Appellate Advocacy

National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition, Pace Law School

Since 1989, student advocates from across the United States and Canada have participated in the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition hosted by Pace Law School in White Plains, New York. Recognized as the preeminent environmental law moot in the United States, the moot tests skills in appellate brief writing and oral advocacy on issues drawn from real cases, providing experience in environmental litigation first hand. The Competition draws in excess of 200 competitors from diverse law schools and 200 attorneys who serve as judges for three days of oral arguments to create a rigorous academic experience. The Competition is distinctive in that three adverse teams argue the issues, reflecting the fact that environmental litigation frequently involves multiple parties - the government, a public interest group and a member of the regulated industry. Teams write and file their briefs for their respective parties in early December and come to the Pace campus in February for the oral phase of the Competition. Those with the highest combined scores for both the written brief and oral argument advance to succeeding rounds. Previous legal problems have included illegal dumping of hazardous waste, vicarious criminal liability of corporate officers for their company's environmental crimes and commerce clause limits on water pollution regulation. In this competition, one team of three people competes in three different sides.  Each team represents a company (usually the polluter), an environmental citizens group, and the intervening government agency (EPA). Practices for this competition are longer due to the necessity of practicing three sides (as opposed to just two).

Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Moot Court Competition, American Intellectual Property Law Association

Boalt sends two-person teams to compete on topics in Intellectual Property Law. Teams submit two briefs - one for petitioner and one for respondent - early in the Spring semester, and compete in oral argument in late March.

Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, International Law Students Association

The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the world's largest moot court competition, with participants from over 500 law schools in more than 80 countries. The competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. One team is allowed to participate from every eligible school. A five-person team (usually four oralists and one brief editor) competes on an international topic before a mock International Court of Justice (ICJ).  The regional rounds are extremely competitive, and only one team advances to the International rounds, which include teams from all over the world. Coursework in Public International Law is strongly recommended.

National Appellate Advocacy Competition, American Bar Association

The ABA Law Student Division National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) emphasizes the development of oral advocacy skills through a realistic appellate advocacy experience.  Competitors participate in a hypothetical appeal to the United States Supreme Court. Two teams of three students each compete in a hypothetical appeal to the Supreme Court. Each three-person team writes one brief as either respondent or petitioner and then argues for both respondent and petitioner in front of the mock court. The topic alternates between criminal law and civil law each year. The competition includes teams from many regions, and it is the competition that provides the most information about scores and results. Teams are typically required to submit a brief over the winter break, and regional competitions for oral argument take place during the Spring semester. 

National Moot Court Competition, New York City Bar Association

Since 1950, the New York City Bar and the American College of Trial Lawyers have sponsored this National Moot Court Competition. Every year, over 150 law schools compete in the regional rounds throughout the U.S., and the winners advance to the final rounds held at the New York City Bar. This is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious competition in the country. Two teams of three students each are sent to Regionals, where the top two teams advance to Nationals in New York. Expect a trememndous amount of work during the Fall semester and a highly competitive tournament.  Also, if a team advances to Nationals, there will be practices during the month of January.

Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition, International Trademark Association

The Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition is an annual competition organized by INTA and members of the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition Committee. Now entering its 19th year,  the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition is the only competition in the United States with a focus on trademark and unfair competition law.

The Competition is named in honor of Saul Lefkowitz whose entire distinguished career was dedicated to the development of trademark and unfair competition law.  For more than 30 years, Mr. Lefkowitz was a member of the trademark examining corps in the Trademark Office and was a member of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) from its creation in 1958.  In 1975, he was named its Chairman. 

This moot court competition is open to teams of law school students from accredited law schools throughout the United States. Students are expected to write a brief and argue the case in regional and national competitions before a panel of volunteer attorneys, judges from various district and other courts, members of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and jurists from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC).

The objective of the competition is to introduce law students to important issues arising in United States trademark and unfair competition law. Law students who participate in the competition have the opportunity to develop their brief writing and oral advocacy skills in a mock courtroom experience. The problem comes out in the Fall and the brief is due after Spring Break. Winter plans must accommodate the brief writing process.

Roger J. Traynor California Appellate Moot Court Competition, Witkin Legal Institute

The Roger J. Traynor California Appellate Moot Court Competition was developed and conducted for nearly 30 years by the California Young Lawyers Association of the State Bar of California. The Witkin Legal Institute and Thomson/West are pleased to continue this proud tradition. In order to make the competition most educational and rewarding for students, we have structured the competition somewhat differently from other competitions. In this competition, teams of up to three students compete.  The problem is drawn from a real case in the California Court of Appeal. The competition judges are limited to justices and research attorneys of the Court of Appeal and experienced appellate attorneys. The competition attempts to have each team argue before a Court of Appeal judge at least once.

Vis International Aribtration Moot

The business community's marked preference for resolving international commercial disputes by arbitration is the reason this method of dispute resolution was selected as the clinical tool to train law students through two crucial phases: the writing of memorandums for claimant and respondent and the hearing of oral argument based upon the memorandums -- both settled by arbitral experts in the issues considered. The forensic and written exercises require determining questions of contract -- flowing from a transaction relating to the sale or purchase of goods under the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and other uniform international commercial law -- in the context of an arbitration of a dispute under specified Arbitration Rules.

Jerome Prince Evidence Competition

The competition is hosted in the spring by the Moot Court Honor Society on Brooklyn Law School's campus in the heart of Brooklyn Heights. The Competition provides law students from across the country an opportunity to write an appellate brief addressing evidentiary issues in a contemporary context. Each year, distinguished scholars and judges join the competition's final bench.