The Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League is a public/private partnership that brings together an active community of students, educators, business leaders, and community leaders devoted to improving the education and life skills of youth in Los Angeles.


Los Angeles Unified School District

The Los Angeles Unified School District is a significant partner with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League. They support our logistical and organizational structure. In addition, their participating schools often host our events. LAUSD enrolls more than 600,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Compton Unified School District is our newest district partner. They are invested in expanding debate to their district and to new students now and in the future. The district currently serves nearly 26,000 students at 36 sites and is in the midst of a dramatic turnaround, marked by increases in student achievement rates, a graduation rate nearing 90%, dramatic facilities improvements, and a focus on STEAM throughout all schools.

In addition to our school district partners, we also serve students from local charter groups: Alliance, CHAMPS, New Designs, Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC Schools), & Value Schools.

Compton Unified School District


Our university partners provides essential support to LAMDL. They provide free space to host tournaments and training seminars throughout our competitive season each year. Additionally, the University of Southern California hosts our annual summer debate institute. All of our university partners also provide a wealth of volunteer judges that are crucial to make hundreds of debates happen each year. When our students graduate, many go on to be students at these schools and debate at these programs in college as well.

University of Southern California

California State University, Long Beach

California State University, Fullerton

California State University, Northridge

California State University, Los Angeles

Fullerton College

Pierce College

...and other local schools!


In addition to individual contributions, LAMDL has received substantial financial support from Southern California Edison, Verizon, The Skylight Foundation, The USC Good Neighbors Campaign, The James Irvine Foundation, The Julia Burke Foundation, The Los Angeles Clippers Foundation, The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, The California Community Foundation, The Arthur N. Rupe Foundation, The Engineer’s and Architect’s Association, Munger Tolles & Olson LLP, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, O’Melveny & Meyers LLP, Susman Godfrey LLP, Paul Hasting LLP, The National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, and the National Speech and Debate Association.


The National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL) is a Chicago-based non-profit organization that prepares students to succeed in college and in their future careers by organizing and supporting competitive debate teams in public schools across the country. The NAUDL engages in advocacy and fundraising on behalf of Urban Debate Leagues (UDLs) like LAMDL, which operate at 500 high schools and middle schools in 19 cities across the country including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, D.C., New York, and Los Angeles.

NAUDL hosts the annual Urban Debate National Championship. Established in 2008, this tournament features debaters from different cities across the nation squaring off in a major U.S. city every April. Debaters compete in regional tournaments for the right to advance to the National Championship. LAMDL hosts a qualifying round-robin tournament to determine our representatives each year.