Reuben Lack Paradigm

Last changed 11 September 2021 5:53 AM PDT

Reuben Lack
Alpharetta High School '12
Emory University '15

I debated four years at Alpharetta, qualifying to the TOC in my senior year, before debating for Emory University. Currently, I work in international localization for Netflix Originals, with a specific focus on anime content.

My top-line advice if you have me in the back of the room is do what you do best. These are general predispositions, not immutable laws of judging, and you're always best off advancing a strategy you know well.

Please add me to the email chain: reubenlack1@gmail.com.


Are you OK with K's/Critical Affs/Planless Affs/Performance/Non-Traditional Affs?
I've run everything from super 'policy' affs with giant heg and econ advantages to 1ACs that consisted largely of a poem and leftist arguments. In high school and college, I went for stuff like Security, Badiou, Derrida, and had a good share of 1NCs that were 1-Off Kritik. If this is your jam, I'm a good judge for you.

When it comes to framework and framework-related arguments against these types of Affs/K's, your 2NR/2AR 'story' should focus on the educational implications of each side's approaches. I'm interested in the question of how to best make debate a powerful, educational, and useful activity for students. How does your position interact with those considerations?

Framework aside, I feel it's always preferable for teams to engage their opponent's K/Performance/Identity argument than go for an exclusion-driven approach. Not only is it more respectful of these methods in the activity, it's often more strategic.

None of this is to say I won't vote on Framework - far from it. I went for it in college, and vote on it every debate season. My advice for teams advancing this strategy is simply this: I am far more likely to be persuaded by a direct challenge to the efficacy of the other team's method/model for debate than a procedural fairness claim.

Thoughts on the Politics DA?
Love them. My senior year was almost entirely me taking that week's Politics DA in the 1NR. My favorite 1NR's dig deep into the aff evidence, tear it apart, and make solid comparative analysis. For the aff, don't be shy about putting all your firepower against 1 or 2 serious logical holes in the DA (this goes for any, not just Politics/Elections). The internal linkage between a particular bill passing to a terminal impact is typically pretty flimsy, and Aff's that push that point will do well in front of me. Zero risk of the disad is an RFD I've given.

Should I ever make Theory arguments an option in your rounds?
I'm probably more willing to vote on theory arguments than your average judge. That said, if you want to make "Conditionality Bad," "50 State Fiat Bad," or other theory arguments an option, you need to focus on what debate looks like under the other side's interpretation. What happens to prep, strategy, research, and why is it bad? Do the impact work, talk about what your vision of optimal debate looks like. These debates tend to be especially messy, so minimizing theory jargon is recommended.

Anything else you really like?
Impact turns, advantage counterplans, highly-specific case debates.

Any strong opinions about Topicality?
I enjoy a good T debate. Reasonability is hard to win in front of me, but strong counter-interpretations are underrated.

At the end of the round, how do you usually go about making your decision?
When the round ends, I take a note of all the key questions to resolve, then work through them one-by-one. This means framing arguments ("prioritize X," "view the [X] through the lens of [Y]," "here are the 2 ways to vote [X]") are great ways to win my ballot. My default state, unless guided by arguments in-round, is to assess the debate through an offense-defense paradigm, weighing how one area of risk interacts and/or outweighs another. I also rarely call for cards unless a nexus question of evidence quality decides the round. To borrow from Ed Lee's paradigm, "while I am a huge fan of quality evidence, my decisions will privilege a debater’s assessment of an argument over my reading of a piece of evidence."

What can I do to get high speaks if you're my judge?
Have fun! Be nice! Utilize cross-x effectively. My favorite debaters were all fairly slow at spreading, yet extremely strong speakers. And hey, I work in the anime industry, so pandering with references never hurts.

Any pet peeves we should know about?
Two pet peeves. First, please, please, please email/flash speeches in a timely fashion. Second, there is no "flow clarification" segment in policy debate, i.e., if you're asking what cards a team read, that's part of CX. You should always be flowing, with the speech doc as a reference, but not as the source of truth. There's been an unfortunate trend away from strong flowing skills, please don't let needless mistakes happen to you.

"Don't forget. Believe in yourself. Not in the you who believes in me. Not the me who believes in you. Believe in the YOU who believes in yourself."
- Kamina, Gurren Lagann, Episode 8

I wish you the best of luck and hope my feedback will help for future rounds. I love the activity and the fantastically cool people in it. I’ll do whatever I can to support you and help you grow as a debater.

