Skip to main content

View Faculty Video

Olu Orange

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 821-3183
Office: VKC 327

Course Information
Setting a Civil Rights Precedent
From Mock Trial To Real Cases
The Power of Attorney
USC Mock Trial Team Dominates East Coast Competition

Biographical Sketch

Olu K. Orange is the Director of the USC Dornsife Trial Advocacy Program. The Program consists of three components: the USC Mock Trial Team; the POSC 398, "Trial Advocacy: Theory and Practice" class; and the Jack Harding Pro Bono Program.

Orange is a native of Detroit, Michigan who found his way to Los Angeles by way of the District of Columbia. He attended civil rights mecca Howard University in Washington D.C. for both his undergraduate and law degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Communication and a Juris Doctorate, respectively. At Howard, Orange earned advocacy honors including the Huver I. Brown Medal for Excellence in Trial Advocacy, the Earl Davis Award for Excellence in Public Interest Advocacy and two consecutive Lewis F. Powell Medals for Excellence in Trial Advocacy from the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) and the American Bar Association (ABA).

In 2001, Orange co-founded the USC Mock Trial Team and since then has served as its Head Coach. Orange teaches POSC 398, "Trial Advocacy: Theory and Practice." He also taught POSC 452, "Law & Local Political Activism." Orange authored the curricula for both courses, POSC 398 and POSC 452.

Since 2006, Orange has been a teaching team member for Harvard Law School's (HLS) Winter Trial Advocacy Workshop (TAW), a full-credit HLS clinical course. For HLS TAW, Orange has been selected to demonstrate the faculty closing argument, opening statement and cross-examination.

Orange also serves as a National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) faculty member for in-house, and public, trial advocacy and deposition skills programs held for attorneys at various private firms, public organizations and state and federal government law offices nationwide.

Orange began practicing criminal law in California as a Deputy Public Defender with the Orange County Public Defender's Office. Thereafter, Orange litigated civil cases including plaintiffs' medical malpractice, elder abuse and other personal injury matters at the McNulty Law Firm in Bel Air, California. Orange currently handles plaintiff-side civil rights and entertainment matters with his firm, Orange Law Offices.

In 2009, Orange argued and won Millender v. County of Los Angeles, a blended 4th and 2nd Amendment case, before an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Later, in the U.S. Supreme Court on Millender, Orange served as briefing counsel and second chair, and was joined by both the NRA and ACLU as amici curiae against 26 states and the U.S. Solicitor General. In 2010, Orange tried and won the will contest case over the Estate of Sammy Davis, Jr. In 2011, Orange tried and won the first post-9/11 case wherein a police officer who also served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces was found liable for the unlawful shooting death of a Muslim man -- Chaudhry v. City of Los Angeles.

In 2014, Orange briefed, argued and won Chaudhry in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Chaudhry established precedent for the 63 million Americans in the Ninth Circuit that pre-death pain and suffering damages are recoverable by decedents' estates when federal civil rights violations cause death -- thus ending the practice of making it cheaper for a police officer to kill rather than injure a victim of excessive force.

Orange also provides probono representation to Los Angeles area political activists, works as a Panel Attorney with the Los Angeles County Indigent Criminal Defense Appointments Program, and serves as a member of the Executive Board of the National Lawyers Guild - L.A. Chapter.



J.D. Law, Howard University School of Law, 5/1998
B.A. Legal Communication, Howard University, 5/1995

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), Faculty, 2007-  
Harvard Law School, Faculty Teaching Team, Winter TAW (clinical), 2006-  

Description of Research

Research Specialties

First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment implications of prevalent gang suppression and policing methods. Actual litigation of those issues in federal courts.

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"Tipping the Scales with Effective Trial Techniques: Direct and Cross Examination of Expert Witnesses", California Association for Parent-Child Advocacy, Lecture/Seminar, Los Angeles, CA, Invited, Fall 2012   
"Using Creative Problem Solving Negotiations to Prepare for Trial (and Lighten your Load)", National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) Centennial Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Washington, D.C., Invited, Fall 2011   
"Closing Arguments", National Disability Rights Network: Annual Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Los Angeles, CA, Invited, Fall 2010   

Other Presentations

"The Time for Pure Advocacy: Closing Argument", Inaugural Closing Argument Presentation for NITA Studio 71, National Institute For Trial Advocacy, Boulder, CO, Spring 2013   

Honors and Awards

2015 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award in the Civil Rights category, as featured in California Lawyer magazine, 2015-2016   
2015 Super Lawyers - Civil Rights/First Amendment: Selected as a Southern California 'Super Lawyer' by Thomson Reuters in the Civil Rights and First Amendment category, 2015-2016   
2014 National Trial Lawyers Top 100: Selected by the National Trial Lawyers to the "Top 100", 2014-2015   
2013 Super Lawyers - Civil Rights/First Amendment: Selected as a Southern California 'Super Lawyer' by Thomson Reuters in the Civil Rights and First Amendment category, 2013-2014   
2013 Top Lawyers In California: Selected by American Lawyer Media to "Top Lawyers In California", 2013-2014   
CET USC-Mellon Awards for Excellence in Mentoring: Faculty Mentoring Undergraduate Students, Spring 2007   
CET USC-Mellon Certificates of Recognition for Excellence in Mentoring: Faculty Mentoring Undergraduate Students, Spring 2005   
Faculty may update their profile by visiting