On January 25-27, Empire Mock Trial in conjunction with New York University’s Mock Trial program is hosting the nation’s preeminent collegiate mock trial tournament. In its eighth year, the Downtown Invitational brings together sixteen of the nation’s top trial advocacy teams. This year’s field is highlighted by Harvard, Columbia, Virginia and the defending national champion, Florida State University.
In order for the Downtown to be possible, our students need you to serve as judge, juror and educator. In return for your time and wonderful contribution, we’ll provide you with FREE CLE credits. To sign-up, review the information below and then submit an online judging application.
We thank you for your support of legal education! We could not do this without you.
CLE Credit. Attorneys can earn a maximum of three non-transitional CLE credits, in the category of skills, for judging at the Empire. You earn three credits whether you judge one round or all four rounds of competition. Credits are generously provided courtesy of the New York University School of Law.
Location. The tournament will take place at the Kings County Supreme Court, 320 Jay Street, Brooklyn, New York. NOTE: This is a different location than the 2013 Empire Invitational just concluded.
Schedule. The tournament consists of four rounds and a championship round. Preliminary rounds take place from 10:30-1:30 and 3:00-6:00 on Saturday and Sunday. The Championship round takes place on Monday from 9:30-12:30. Rounds last approximately two and a half hours. Judges are welcome to judge multiple rounds but are certainly not required to do so.
Orientation. Immediately preceding each round, a presentation will be given explaining a judge’s responsibility and the criteria that is used to score the competitors. Judges should report to the courthouse approximately one hour before the round time for orientation.
Preparation. Besides a quick read of the relevant case documents (stipulations, case summary, etc.), little preparation is required. While we can provide the case packet for attorneys to read, we highly recommend judges not read the entire case file prior to the competition.
Complimentary Meals. We’ll provide breakfast and/or lunch for you as a token of our appreciation.
Networking Opportunity. Last year, nearly 200 attorneys volunteered at the Empire. It will undoubtedly be a terrific opportunity to meet and network with other attorneys from the New York area.
Bring a Friend. If you have a colleague in the legal profession that is interested in judging, please encourage them to register. If you note their name and contact information on the application, we can make sure you judge together.
Register to Judge
Three important things to keep in mind when filling out the following form:
- This is NOT an availability form. When you click the “submit” button, we assume you will be judging all of the rounds for which you’ve registered. While we appreciate certain individuals’ willingness to help out, please do not register for four rounds if you only plan to judge one. Also, if you register to judge a round but a conflict arises, please e-mail us as soon as possible. We are more than happy to either switch your round or cancel your registration.
- An attorney earns 3 non-transitional CLE credits in the category of skills for judging at the Empire, regardless of how many rounds he/she judges. So while we hope you judge multiple rounds, New York State law only allows us to offer attorneys 3 CLE credits. Credits are distributed via e-mail 6-8 weeks after the competition.
- You do not need prior judging experience to preside or score at the tournament with the exception of the Championship Round. We encourage all attorneys, experienced or not, to get involved. All matters related to judging the competition are covered during orientation.
If you complete the below application but do not receive a confirmation e-mail then your registration has not been processed. If that happens, please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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