The Harlan Institute

Five Tips to Prepare for Oral Argument

From the students of the Harlan Institute-Ashbrook Virtual Supreme Court


The students in the Harlan Institute-Ashbrook Virtual Supreme Court are truly remarkable. They could compete in any law school moot court competition. This video, which we created for high schoolers, will be of interest to law students.

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  1. I would like to add this tip to law students who would anticipate arguing before the Court: Speak slowly and clearly. Don't rush over names of cases you are citing or speed up your rate of speech while you are quoting from a written document. The record is made by a human being (such as myself) and we can only write down to the record what we hear, and we are accurate up to about 225 words per minute. If you're speaking too fast or mumbling, you are not making an accurate record. Oral argument to the Court and making a record is an artform and there are not too many people who really understand how the entire process works.
    a Court Reporter

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