Moot Court Program
During the first semester of their second year, all students must participate in the Moot Court Program by satisfactorily completing Appellate Advocacy I. In Appellate Advocacy I, students write an appellate brief on a case under the supervision of Professor Mary Beth Beazley and practicing attorneys. Students then argue their case before panels of judges, which may include faculty members, practicing attorneys and third-year students. Appellate Advocacy I is required of all second-year students. Students receive two semester hours of credit.
Second- and third-year students also have an opportunity to gain experience in a variety of lawyering skills by competing in the various intramural and interscholastic lawyering skills competitions administered by the Director of the Moot Court and Lawyering Skills Program, who is assisted by the Moot Court and Lawyering Skills Governing Board. This Board consists of a Chief Justice, Executive Justices, and Associate Justices. Board members are selected by the outgoing board during the spring semester and receive two credit hours for successful completion of their responsibilities.
Following the mandatory Appellate Advocacy I course, further participation in lawyering skills competitions is voluntary. Appellate Advocacy II is an intramural moot court competition (also known as the Herman Moot Court Competition) in which students may participate during the second semester of their second year by writing an appellate brief and arguing a number of rounds. Eligibility to participate in Appellate Advocacy II is based in part on the student's performance in Appellate Advocacy I. Appellate Advocacy II culminates, for the four finalists, in a showcase argument before a prestigious panel of judges. Second-year students receive one hour of credit for successfully completing Appellate Advocacy II.
Appellate Advocacy II is also used to select the students who will compete during their third year in national interscholastic moot court competitions. The Moritz College of Law currently participates in the following national moot court competitions: ABA, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Corporate Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Jessup International Law, Juvenile Law, Labor Law, and National Mediations.
All team members are selected through participation in Appellate Advocacy II. Team members are required to take Appellate Advocacy III, a full-year, two-hour graded course. Team members may also receive one credit hour for participation on the team upon approval of the team's faculty advisor. The additional writing requirement may be satisfied for members of interscholastic moot court teams upon certification by the team's faculty advisor.
The Moot Court and Lawyering Skills Program also conducts an intramural trial advocacy competition, the Colley Trial Practice Competition, during the spring semester to select members of the College's national interscholastic trial advocacy teams. The College currently participates in the National Mock Trial Competition and the American Trial Lawyers Association National Student Trial Advocacy Competition. Members of the National Mock Trial team must be third-year students selected during the spring of their second year. Both second- and third-year students may be on the ATLA Student Trial team. Members of these teams may also receive one credit hour upon approval of the team's faculty advisor.
During the spring, the Moot Court and Lawyering Skills Program conducts an intramural trial advocacy competition at the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. All third-year students who have not participated on an interscholastic trial advocacy team are eligible to participate. The competition will be judged and critiqued by prominent trial lawyers and judges. This competition will enable third-year students to hone their trial advocacy skills shortly before their graduation.
The Moot Court and Lawyering Skills Program also conducts a Negotiation Competition during the fall for second- and third-year students to select students for the College's interscholastic negotiation team. Team members may receive one credit hour upon approval of the team's faculty advisor.