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
- First Amendment Moot Court Competition
- National Moot Court Competition
- Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition
- Rendigs (Products Liability) Competition
- 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, winning awards for best oral advocate and best brief as well as national championships.
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 receive instruction in appellate brief writing and are required to complete two drafts of an appellate brief written with a teammate from the class. This brief is based on an actual problem from a prior moot competition. Students also receive intensive instruction and practice in appellate oral advocacy.
The class culminates with a moot court competition. The top competitors from the competition are named to the School of Law's Appellate Moot Court Board, which is responsible for selecting the members of the traveling teams from among its ranks. All participants who successfully complete the class requirements receive two academic credits, whether they are selected to the Appelate Moot Court Board or not.
The substantial benefits of this system include:
- Every student in the class has an opportunity to receive direction and feedback with regard to writing an appellate brief.
- Students also receive additional instruction, practice, and feedback in oral advocacy.
- Students who participate on moot court teams 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.
Thus the class is invaluable to all students, whether they compete on a moot court team or not.
Because of the way the moot court competitions are scheduled, students take the Appellate Moot Court Class in the fall semester. However, the students selected for the School of Law's Moot Court Board typically do 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.
Therefore, all 2L students and 3L students who have any interest in brief writing opportunities, oral advocacy, and/or competing on an appellate moot court team are urged to register for the Appellate Moot Court Class.
Questions about the tutorial class may be directed to Professor Jeanne Kaiser or Professor Myra Orlen.
Questions about the individual moot court teams may be addressed to 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
It is permissible to both participate in the moot court tutorial and try out for the trial teams or the negotiation teams.