Full Judging Record

Tournament Lv Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
Marist Ivy Street Invitational HS 2021-09-24 CX-R Quarte St Mark's School of Texas AR Glenbrook North LS Neg Neg 3-0
Marist Ivy Street Invitational HS 2021-09-24 CX-R R5 Glenbrook North AC St Mark's School of Texas AR Neg
Marist Ivy Street Invitational HS 2021-09-24 CX-R R3 Glenbrook North LS Glenbrook North ZM Aff
Marist Ivy Street Invitational HS 2021-09-24 CX-R R1 Glenbrook North MS Glenbrook North LL Aff
Grapevine Classic HS 2021-09-10 VCX Qrtr Sonoma JM Liberal Arts and Science KW Neg Neg 3-0
Grapevine Classic HS 2021-09-10 VCX Octos Sonoma JM Taipei American WB Aff Aff 2-1
Grapevine Classic HS 2021-09-10 VCX Dbls Dulles AG Greenhill MS Neg Neg 3-0
Grapevine Classic HS 2021-09-10 VCX R5 Plano East DP James Logan SR Neg
Johns Creek Gladiator Debates HS 2020-10-16 NCX Quarte Westminster OC Northview JP Aff Neg 2-1
Johns Creek Gladiator Debates HS 2020-10-16 NCX R5 Johns Creek KN Northview SA Neg
Johns Creek Gladiator Debates HS 2020-10-16 VCX R2 Woodwa YH DruHil SW Neg
Johns Creek Gladiator Debates HS 2020-10-16 VCX R1 Woodwa TP USN CC Neg
Sandra W Silvers Invitational at Calhoun HS 2020-10-10 RCX R4 Woodward Stephens & Deshpande Montgomery Bell/Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet Johnston & Aslam Neg
Sandra W Silvers Invitational at Calhoun HS 2020-10-10 NCX R3 Woodward Lemene & Baudy Montgomery Bell Royer & Keefer Neg
Sandra W Silvers Invitational at Calhoun HS 2020-10-10 OCX R2 Calhoun Garcia & Eickman Montgomery Bell Bittles & Geevarghese Neg
Sandra W Silvers Invitational at Calhoun HS 2020-10-10 OCX R1 Woodward Black & Li Montgomery Bell Leverett & Hastings Aff
Greenhill Fall Classic HS 2020-09-17 CX R6 Rosemont WN Presentation DaRa Neg
Greenhill Fall Classic HS 2020-09-17 CX R5 Casady BH Presentation SB Aff
Greenhill Fall Classic HS 2020-09-17 CX R4 Oak Park and River Forest KB Bronx Science CE Neg
Greenhill Fall Classic HS 2020-09-17 CX R3 Greenhill FS Crossings Christian BY Neg
Greenhill Fall Classic HS 2020-09-17 CX R1 Coppell CK American Heritage Plantation CR Aff
Grapevine Classic HS 2020-09-11 JV CX Final Hebron YS West HS SLC MR Aff Aff 3-0
Grapevine Classic HS 2020-09-11 JV CX Semis West HS SLC MR OES IR Aff Aff 3-0
Grapevine Classic HS 2020-09-11 VCX R5 Sonoma JM OES CP Neg
Grapevine Classic HS 2020-09-11 VCX R4 SF Roosevelt LT ADL TK Aff
Grapevine Classic HS 2020-09-11 VCX R3 College Prep KS Heritage Hall LR Neg
Grapevine Classic HS 2020-09-11 VCX R2 Bronx Science FV Advanced Technologies BB Aff
Southlake Carroll Dragon Faire HS 2020-09-04 CX Final Mount Pleasant Thurman & Cowan Greenhill Gouru & Rothstein Neg Neg 3-0
Southlake Carroll Dragon Faire HS 2020-09-04 CX Semifi Dallas Highland Park Wang & Lind Mount Pleasant Thurman & Cowan Neg Neg 3-0
Southlake Carroll Dragon Faire HS 2020-09-04 CX R4 Mount Pleasant Hubbs & Sharp Coppell Yan & Patel Neg
Southlake Carroll Dragon Faire HS 2020-09-04 CX R3 Colleyville Heritage Chatur & Zhu Greenhill Gouru & Rothstein Neg
2019 Jack Howe Memorial Tournament HS 2019-09-21 O CX R6 Green Valley SL Head Royce KM Aff
2019 Jack Howe Memorial Tournament HS 2019-09-21 O CX R5 Gulliver Prep VL Notre Dame KS Aff
2019 Jack Howe Memorial Tournament HS 2019-09-21 O CX R3 Northwood FF Green Valley KS Neg
2019 Jack Howe Memorial Tournament HS 2019-09-21 O CX R2 Meadows YN Notre Dame PP Aff
