How come "top" schools do so bad at Moot Court competitions?

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clevermoose
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Re: How come "top" schools do so bad at Moot Court competitions?

Postby clevermoose » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:48 pm

At Berkeley we also do the moot court competition within our Written and Oral Advocacy class. The winner of our 1L class (either best brief or best oral argument) wins $2500.

We also have a pretty intense moot court competition for 2L and 3L students that frequently features Justices from SCOTUS and other high-up courts (McBaine Competition: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/3006.htm)

redsox4lyfe
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Re: How come "top" schools do so bad at Moot Court competitions?

Postby redsox4lyfe » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:34 pm

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Last edited by redsox4lyfe on Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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wiseowl
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Re: How come "top" schools do so bad at Moot Court competitions?

Postby wiseowl » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:17 am

I know some schools even give course credit for moot court and for these competitions. It's basically marketing for them. It makes for a nice little "WE'RE #1 IN TRIAL ADVOCACY!" when that makes no sense whatsoever or "MOOT COURT WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!"

At T14s, it's just another extracurricular. People who are gunning or bored might do them, but otherwise why waste the time?

run26.2
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Re: How come "top" schools do so bad at Moot Court competitions?

Postby run26.2 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:58 am

wiseowl wrote:I know some schools even give course credit for moot court and for these competitions. It's basically marketing for them. It makes for a nice little "WE'RE #1 IN TRIAL ADVOCACY!" when that makes no sense whatsoever or "MOOT COURT WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!"

At T14s, it's just another extracurricular. People who are gunning or bored might do them, but otherwise why waste the time?


Why is it a waste of time? I mean, generally, you are getting exposure to legal issues that are relatively current and arguably interesting.

Ultimately, though, I really think it is about improving your writing abilities. Even though most people won't be writing a brief right after graduating, it's probably a good experience to have gone through when you do have that opportunity.

It has been the best law school experience I have had for a number of reasons, including learning more about standards of review, jurisdiction, and the shocking quality of many advocates.

BTW - as someone else said, clinics also provide valuable learning and writing experiences, but sometimes space in the clinics is limited. A moot court competition could be a viable alternative in that case.

To answer OP's question with an anecdote, 2 out of 4 teams in the final 2 rounds of the moot court competition I did last year were from the T14. One other team was a T20. I can't remember where the other was ranked. I think there were about 50 teams total in the nation that participated from a wide range of schools.

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joeshmo39
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Re: How come "top" schools do so bad at Moot Court competitions?

Postby joeshmo39 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:15 am

We lose because we don't prep as rigorously. Lower ranked schools usually have really competitive tryouts and once you make the team it's a big commitment. Teams meet a lot, practice a lot, and get credits for it often. At UVa we write a brief and then have practice moots 3 or 4 times. I know other schools moot much more often and for a lot more time. My time commitment for UG mock trial was probably triple the amount of time per semester as for law school mock trial, if not more.

As far as why we don't prep as rigorously, people have touched on a lot of that. Firms I interviewed with didn't really care. It's not going to make or break you - journal and moot court are usually interchangeable, maybe a clinic. Also, firms aren't expecting us to be in a courtroom anytime soon so it's not a prized skill.

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wiseowl
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Re: How come "top" schools do so bad at Moot Court competitions?

Postby wiseowl » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:33 am

run26.2 wrote:
wiseowl wrote:I know some schools even give course credit for moot court and for these competitions. It's basically marketing for them. It makes for a nice little "WE'RE #1 IN TRIAL ADVOCACY!" when that makes no sense whatsoever or "MOOT COURT WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!"

At T14s, it's just another extracurricular. People who are gunning or bored might do them, but otherwise why waste the time?


Why is it a waste of time? I mean, generally, you are getting exposure to legal issues that are relatively current and arguably interesting.

Ultimately, though, I really think it is about improving your writing abilities. Even though most people won't be writing a brief right after graduating, it's probably a good experience to have gone through when you do have that opportunity.

It has been the best law school experience I have had for a number of reasons, including learning more about standards of review, jurisdiction, and the shocking quality of many advocates.

BTW - as someone else said, clinics also provide valuable learning and writing experiences, but sometimes space in the clinics is limited. A moot court competition could be a viable alternative in that case.

To answer OP's question with an anecdote, 2 out of 4 teams in the final 2 rounds of the moot court competition I did last year were from the T14. One other team was a T20. I can't remember where the other was ranked. I think there were about 50 teams total in the nation that participated from a wide range of schools.


To be fair, I know your experience (and that competition) are different and are much more career-focused. That's a great one to do. But there's 2-4 spots per school. I was talking more about moot court generally and the competitions I've been required to do that dealt with international arbitration in fictional countries and baseball drug appeals.




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