Competitions Course Descriptions

ABA Negotiation Competition

ABA Negotiation Competition

The ABA Law Student Division Negotiation Competition promotes greater interest among law students in legal negotiation and provides a means for them to practice and improve their negotiating skills. The competition simulates legal negotiations in which law students, acting as lawyers, negotiate a series of legal problems. The simulations consist of a common set of facts known by all participants and confidential information known only to the participants representing a particular side. All of the simulations in the competition stay within the area of law chosen for the year; the negotiation situations vary with each round and level of the competition adding additional facts.

Web Site
http://www.abanet.org/lsd/competitions/negotiation/home.html

Coach
New Mexico Court of Appeals Mediator Robert Rambo

Students who are eligible
2L and 3L students only. Team members are required to be an ABA student member. 

Dates and timeline overview
Try out packets come out in mid-September.
The competition takes place in mid-November in Salt Lake City.

Try out details
Each student is to prepare a negotiation outline for both sides of the contract negotiation including:

List the issues to be negotiated from each side’s point of view;
List the interests and needs to be met for each issue for each side;
List options that might meet the interests and needs for each issue for each side. 

The coach reviews the materials and selects the team.

What to expect
After the team is chosen, members will meet to prepare for the competition. The first class will be in early October and may include mock negotiations based on the round one of the intra-school competition problem, if necessary, to choose the year’s team.

The team will meet one night a week beginning in early October and for two hours each weekend (at the time chosen by the students) until the November competition.   

American Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition

American Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition

The Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition of the American Intellectual Property Law Association is an annual competition presenting problems in intellectual property, such as patent appeals.

Web Site

Coach
Attorney Barry Berenberg (`07)

Students who are eligible
2L and 3L students only

Dates and timeline overview
Application packets come out in mid-October and will be due a month later.
The regional competition is usually held the third week in March. The team will choose one of the four regional locations – Houston, Chicago, Boston or Silicon Valley.

Try out details
The application will require writing a memo of no more than seven pages and then giving a five-minute presentation based on the memo. Selection will be made based on the combination of these items and will be complete by the end of November.

What to expect
Two teams of two people each will be selected for the competition. Both teams will prepare briefs based on the competition problem. They will meet once or twice a week in January, but students should plan to work on their briefs during December. Briefs must be substantially completed by the fourth Friday in January, when the Notice of Intent to Participate must be submitted to the competition organizers.

Final briefs will be due around the first of February. After the briefs are submitted, practice rounds will begin. Students should plan on at least two rounds per week, with more frequent practices as the competition approaches. Only one team may participate in oral arguments at the regional competition. The team members may decide among themselves who will participate, or the coach will pick a team around mid-February based on performance during the practice rounds.

Animal Law Moot Court Competition

Animal Law Moot Court Competition

The Animal Law Moot Court is part of the National Animal Advocacy Competitions. The purpose is to provide law students an opportunity to develop an expertise in animal law and to hone their persuasive abilities as well as their written and oral advocacy techniques in an appellate setting. The law school is able to field two teams for the competition. Depending on the level of student interest, an internal competition for selection of the teams may be held.

NOTE: For further details on the current offering of this competition, see the Spring 2011 Academic Schedule on our web site.

Environmental Law Moot Court Competition

Environmental Law Moot Court Competition

The National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition is an annual inter-law school appellate moot court competition sponsored by Pace University School of Law. The number of teams typically ranges from 65 to 75 teams. The purpose of the competition is to develop expertise in environmental law appellate advocacy. The annual problem typically involves three parties: industry, government and an environmental protection group, and includes a variety of environmental law statutory issues, administrative law issues and common law claims.

Web Site http://www.pace.edu/page.cfm?doc_id=23579

Advisor
Professor Eileen Gauna (`85)

Students who are eligible
2L and 3L students only

Dates and timeline overview
Each team will write a brief for one of the respective party’s legal argument. The problem typically arrives at the end of September and the brief is due around the first part of December. Each team will participate in oral argument (as one of three adverse parties). The competition takes place around the third week of February at Pace Law School in White Plains, NY.
Registration is limited to one team per school, two or three students on the team.

Try out details
If there are more than three interested students, there may be an internal tryout competition that may involve writing a mini-brief on an environmental issue and an oral argument judged by local lawyers. 

