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Syracuse Law and the National Disabled Law Students Association Announce Inaugural National Disability Law Appellate Competition

Posted on Monday 5/24/2021
College of Law

Syracuse University College of Law and the National Disabled Law Students Association (NDLSA) will co-host the inaugural National Disability Law Appellate Competition (NDLAC), to be held virtually March 25-27, 2022.

This new advocacy competition will feature a minimum of 12 teams from law schools across the United States. The competition problem will cover a significant and timely legal issue in disability law and will consist of an appellate brief writing component and an oral argument component. Syracuse Law’s Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society and the Disability Law Society are co-sponsors of the competition.

“NDLAC is the first national appellate advocacy competition to focus exclusively on disability law. It will enable students to develop their oral advocacy skills while simultaneously navigating a challenging important area of disability law,” says Professor Michael Schwartz, Director of Syracuse Law’s Disability Rights Clinic. “The competition will replicate a realistic appellate court setting by exposing students to actual judges and lawyers who are familiar with appellate practice.”

Each team may be comprised of two or three students. Teams will be assigned to represent either the petitioner or respondent and will write an appellate brief on behalf of that assigned party. During the preliminary rounds, each team will argue on behalf of each party. The highest-scoring teams will then move on to the quarterfinal round, the semifinal round, and ultimately the final round where a winning team will be decided.

“The College of Law encourages law students from across the country to participate in this new, first-of-its-kind advocacy competition—and to be part of history!” says Professor Todd Berger, Faculty Director of Advocacy Programs at Syracuse Law. “Breaking new ground in advocacy competition, I’m pleased to add NDLAC to Syracuse Law’s two other national and international tournaments, the Syracuse National Trial Competition and the Transatlantic Negotiation Competition.”

For information, visit the NDLAC webpage. Applications will open in August 2021.