What is Moot Court?
Moot court is a mock appellate advocacy experience that helps law students develop strong writing and oral advocacy skills, intellectual flexibility, the ability to function well under pressure, and the self-confidence necessary to be successful advocates. Moot court, like law review, gives students the opportunity to focus on a single issue, prepare an in depth written product, and improve their writing. UW Law School Moot Court members are selected for the Moot Court Board through competitive tryouts, and many employers consider participation on a moot court team an important law school credential, similar to participating on a law review.
Moot court competitors work on teams to write briefs and prepare oral arguments as if they were appearing before an appellate court.
- Each competition requires a brief, and generally about one month is allowed for brief preparation.
- Following service of briefs, generally another month is allowed for the preparation of oral arguments.
- Most competitions require teams to argue both sides of the case, which provides an excellent learning experience and helps deepen analytical thinking.
- Each team, which is composed of two to four members and one coach, competes in one competition only.
- Moot court teams compete with other law schools. Travel and most expenses associated with competing are funded by the Moot Court Board.
- Competitors receive three letter-graded credits for their work in the semester in which they compete.
Why Participate in Moot Court?
Moot court gives you experience in both persuasive writing and oral advocacy and will help you develop and enhance many important practice skills. You'll gain self-confidence as you work with other students to set and accomplish goals, and you'll have fun while learning. Here are additional benefits:
- Hone your research and writing skills. Appellate briefs are a great way to develop the depth of research and writing required for practice.
- Polish your oral communication skills. So, you think you're a good speaker? Moot court will certainly make you better. Not too comfortable at the podium? The experience moot court provides is the best way to overcome your apprehension and develop self-confidence.
- Prove that you're a team player. The competitive atmosphere of law school doesn't always prepare us well for the "real world" where attorneys must work together. Moot court provides a collegial experience in which members learn to work in teams to assess a variety of areas in law
- Make interviews easier. You'll notice that many employers interviewing on campus ask for applicants to have law review or moot court experience. There is no doubt that employers recognize the value of moot court experience. Many competitors use an excerpt of their brief as a writing sample for job interviews
What Are Some of the Extramural Competitions in Which the UW Law School Moot Court Participates?
The UW Law School Moot Court Board sends 16-17 moot court teams to compete in competitions on a variety of subjects and in a variety of locations. In addition, the UW Law School Moot Court Board hosts the Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Competition, honoring Judge Evan A. Evans, an 1899 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School who served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 1916 to 1948. The Moot Court Board does not compete in the program, but runs the competition.
Here are just a few in which our teams have participated recently:
- National Moot Court Competition. The team competes against other law school teams in this mock appellate argument, one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions in the country.
- Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. The team strives to compete internationally as well as regionally and nationally. Organized by the American Society of International Law, students write briefs on both sides of a legal issue and argue an appeal in a case that could come before the International Court of Justice.
- Saul Lefkowitz Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition. The team briefs and argues questions of trademark law in a competition sponsored by the Brand Names Education Foundation.
- John Marshall International Moot Court Competition in Information Technology & Privacy Law. Students brief and argue challenging and unresolved issues of technology law. The winning briefs are published in the Journal of Computer & Information Law.
- San Diego National Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition
- Pepperdine National Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition
- Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Competition
- Stetson Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
- Tulane Sports Law Moot Court Competition
- Vanderbilt First Amendment Moot Court Competition
- Minnesota Civil Rights Moot Court Competition
- Wagner Labor Law Moot Court Competition
- Cardozo BMI Entertainment & Communications Moot Court Competition
- Ruby R. Vale Corporate Law Moot Court Competition
- Jerome Prince Evidence Moot Court Competition
- Columbus National Telecommunications Moot Court Competition
- Florida Bar Association National Tax Moot Court Competition