What to expect
The issues in this specialized area are generally technically and legally complex and involve three distinct interest groups. The time commitment is substantial. The brief, due the first part of December, cannot have any participation or input by anyone other than the team members. There will be at least 10 practice oral argument sessions, lasting about two hours each. Because attorneys volunteer for these sessions, they will often be held at night or during the weekend. In January and during the first two weeks in February, students can expect three practice sessions per week.

Health Law Moot Court

Health Law Moot Court

The purpose of the competition is to develop the art of appellate advocacy and to encourage research in the growing field of health law and ethics.

Web Site
http://www.law.siu.edu/healthlawmootcourt/

Coach
Attorney Mary Behm

Students who are eligible
2L and 3L students. First-year students may try out in the spring to participate in the fall of their second year.

Dates and timeline overview
Application Packets will come out the week of spring break.
The competition is held the first weekend in November at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill.

Try out details
The application will require completion of an anonymous short 3-5 page writing assignment – closed research. Oral argument is not a component of the try out process.
Selection will be made one month after the writing assignment deadline. 

What to expect
The problem comes out in early August. Students should expect to dedicate some time near the end of summer break to meet with their teammates and prepare a strategy. It is important to keep momentum and complete most of the research and analysis before classes start in the fall. Team members should expect to begin writing as soon as the semester starts. The written briefs are due at the end of September. Oral argument practice takes place throughout October with a dress rehearsal in early November. Students should be prepared to keep their evening schedules relatively free of conflicts. Oral arguments are three-to-four times weekly, usually on week nights. Competition is in early November at Southern Illinois University.

Hispanic National Bar Association Moot Court

Hispanic National Bar Association Moot Court

The National Moot Court Competition is held each March in conjunction with the Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Mid-Year Conference. This competition is co-sponsored by the Hispanic National Bar Foundation, the HNBA’s 501 (c)(3) sister organization. It provides law students with the opportunity to hone their brief writing and oral advocacy skills while exploring a complex legal issue.

Web Site
http://www.hnba.com

Coach
Chris Melendrez

Students who are eligible
2L and 3L students only

Dates and timeline overview
Application packets will come out the second week of October and be due the last week of the month.
Oral argument try outs will be held the first week of November.
The actual moot court problem is generally released toward the end of November.
The competition coincides with the HNBA mid-year convention – usually right before or during spring break.

Try out details
The application will require completion of a short three-to-five-page writing assignment – open research, a copy of a student’s resume, preparation and delivery of an oral argument on the writing assignment.
Selection will be made based on the combination of these items and will be complete by Thanksgiving.

What to expect
Students should expect to dedicate some time over Christmas break to meet with their teammates and prepare a brief. It is important to keep momentum and complete most of the research and analysis before classes start in January. During January, students will meet in weekly or biweekly sessions. They should be prepared to keep their evening schedule relatively free of conflicts. During February and early March, several practice oral arguments will take place per week. The competition will be completed by around Spring Break.

Jessup International Moot Court

Jessup International Moot Court

National Sponsor: International Law Students Association

This course involves intensive development of legal research, analysis, writing, and oral argument skills in preparation for the Jessup International Moot Court Competition. The researching and writing for International Court of Justice memorials (briefs) take place in the fall semester, and the practice oral arguments and regional competition take place in January and February. It is expected that the intensity of the program will lead to the development of lawyering skills that are appropriate for both domestic and international tribunals.

National Mock Trial Competition

National Mock Trial Competition

National Sponsor: Texas Young Lawyers Division

This course will prepare the students selected for participation in the National Mock Trial Competition. The course involves intensive trial practice sessions with the objective of developing trial practice and oral advocacy skills.

National Moot Court Competition

National Moot Court Competition

Course Description

The ABA Law Student Division National Appellate Advocacy Competition emphasizes the development of oral advocacy skills through a realistic appellate advocacy experience.  Competitors participate in a hypothetical appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The competition involves writing a brief as either respondent or petitioner and then arguing the case in front of the mock court.

Web Site
http://www.abanet.org/lsd/competitions/naac

Coaches
Attorney Ed Ricco

Students who are eligible
2L and 3L students only

Dates and timeline overview
The competition is in March

Try-out details
Members of the prior year’s ABA National Moot Court Team give a problem (often a modified version of a problem from the national competition) and have applicants write a brief and present an oral argument based on the problem. The selection process begins early in the fall semester because the team must be in place by early November.

