Sweetser Law Founds 1st Annual Closing Argument Competition at Gonzaga Law School

Sweetser Law Office is excited to announce the founding of the Sweetser Law Closing Argument Competition, in coordination with Gonzaga Law School.

Sweetser Law's endowed gift will establish an annual skills-based oral advocacy competition for Gonzaga Law students that focuses on monetary damages in the civil justice system.

Picture of Closing Argument Competition

The purpose of the Sweetser Law Closing Argument Competition is to inspire future trial attorneys. Each year, a panel of trial attorneys and judges are appointed to evaluate students closing arguments, provide feedback, and select award recipients. The scholarship competition is available to all Gonzaga Law students (whether a first, second, or third-year student). Students interested in showcasing their oral advocacy or becoming future trial attorneys are encouraged to apply.

The Sweetser Law Closing Argument Competition requires students to prepare a closing argument under the pressure of time limitations. Students are provided a prompt with a tort law issue and required to prepare a closing argument asking the jury for an award of monetary damages. Students are given a time limit of approximately one hour to prepare. All participating students receive written feedback from judges and a videotaped recording of their closing argument and are encouraged to continue their growth as effective trial advocates.

Participating students, and the Gonzaga Law school community at large, are invited to the annual awards ceremony. During the awards banquet, the appointed panel of attorneys and judges, in conjunction with Sweetser Law Office and the Dean of Gonzaga Law School, announce selected recipients of the Sweetser Law Office Closing Argument Competition. During the ceremony, short clips of students’ exemplary arguments are highlighted by the panel. A plaque that hangs in the law school is engraved with the name of the 1st place recipient.

Sweetser Law Office would like to thank the Gonzaga Law School Foundation, Gonzaga Law School’s Alumni Association, Dean of Gonzaga Law School Jane B. Korn, Assistant Dean of External Affairs Jeff Geldien, and the Gonzaga Law School students who participated in focus groups that were instrumental in the development of the Annual Sweetser Law Closing Argument Competition.

Go Zags!

For more details visit the official page for the Sweetser Law Closing Argument Competition.


Sweetser Law Office Closing Argument Competition

February 17, 2018 — 9:00am - 1:00pm


  • First place: $2,500
  • Second place: $1,000
  • Third place: $500

Space is limited! Contact Bryn Boorman to register.

About the Competition

The Sweetser Closing Argument Competition is an exciting educational event presented by Sweetser Law Office, a Spokane personal injury firm. Prizes are awarded to participants selected by a jury panel of trial attorneys. The purpose of the competition is to provide law students an opportunity to display their trial presentation abilities and hone their oral advocacy skills.

Competition Rules


The competition is open to all Gonzaga Law Students. Participants must be full- or part-time seeking a J.D. at Gonzaga Law School.

Competition Format

Participants receive a fact pattern and jury instructions one (1) hour before their closing argument. Participants are allotted a maximum 15 minutes for closing argument. Arguments are video-recorded and reviewed by an experienced judges panel. Participants receive a copy of their recorded argument and written feedback from judges.

Entry Submission

Space is limited; please RSVP to Bryn Boorman to indicate your participation. If the maximum participation cap (30) is reached, additional interested students will be placed on a waitlist and 3Ls will be given priority.

Entry Review

The Competition recordings will be distributed to a judging panel after the competition. The panel will review each argument and choose the finalists.


The first place winner will receive a prize of $2,500. The second place winner will receive a prize of $1,000. The third place winner will receive a prize of $500.

Reception and Winners

The finalists will be announced at the Award Reception on Wednesday, February 28, 2018.

Compliance and Decisions

The Competition Committee may refuse to consider entries that do not comply with the Competition Rules. Competition Committee decisions will be final.

Rule Revisions

The Competition Rules may be revised or supplemented by the Competition Committee or Gonzaga Law School at any time before or up to the start of the Competition.


Questions regarding any aspect of the Competition should be directed to Bryn Boorman, Program Coordinator, either in person in the Dean’s Suite, 4th Floor, Gonzaga Law School or by email at boorman@gonzaga.edu.


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