Regular Moot Court 1L Year

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1L Moot Court or not?

Do it
3
50%
Don't do it
3
50%
 
Total votes: 6

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apper123
Posts: 985
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:50 pm

Regular Moot Court 1L Year

Postby apper123 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:41 pm

I know there is already a thread on this from last semester, but it's about a different competition during a different time period.

My school (mid level T2) has a Spring Moot Court Competition open to 1Ls only. If you make it through this competition, it's just like being on regular Moot Court. It requires a 12-15 page brief which counts for 30 % of your score and the other 70 % (in each round) is based on your oral arguments. You only need to write the brief on one side of the issue, but you must prepare both sides for oral arguments. It's a one issue problem, and you work alone.

I did very well in legal writing, and I am a good public speaker/debater/whatever (already made the "negotiation board" which admittedly doesn't mean much but is a school-wide competition that had many people participating). I feel like my odds of making it, if I participate, are good.

The briefs are due the first week of February and the competition's rounds extend all through February into March.

There is another MC competition next year open to 2Ls. With this one you can work with a partner, but it is a two issue problem and the briefs are longer. If you fail to place in the 1L one, you can try again in the 2L one.

Obviously if I knew I had LR, I wouldn't do this. I don't have all my grades in yet, but with 1 to go, things are looking good. However, I hesitate to make any judgment off my abilities based on a) one semester's worth of grades and, even so b) without the full semester's worth of grades. They offer a large # of write-on spots (and a smaller # of grade on spots) which are based on 25 % GPA and 75 % write on ability. Again, I feel confident in my legal writing skills.

Sorry for the long post, but what would you do? Personally, I don't want to do it and would rather concentrate on my 1L studies and relax more in the first month to avoid late semester burnout. However, I know I'll have the time in the first month to do it, should I choose to, and I also feel like my chances are pretty good (although not a lock obviously, I'm not delusional). Simply put: I feel like I HAVE to do it.

Thoughts? It's worth noting litigation interests me, and it is something I think my skill set is geared towards.

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vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Regular Moot Court 1L Year

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:04 pm

I'm working on a 1L moot court project right now. Thankfully I've got winter break to work on the written brief, but it's a bitch. Thoughts:

Pros: The main school moot court competition is 2L, which means that you're giving yourself an extra round of training/prep for that if you really want to give it a shot. Think of it the same way you think about exams; the best way to get ready for the real thing is to do practice rounds beforehand. The 1L competition can be thought of as a practice round.

Cons: It's an assload of work to have to do. If you don't think you can do it without your grades or morale suffering, don't do it. Your 1L grades are the most important thing, and IIRC your first-semester grades are pretty impressive, so don't do anything to shoot yourself in the foot!

It depends on how much you really value moot court. It sounds like you would benefit from the experience with your goals, even if you don't end up doing moot court again next year. However, just be sure you're ready to give up a lot of your time in February and March to work on it. I'm having a hard time giving up some of my winter break time to work on mine, after making it through last semester. Overburdening yourself can lead to burnout and that can be bad, the last thing you want to do is run out of steam before May and your spring finals.

EDIT: I realize I've said practically nothing you don't already know. tl;dr version: Do it unless you don't want to, in which case, don't do it. With your grades you'll likely be in a strong position regardless.

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apper123
Posts: 985
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:50 pm

Re: Regular Moot Court 1L Year

Postby apper123 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:42 pm

Now knowing all my grades and my probable class rank of 5 % almost def 10 %, I'd say this is likely a no-go, right?

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vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Regular Moot Court 1L Year

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:44 pm

apper123 wrote:Now knowing all my grades and my probable class rank of 5 % almost def 10 %, I'd say this is likely a no-go, right?

Actually, if you think you can pull this off without it affecting your ability to study/prepare for spring finals, I'd say do it. If you transfer you're not likely to make LR at the school you transfer up to, but you'll still have a shot (since this starts 2L year at most schools) of placing in their moot court competition. This experience will prepare you for that.

But, like I said before, your grades are your most important thing. Also, if you do want to shoot for LR at schools you might transfer to, you'll have to take their LR write-on test sometime during the spring semester, and that could end up conflicting with your moot court competition. You don't want that to happen, because either way you're screwed; either you're screwing over the moot court competition by dropping out after committing to it, or you're screwing yourself by putting the local moot court competition over the transfer school's LR competition.

This has to be a decision that's entirely up to you. If you think you're going to try the transfer LR competitions at top-tier schools, or if you think you can't balance the work with your studies, then it's probably a bad idea. If you aren't going for transfer schools' LR, and you do want the experience to try out for moot court once you transfer, do it.

(This is just what writing a law school exam is like; describe all scenarios and then avoid giving an actual definitive answer one way or another. :mrgreen: )




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