I get to pretend to be a federal judge three times a year: faculty members at Iowa judge various rounds of Appellate Advocacy I in the fall semester, and various rounds of the upper class moot court competitions in the spring. And the third time is for the oral presentations that are a required part of the small section course that I teach. (It's required by the law school, not specifically by me.)
I like judging, although I have to say that it feels like it should be the same as teaching a class, since in both instances, I ask questions and the students respond. Still, it feels different. Maybe it's because I sit high up on the judges' bench in the auditorium, or because the students are arguing from a problem that isn't just a dry appellate opinion in a casebook but rather contains some documents and exhibits. In any event, it's fun. I try to ask challenging questions but without being mean about it.
But perhaps that's not the best preparation for my students for the real world. . . . (In case there are any judges reading this, I'm just kidding.)