We believe that God calls Christians to serve in all areas of social and public life, including law and government. By training leaders to reason and communicate effectively, PHC empowers Christian students to excel in their sphere of influence and thereby convey the truth and glory of God.
Patrick Henry College’s forensics program is the best in the nation. Our teams compete at the highest levels in Moot Court, Civic Debate, and Mock Trial, and numerous championship banners and trophies demonstrate our heritage of excellence. Yet the most important aspect of our program is the dedication and focus of our coaches, students, and alumni on elevating Christ in everything they do.
The forensics program is a key differentiator for the college and is unique in both structure and results. We offer more forensics scholarships than any other college in the nation, and a significant portion of our students – scholarship and non-scholarship – benefit from the personal and spiritual growth our forensics program provides. Learn more through the links below!
Within a four-year period, four PHC alumni have clerked for the following U.S. Supreme Court Justices: Justice Scalia, Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Kennedy, and Justice Alito. In addition, one PHC alumna has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. PHC has created the finest pathway to legal excellence in America for Christians.
Pre-law students work with PHC’s pre-law advisor, Dr. Jesse Merriam, to develop a personal plan for success. Dr. Merriam is an experienced lawyer, legal scholar, and LSAT tutor. He assists pre-law students in all phases of the law school application process, including the selection of internships, the pursuit of extracurricular activities, and most importantly, the creation of an LSAT preparation plan tailored to each student's needs and abilities. When it is time to apply to law school, Dr. Merriam works individually with each applicant to assemble and fine-tune the application packet.
The Patrick Henry Undergraduate Law Review is an undergraduate journal dedicated to the scholarly examination of legal issues and informed discourse on legal thought. This student-run journal provides a forum for students to publish their research and join the academic discussions that permeate the legal field while developing opportunities for the College's future attorneys to learn skills that few practitioners possess.
In moot court, students simulate appellate advocacy and hone their understanding and articulation of constitutional law and Supreme Court precedent. Well-deserving of an extremely rich legacy through years of dedicated coaching by Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Michael Farris and the late Dr. Frank Guliuzza, the Patrick Henry moot court team has won an unprecedented twelve of the last fifteen national titles in the American Moot Court Association. No other college or university has more than one title. Additionally, PHC students stunned the world by winning the 2016 Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Tournament in Geneva Switzerland. This was PHC's first year in the World Human Rights competition.
The Mock Trial program prepares students to enter the worlds of both civil and criminal trial advocacy. Students develop knowledge of the federal rules of evidence, courtroom procedure, witness examination, case-building, and more. PHC Mock Trial teams compete against more than 700 teams from 400 schools, including the nation’s top ivy-league institutions. Fierce competition hones their critical thinking skills and equips them to clearly articulate passionate and well-reasoned legal arguments.
Civic debate prepares students for a career in law by honing their critical reasoning and communication skills as they wrestle with and respond to key social, political and cultural issues. Civic debate provides opportunities for each student to develop their professional and leadership skills, skills they will need to lead successful careers as ambassadors for Christ.