or type of work as a result of electing this option. Furthermore, students may not elect this option on more than one occasion.

Other requirements and information.

  • A student will not be approved for academic credit if the granting of such a request will move that student from part-time to full-time enrollment.
  • Given the rigorous course requirements, external competition participation should be avoided where the student’s time commitment to the competition is likely to jeopardize the student’s academic standing by diverting attention from other courses.
  • Participation in external Moot Court, or other skills, competitions may not be used to replace required or existing curricular items.
  • The preparation for the competition and any subsequent follow-up work must be designed by and agreed upon by an arrangement between the student-competitor and the professor-coach. 
  • The design of the competition preparation requires regular meetings (preferably weekly) between the student and the professor, which justify the credit request, prepare the student to compete, and ensure high standards of performance.

  • In computing the required number of credits for graduation, no more than a total of four of the required 90 credit hours may be in the form of Law Review, Moot Court, or Independent Study credit. These hours also count towards the 10 credit hour cap for pass/fail courses.
  • Academic Credit earned under this provision does not satisfy the Skills or Drafting Requirement.

Additional Information

For additional information, please contact:

Professor Miller Shealy 

Professor Alan Oxford

Professor Jean Steadman (Transactional Law Team Program)