What to Expect
The ABA releases the national competition problem one to two weeks before Thanksgiving.  Briefs are due around mid January. The regional oral argument competition occurs in four or five venues around the country during late February or early March; teams usually get their first or second choice of venue. For teams that survive the regionals, the national oral competition is held in Chicago in April.

From soon after the problem is released, students should expect to be involved in intensive research on difficult, current issues of the sort that would engage the U.S. Supreme Court. They can expect to discuss the problem and the brief with the team coach and faculty members. Their research will be turned into a polished appellate brief. The coach and faculty may provide guidance but are prohibited from providing assistance in writing or editing the brief. This effort will consume considerable time during winter break. 

After the brief is submitted, students can expect to spend several evenings per week through January and February developing, refining and presenting oral arguments on both sides of the problem to panels drawn from faculty members and local judges and practitioners. They will learn how to think on their feet and can expect helpful and incisive commentary from the coach and panel members.

Team members will see their appellate advocacy skills grow commensurately from their hard work and can expect to have fun at the oral arguments.

National Native American Moot Court Competition

National Native American Moot Court Competition

The purpose of the NNALSA Moot Court Competition is to create opportunities to promote the objectives of the NNALSA Mission Statement, actively encourage the development of the oral advocacy and brief-writing skills of NNALSA members, as well as enhance substantive knowledge in the fields of federal Indian law, tribal law and traditional forms of governance.
UNM teams have participated in the National Native American Law Students Association Moot Court Competition since its inception in 1993. Teams of two submit their brief and engage in oral arguments on a current issue involving indigenous peoples in the United States. The school has a very strong record with teams arguing successfully and individual students winning distinguished orator awards.

Web Site
http://www.nationalnalsa.org/

Coaches
Attorneys Dan Rey-Bear and Rodina Cave

Students who are eligible
2L and 3L students

Dates and timeline overview
Click here http://www.usdnalsa.org/2010-moot-court/ for registration materials and problem. 
Registration is due by Dec. 4, 2009. Late registration is Dec. 18, 2009.
Briefs must be postmarked by Jan. 11, 2010.
Practice oral arguments start after briefs are due. 
The competition is held Feb. 19-20, 2010 at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

 

What to expect
Students should expect to dedicate some time over Christmas break to meet with his/her teammate and prepare a brief. It is important to keep momentum and complete most of the research and analysis before classes start in January. Weekly or biweekly sessions in January and February will follow, with additional Saturday practices for two weeks before the competition. Be prepared for several practice oral arguments per week during January and February. 

Williams Institute Moot Court

Williams Institute Moot Court

The Sexual Orientation Law Moot Court Competition is the only national competition dedicated exclusively to the area of sexual orientation law. This year’s competition will provide an opportunity for competitors to write an appellate-level brief on a current topic in sexual orientation law and to argue the case before a panel of judges. The competition is designed to promote and recognize the finest oral and written advocacy on a significant problem in sexual orientation law.

Web Site
http://www.law.ucla.edu/Williamsinstitute/home.html

Coach
Professor Steven Homer

Students who are eligible
2L and 3L students only

Dates and timeline overview
Application packets will come out in late November.
During Winter Break teams will draft a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court (NO faculty or coach input is allowed until the brief is turned in).
The brief is due in mid-January. Oral argument practice and coaching will take place four to five nights a week throughout January, until the competition at the end of the month at the UCLA School of Law.

Try out details:  If more than four students express interest, they will be asked to write a short legal argument based on last year’s problem, as well as a short personal statement explaining their interest in the competition. Students will also be asked to provide their Advocacy grade and any other moot court experience/commitments. Students who are interested should email Professor Homer LINK TO HIS EMAIL ADDRESS by the third week of October. Selection will begin immediately thereafter.

What to expect
Competitors should expect to dedicate significant time during Winter Break to meet with their teammates and prepare a brief. Self-starters who can complete the research and analysis before classes start in January are especially encouraged to participate.
Teams will meet several evenings a week during January to practice their oral arguments; the time commitment is equivalent to attending an additional class. Participants should be prepared to keep their evening schedules free of conflicts during January.
Because the competition is part of the Williams Institute’s judicial education program, teams will have the opportunity to practice their arguments in front of several members of the bench.
Note that the final round of this competition will take place a month after the preliminary rounds, and funding to attend the final round is not guaranteed.