Become a Constitutional Law Debate Coach to high school students

Become a Constitutional Law Debate Coach to high school students

Legal Outreach

Legal Outreach is a non-profit organization that uses the law as a tool to inspire vision and foster skills in high school students from New York City’s most underserved areas.


Constitutional Law Debate Coach ApplicationApply Online

Debate Program

Students in Legal Outreach’s four-year College Bound program are required to participate in two Constitutional Law debates per year. Students who qualify will participate in a third debate. The debate program is designed to improve our students’ oral advocacy and public speaking abilities as well as their analytic and reasoning skills. Each debate focuses on a major constitutional topic, such as freedom of speech, procedural due process, or equal protection.  No debate experience or constitutional law coursework is required to serve as a debate coach.

PLEASE NOTE: The Constitutional Law Debate Program will be implemented hybrid during 2023, with plans to be fully in-person throughout 2024.

Role of a Debate Coach

As a law student debate coach you will work with your student(s) throughout the year to help them prepare for their constitutional law debates. This includes helping them understand the debate fact patterns, brief the provided cases, outline oral arguments, and prepare to present their arguments to a panel of judges. Debate coaches will also serve as judges at the actual debates. Coaching is challenging, but also fun and rewarding. You will be amazed by the impact that you have on your students and the depth of understanding you will gain on each constitutional law topic!

Time Commitment

  • Each coach will be assigned to 1 or 2 students. You will work with them simultaneously.
  • A year-long commitment is required, but coaches only available for a semester will be considered.
  • Coaches must attend Legal Outreach’s virtual coach training in late September, date TBD.
  • Coaches are expected to meet with their student(s) via video call 3 times for approximately 2 hrs before each debate at a time that is convenient for you and your students. We prefer that this requirement can be met by in-person meetings that will take place at your law school, but we’ll allow some meetings to occur virtually!
  • Coaches are expected to attend the debate (there are 2 per year) to judge the competitions and support their students. Legal Outreach is planning to hold the debate competitions virtually via Zoom for the Fall 2023 Debate and in-person for Spring 2024. During live programming, Legal Outreach tries to assign you to a debate site that is at/near your law school.
  • The total time commitment is approximately 16-24 hours over the course of the year.

Being a Legal Outreach debate coach qualifies for pro bono credit at law schools that accept it. If you are only earning 32 credits from us, we can provide you with additional coaching tasks that will help you meet the 40-hr requirement.

Attorney Interactions

Being a debate coach is an excellent way to network with attorneys from New York City’s top firms and public interest organizations, as each Legal Outreach student has an attorney mentor and we encourage debate coaches and mentors to schedule at least one joint debate prep meeting per debate with their student. Further, mentors attend and help judge all the debates.

Program/Debate Schedule

  • Late Sept. 2023 6pm-8pm New Coach Orientation (Virtual)
  • Nov. 30, 2023 6pm-9pm Debate 1 (Virtual)
  • March 21, 2024 6pm-9pm Debate 2 (In-Person)
  • May 9, 2024 5pm-8pm Debate 3 (Qualifying students) (In-Person)

Legal Outreach reserves the right to change the dates and/or locations, depending on the visitor policies of our partners who host the Debate competitions, including but not limited to, Brooklyn Law School, Columbia Law School, NYU Law School, and the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse. All applicants will be informed of date changes.

Mandatory Debate Coach Training

  • Once you have applied, you will receive information about the virtual coach training occurring late September from 6pm-8pm.

If you are interested in becoming a debate coach, please fill out our online application. A link is available near the top of this page.
Coaches are assigned on a first come/first serve basis.

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Last updated Sept 2023