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Appellate Advocacy

Appellate advocacy is the process of arguing a case before an appellate court, in which the facts are not in dispute and the focus is on the law. The Faculty's extensive appellate advoacy program provides students with valuable experience in legal analysis, the drafting of appellate documents and the preparation and presentation of oral argument.

All first year students are introduced to appellate advocacy through a compulsory exercise as part of the Legal Research, Writing and Advocacy course. To build on this experience, the Faculty runs an internal appellate advocacy competition called the Lerner LLP Cup. This voluntary competition gives upper year students the opportunity to argue a hypothetical case before an appellate court. Judges, practicing lawyers and third-year students generously volunteer their time to act as judges for the competition. The top students advance to the final rounds to compete for the Lerner LLP Cup.

The Faculty also enters teams in several external appellate advocacy competitions across the country. These include the Jessup (sponsored by McCarthy Tetrault), the Laskin, Wilson, and Niagara (sponsored by Lerners LLP), and the Gale and Canadian Corporate/Securities Law competitions. Members of these teams enroll in Law 442 as their January term course. In addition, the Faculty enters a team in the Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark LLP National Labour Law Moot. Members of this team enroll in Law 317 as their January term course. Students are selected for all of these teams based on their performance in the Lerner LLP Cup competition.

Trial Advocacy

The Faculty's trial advocacy competition is known as the Cherniak Cup, named in honour of Earl A. Cherniak, QC, and sponsored by Lerners LLP. This voluntary competition is open to all students and gives them the opportunity to conduct a trial based on a hypothetical fact situation. Students make opening and closing statements and examine witnesses. Judges and practicing lawyers generously volunteer their time to act as judges for the competition. The top students advance to the final rounds to compete for the Cherniak Cup and the opportunity to represent the Faculty in external trial advocacy competitions, such as the Arnup Cup. Members of the Arnup Cup team enroll in Law 318 as their January term course.

Client Counselling Program

This voluntary program, is open to students in all years. The purpose of the competition is to develop students' skills in interviewing and counselling clients. The competition is held within the Faculty of Law and is sponsored by Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, with citizens of London acting as clients and members of the bar acting as judges. The winners of the intramural competition compete in the regional final, which includes students from law schools in the north-eastern United States and central Canada. This is followed by the national final competition held in the United States. The Competitions are sponsored by the American Bar Association.

Community Legal Services


Doug Ferguson

Since its inception in 1969, Community Legal Services (CLS) has provided legal services to the London community. Students handle cases involving summary conviction offences and civil matters. The students are advised and assisted by senior students and three full-time review lawyers. Upper year students may participate as caseworkers and first year students assist them as associate caseworkers. Participation in CLS is voluntary and can also be for academic credit. CLS now has several clinical courses which allow students to gain experience while obtaining academic credit. These courses are advocacy-oriented and familiarize students with most aspects of litigation.

Western Business Law Clinic


Prof.Richard McLaren

The Western Business Law Clinic provides participating students with the opportunity to directly assist clients and develop the skills of client interviewing, fact analysis, development of case theory and strategy, client counseling, document drafting and letter writing, negotiation, legal research and various models of persuasion. Students are educated, trained, and inspired to be advocates of entrepreneurs. They assist small or start-up businesses with high quality transaction matters including: Business Structure, Finance, Intellectual Property Protection, Product Liability, Employment Law, Government Regulations, Contracts, Taxation, Guarantees and Personal Liability and Environmental Issues.