Moot court tests a student's written and oral advocacy skills in competitions representing a case on appeal before an intermediate court or a court of last resort.
Each year students are selected to compete with schools from across the nation and around the world in such diverse subject areas as: International law, Constitutional law, Criminal procedure, Intellectual property and more.
McGeorge competes in 12 or more appellate competitions per year. Day students are eligible to compete during their third year while evening students are eligible in their third and fourth years. Additionally, second-year students are eligible to apply to be research assistants for the competition teams. These students help the competition teams with legal research of the issues, including analysis of relevant case law and statutes.
Applicants are judged by: their grades in their written and oral advocacy courses, their work on law review, their overall GPA, and in some cases, an audition. Successful applicants become members of the Moot Court Honors Board for the following academic year. Most Moot Court Honors Board members will compete in two competitions and will be responsible for committee work to further the goals of the Board. This committee work includes organizing and running the First Year Moot Court Competition.
All first-year students are eligible to compete in the First Year Moot Court Competition held at McGeorge in the spring of each year. Finally, students, faculty, and staff who wish to stay informed about moot court competitions and application deadlines can be members-at-large.
Each spring, the Moot Court Honors Board organizes a moot court competition for first year law students.
Students prepare a short “brief” consisting of a complete argument on a single issue and deliver a short oral argument. The moot case is delivered as a “closed universe” problem meaning that all relevant authority is given to the student. The case involves an issue in torts, contracts or criminal law.
The preliminary rounds of oral argument are delivered before student judges–typically members of the Moot Court Honors Board. Students who score highly on their brief and oral argument advance to the final round which is judged by a panel of faculty members. Awards are given for top briefs, top oral argument and top combined scores.
The First Year Moot Court Competition provides an early appellate advocacy experience and is a great way to prepare for the required second year Global Lawyering Skills class. It is also the best way to put advocacy skills on display to students and faculty who will be influential in selecting future research assistants and moot court competitors.
For more information on the Moot Court First Year Competition, email Professor Ed Telfeyan.