DC Justice Lab is excited to announce the inaugural Richard K. Gilbert Policy Advocacy competition! This is a new competition for law students (in the style of mock trial and moot court) focused on legislative advocacy. It will bring together law students, local politicians, lawyers, and advocates.
We hope to generate excitement among law students for legislative advocacy and careers in the field. Additionally, the competition is an opportunity for students to build their legal skills in the policy realm, including legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, and written and oral communication. Another goal of the competition is to diversify and strengthen the pipeline of talent for legislative staff and policy advocacy fields. In its inaugural year, the competition will be open to students from any law school, but recruitment of participants will focus on D.C.-area and HBCU law schools.
Eight teams will respond to the competition problem with proposed legislation and a fact sheet explaining their proposal. Then, mock legislative hearings will test teams’ oral advocacy on behalf of their bills. These hearings will take place at the John A. Wilson Building in downtown Washington, D.C.
Teams will be scored by judges on their written work and oral advocacy, advancing through rounds tournament-style. Judges will be attorneys, lawmakers, and public policy professionals, recruited by DC Justice Lab for their expertise in policy advocacy. Confirmed judges include D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and Councilmembers Christina Henderson, Brooke Pinto, and Zacahary Parker.
The competition will conclude with an awards presentation and reception. The winning team will receive a $5,000 prize to help cover students’ academic expenses.
DC Justice Lab is currently recruiting teams, judges, coaches, volunteers, and sponsors for the Gilbert Policy Advocacy Competition. If you have questions or want to explore these opportunities, please contact Darby Hickey, DC Justice Lab Policy Counsel: darby-at-dcjusticelab.org or (202) 681-8783.