Students Argue First Amendment Law Cases

Students Argue First Amendment Law Cases

Students Assume Role of First Amendment Attorneys

The courtroom at the National Judicial College (NJC) was the setting for what Assistant Professor Ben Holden calls a “Smackdown” as his students argued First Amendment cases.

"The moot court exercise has become a staple of my 401 class,” Holden said. “The project forces students to think deeply and critically about a single, important First Amendment case. But it also helps many students manage their lack of experience  (and in some cases, discomfort) with public speaking. After a few pre-game jitters, most of them later tell me they enjoyed moot court — aka, the smackdown competition."

Student teams argue both sides of the cases and are warned to prepare for interruptions from the panel of judges.  Ben, who in addition to being a professor is also and attorney, was joined on the judge’s panel by Melody Luetkehans, program attorney at the NJC, and Katheryn Yetter , academic director of the NJC.

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