Appellate Intramural Competitions
The law school sponsors a number of appellate moot court teams each year. These teams have included the Jessup (International Law) Moot Court Competition; the First Amendment Moot Court Competition; the National Moot Court Competition; the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition; the Rendigs (Products Liability) Competition; the National Environmental Moot Court Competition, and the Williams Institute (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law) Moot Court Competition. Each of these competitions requires writing an appellate brief and then traveling to the competition and engaging in a series of competitive oral arguments. Our teams have performed extremely well in these competitions over the years, winning awards for best oral advocate, best brief and even national championships. Most recently, the Western New England University team won the national championship at the 2011 Transactional Lawyering Meet.
Students interested in participating in an appellate moot court competition must enroll in a two-credit moot court tutorial class. Students in the tutorial class will receive instruction in appellate brief writing and will be required to complete two drafts of an appellate brief written with a teammate from the class. This brief will be based on an actual problem from a prior moot competition. Students will also receive intensive instruction and practice in appellate oral advocacy.
The class will culminate with a moot court competition. The top competitors from the competition will be named to the Western New England University School of Law AppelLate Moot Court Board. The Board will be responsible for selecting the members of the traveling teams from among its ranks. All participants who successfully complete the class requirements will receive two academic credits, whether they are selected to the Appelate Moot Court Board or not.
This system, implemented in the 2009-2010 academic year, has substantial benefits to all students involved. First, every student in the class will have the opportunity to receive direction and feedback with regard to writing an appellate brief. Students will also get additional instruction, practice and feedback in oral advocacy. Thus the class can be invaluable to all students, whether they compete on a moot court team or not. In addition, our students who participate on moot court teams will have the significant advantage of having written an appellate brief, having delivered multiple oral arguments and having worked closely with a teammate, all of which are crucial to success in moot court competition.
Because of the way the moot court competitions are scheduled, students will take the Appellate Moot Court Class in the fall semester. However, the students selected for the Western New England University School of Law Moot Court Board most likely will not compete on a team until the next academic year, unless they participate in the Rendigs Products Liability Competition, or the Williams Institute Competition which will take place entirely in the spring semester. Thus, we urge all second-year full-time students and third-year part-time students who have any interest in brief writing opportunities, oral advocacy, and/or competing on an appellate moot court team, to register for the Appellate Moot Court Class.
If you have additional questions about the tutorial class, please contact Professor Jeanne Kaiser or Professor Myra Orlen.
If you have questions about the individual moot court teams, please contact one of the appellate team faculty advisors:
Jessup International - Professor Charity and Professor Statchen
First Amendment - Professor Kaiser and Professor Orlen
National Moot Court - Professor Freeman and Professor Baldwin
Rendigs Products Liability - Professor Steiner
Williams Institute - Professor Shay and Professor Flynn
National Environmental Moot Court - Professor Steiner
* In addition, the law school’s moot court web page contains links to each of the individual competitions.
You can also obtain information about trying out for the law school trials teams and negotiation teams on the web page.
It is permissible to both participate in the moot court tutorial and try out for the trial teams or the negotiation teams.