2019 Jack Howe Memorial Tournament HS 2019-09-21 O CX R1 Sonoma KM Notre Dame KwSn Neg
Damus Hollywood Invitational and USC Round Robin HS 2016-11-03 VarCX Octs Jesuit CP LR Head Royce CD Aff Aff 2-1
Damus Hollywood Invitational and USC Round Robin HS 2016-11-03 VarCX Dbls Niles West GB Canyon Crest RT Aff Aff 3-0
Damus Hollywood Invitational and USC Round Robin HS 2016-11-03 VarCX R6 Jesuit CP LV Head Royce CD Neg
Damus Hollywood Invitational and USC Round Robin HS 2016-11-03 VarCX R5 USN WK Centennial MT Aff
Damus Hollywood Invitational and USC Round Robin HS 2016-11-03 VarCX R4 Fullerton Union GK College Prep LG Aff
Damus Hollywood Invitational and USC Round Robin HS 2016-11-03 VarCX R3 USN GD Brophy CP GS Neg
Damus Hollywood Invitational and USC Round Robin HS 2016-11-03 VarCX R2 Milpitas BP Polytechnic FM Neg
Damus Hollywood Invitational and USC Round Robin HS 2016-11-03 VarCX R1 Rowland Hall-St. Mark's BP USN BR Aff
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2016-01-29 PEL R3 Brophy CP SS Milton FM Aff
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2016-01-29 PEL R2 Lake Oswego Senior AT Johns Creek TV Neg
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2016-01-29 PEL R1 Woodward AS Little Rock Central WW Neg
University of Georgia HS Bulldog Debates HS 2016-01-15 OCX Sems Pace FM Milton FM Neg Neg 2-1
University of Georgia HS Bulldog Debates HS 2016-01-15 OCX Octs Johns Creek BT Woodward AS Aff Aff 3-0
University of Georgia HS Bulldog Debates HS 2016-01-15 OCX Round Calhoun SK Montgomery Bell BR Neg
University of Georgia HS Bulldog Debates HS 2016-01-15 OCX Round Cambridge LY Paideia UL Aff
University of Georgia HS Bulldog Debates HS 2016-01-15 OCX Round Milton FM Johns Creek AW Aff
University of Georgia HS Bulldog Debates HS 2016-01-15 OCX Round Johns Creek BT Mount Vernon Presbyterian TT Aff
University of Georgia HS Bulldog Debates HS 2016-01-15 OCX Round Johns Creek LZ Woodward FM Aff
University of Georgia HS Bulldog Debates HS 2016-01-15 OCX Round Johns Creek BM Montgomery Bell GZ Neg
Samford University Bishop Guild HS 2016-01-08 VCX Semifi Calhoun KS Milton HH Neg Neg 3-0
Samford University Bishop Guild HS 2016-01-08 VCX Quarte Calhoun BF Milton HH Neg Neg 3-0
Samford University Bishop Guild HS 2016-01-08 VCX R6 Woodward MP Montgomery Bell JG Neg
Samford University Bishop Guild HS 2016-01-08 VCX R4 Woodward HP Montgomery Bell MR Aff
Samford University Bishop Guild HS 2016-01-08 VCX R3 Milton HH Calhoun BF Aff
Samford University Bishop Guild HS 2016-01-08 VCX R2 Montgomery Bell ZD Milton FM Neg
Samford University Bishop Guild HS 2016-01-08 VCX R1 Montgomery Bell HN Woodward RM Neg
Alpharetta Treasure Hunt HS 2015-10-24 VCX R4 Johns Creek LZ Sequoyah GR Aff
Alpharetta Treasure Hunt HS 2015-10-24 VCX R3 Johns Creek BM Westminster Schools GH Neg
Alpharetta Treasure Hunt HS 2015-10-24 VCX R1 Woodward PM Pace AM Aff
Chattahoochee Cougar Classic HS 2015-09-25 JVP R3 Montgomery Bell Bradford & Priyadarshi Woodward Herrell & Pearson Neg
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest HS 2015-09-04 Var R5 Calhoun BF Interlake GJ Neg
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest HS 2015-09-04 Var R3 Cypress Bay HV Bishop Guertin SA Neg
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest HS 2015-09-04 Var R1 S. Eugene H. S. LS Broad Run NA Neg