Moot Court is a mock appellate advocacy experience that helps law students develop the following skills to practice law:
- Strong writing and oral advocacy skills
- Intellectual flexibility
- Ability to function well under pressure
- Self-confidence necessary to be successful advocates
Moot Court gives law students an opportunity to focus on a single issue, prepare an in-depth written product and improve their writing.
Moot Court sends teams to compete in competitions across the country in various subjects. Competitors, also known as “mooters,” work on teams to write briefs and prepare oral arguments as if they were appearing before an appellate court.
Joining the Moot Court Board
First-year students are selected for the Moot Court Board at the end of the spring semester through a competitive tryout that simulates elements of a Moot Court competition.
Generally, the tryout consists of a short appellate brief and an oral argument. The Moot Court Board typically invites 20-40 first-year students to join Moot Court every year.
New Moot Court members will enroll in a two-credit Appellate Advocacy course in their 2L fall semester and participate in an intramural tournament to hone their advocacy skills. This course will count either toward students' experiential-learning or upper-level writing requirement for graduation. It will be taught on Friday afternoons to avoid conflicts with other courses.
Participating on a traveling team will be determined by a student's performance in the intramural tournament. Students selected for the traveling teams will compete in the spring semester of their 2L year or the fall semester of the 3L year.
A limited number of invitations to join the Moot Court Board are available to second-year students through the Heffernan Appellate Advocacy Course in the spring semester, a one-semester seminar devoted to appellate advocacy. This seminar is named in honor of former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Nathan Heffernan.
Students write a brief and compete in a mock appellate advocacy competition. The finalists are invited to join the Moot Court Board for competition.
In addition, several student organizations provide moot court opportunities outside of the law school’s official Moot Court Board. For example, students interested in a similar program focusing on the trial court experience should check out the Mock Trial Program.
Equality of Opportunity & Promotion of Diversity
From the Moot Court By-Laws
Equality of Opportunity: The Moot Court Board is committed to providing equality of educational opportunity. It is the policy of the Moot Court Board to encourage and foster, to the full extent practicable, the participation of all qualified individuals in its programs and activities. The Moot Court Board will not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, arrest record, color, conviction record, creed, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, parental status, political affiliation or belief, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, or socioeconomic status.
Promotion of Diversity: In keeping with its commitment to equality and its statement of purpose, the Moot Court Board will conduct an ongoing review of its programs and activities and take such affirmative action as may be necessary to ensure the equality of educational opportunity to all qualified individuals.
For external competitions, each team is composed of 2-4 members. Each competition requires a brief; generally, about one month is allowed for brief preparation.
Following service of briefs, 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.
In external competitions, our Moot Court teams compete against teams from other law schools. Travel and most expenses associated with competing are funded by the Law School. Competitors receive three course credits for their work during the semester that they compete.
Moot Court President
- Alex Kaplan
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