The purpose of the Fund is to provide a resource in order to fund student awards for the annual J. Ralph Beaird Closing Argument Competition within the School of Law. The Fund commemorates the career achievements and academic contributions of J. Ralph Beaird, who served as Dean of The University of Georgia School of Law from 1976 to 1987 and as Acting Dean from 1972 to 1974. This first-year closing competition was named after Dean Beaird in 1993 when he personally provided the funds for the student award.

All first-year students are exposed to the moot court program during their research and writing class. The final writing assignment for the course is an appellate brief, and each student is required to argue both sides of the brief before a panel of second-and third-year moot court students.

First-year students are given the opportunity to participate in the J. Ralph Beaird Closing Argument Competition at the start of their second semester. This competition is completely voluntary and gives first-year students the rare opportunity to perform a 10-minute closing argument. Preliminary rounds are determined by a jury of second-and third-year students, faculty and alumni, and the final round often features a panel of prestigious state and federal judges. The top competitors are invited to join the mock trial board. 

Ways to Give
  • Mail:
    • Check payable to: UGA Foundation
      For: J. Ralph Beaird Closing Argument Award (79073003)

      University of Georgia School of Law
      Law School Advancement Office
      225 Herty Drive
      Athens, GA 30602-6012
  • Online - One-time or recurring gift options via debit/credit card
  • Phone:
  • Stock or Wire Transfer Instructions:
    • Available upon request
Fund Type

The Law School Advancement Office welcomes the opportunity to talk with donors about making gifts to existing funds or creating new funds to benefit the law school.

For more information, please contact the Law School Advancement Office at
(706) 542-7639 or