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kirker
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Re: Best Moot Court Law Schools

Postby kirker » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:54 pm

stillwater wrote:
I.P. Daly wrote:It's my understanding that the schools that frequently make it to the finals in the Federal Bar Association Moot Court Competition are pretty good.

http://www.fedbar.org/Divisions/Younger ... Court.aspx


these schools are TTT and TTTTs.


Please. There are quite a few that aren't (and Georgetown & UVA are obviously T14). That said, the comment about T14 schools generally being more concerned with intramural moot court competitions is largely true. (THAT said, Georgetown is probably the best all-around T14 school for both interscholastic moot court and mock trial.)

OP, a good guidepost to schools with solid interscholastic moot court and mock trial teams can be found in the U.S. News rankings for schools with the best trial advocacy programs:

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandr ... y-rankings

Most of these schools also happen to host many of the most well-regarded moot court and/or mock trial competitions in the country. Now yes: a lot of these schools are, to put it mildly, subpar. I'd honestly never even *heard* of TTT-ranked Stetson U., the top-ranked law school on the USN list, until I started looking into joining my school's own mock/moot teams. In essence, the TTT schools on the USN and FBA lists put all their eggs into a handful of baskets in order to attract both students and at least some level of national recognition. Baylor Law, for instance, is famous in Texas for ALWAYS having the highest bar-passage rate in the state, even though perennial T14-runner-up UT is the better of the two schools on nearly every level.

For non-BigLaw legal employers in Texas at least, a prospective hire with a Baylor or even South Texas degree will most definitely be considered a strong contender from the get-go if they've placed highly at any of the major competitions in each area. (Disclaimer: I do not attend either school, nor do I have any connections at them.) I also know from firsthand experience that judges who don't limit their clerk hires to HYS/T14/top X% kids most definitely like to see success in either arena. (Btw by this I mean federal district court and lower judges, not COA or state supreme court level.) And yes, it is indeed possible -- albeit substantially more difficult -- to land a BigLaw SA gig, and even post-grad employment, with slightly below-average grades if you have significant moot court experience in particular (although as everyone's already noted, LR remains the single most important credential besides grades and school caliber).

All that said, I concur with others that you should absolutely NOT pick a school on the basis of its moot court program alone. If your decision comes down to two schools that are otherwise closely matched but one has a national reputation in trial ad/moot court/mock trial, then by all means go with the latter. And while I don't know if this is the case everywhere, my T1 school has both interscholastic and intramural moot court competitions; all of our 1Ls are *required* to participate in a noncompetition moot court event as part of their second-semester LRW curriculum. Their brief in particular is one of the larger components of their second-semester grades (25%, IIRC).

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Tanicius
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Re: .

Postby Tanicius » Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:23 pm

I think picking Baylor for trial advocacy reasons actually makes a lot of sense. They prepare you probably like no other school. ALL of their first-year students do an entire case from pleadings through trial, complete with complaints, answers, pre-trial motions like 12(b)(6) and summary judgment, discovery requests, depositions, motions in limine, and a full trial. Every single student graduates from Baylor with an excellent grasp of the real litigation process. There are actually many people at Baylor who chose the school specifically for its trial advocacy opportunities, and they get a lot of headlines. I've met a lot of them and they are incredibly good at what they set out to do. Their school has a long history of praise for trial ad, and the current students who are good at it receive no shortage of press for their work. I would hire Baylor students over many T-14 students in a heartbeat.

"But Tanicius, it's ridiculous to think going to Baylor should trump going to a T-14."

That's fair. There are two situations, however, where going to Baylor makes a lot of sense: (1) You're out at the T-14 and are looking for a good regional school; (2) You really want to work in Texas.

CanadianWolf
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Re: .

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:44 pm

Do not pick a law school based on performance/ranking of the moot court or mock trial teams. Northwestern & John Marshall in Chicago devote a lot of resources toward their mock trial teams. Both have full-time coaches while most other law schools use volunteer practitioners. Northwestern & Alabama are the top undergraduate schools which compete in mock trial competitions on a very serious level. But law school success revolves around one's grades, law review & actual job placement stats.

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Tanicius
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Re: .

Postby Tanicius » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:21 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Do not pick a law school based on performance/ranking of the moot court or mock trial teams. Northwestern & John Marshall in Chicago devote a lot of resources toward their mock trial teams. Both have full-time coaches while most other law schools use volunteer practitioners. Northwestern & Alabama are the top undergraduate schools which compete in mock trial competitions on a very serious level. But law school success revolves around one's grades, law review & actual job placement stats.


I'm not personally advocating picking a school based on its trial ad ranking. Picking a school based on the actual strength of its programs in trial advocacy makes sense in the context of specific options, though.
Last edited by Tanicius on Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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deadpanic
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Re: .

Postby deadpanic » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:07 pm

Tanicius wrote:I think picking Baylor for trial advocacy reasons actually makes a lot of sense. They prepare you probably like no other school. ALL of their first-year students do an entire case from pleadings through trial, complete with complaints, answers, pre-trial motions like 12(b)(6) and summary judgment, discovery requests, depositions, motions in limine, and a full trial. Every single student graduates from Baylor with an excellent grasp of the real litigation process. There are actually many people at Baylor who chose the school specifically for its trial advocacy opportunities, and they get a lot of headlines. I've met a lot of them and they are incredibly good at what they set out to do. Their school has a long history of praise for trial ad, and the current students who are good at it receive no shortage of press for their work. I would hire Baylor students over many T-14 students in a heartbeat.

"But Tanicius, it's ridiculous to think going to Baylor should trump going to a T-14."

That's fair. There are two situations, however, where going to Baylor makes a lot of sense: (1) You're out at the T-14 and are looking for a good regional school; (2) You really want to work in Texas.


I'm not doubting that you come out of there with a firm grasp of the litigation process, but does it attract a lot of employers because of this? Doesn't appear to. If you really want to work in Texas, I would choose SMU or Houston because the job prospects are better. What headlines or press are you speaking of? Is there some kind of moot court magazine or is it on the law school's web site? Wherever it is, the employers are not reading them. It's great you learn about the litigation process, but it's meaningless if you don't actually get any legal work.

Not saying Baylor isn't a good choice for some people. I guess if you are dead set on doing something like PD/DA work, it may be a good option. But I would still be leery because it is so expensive. Baylor has tough strings on your scholarship and you attend a law school with the most competitive student body in the country.




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