Academic Competitions

Moot Court, Mock Trial and Negotiation

Students at the UNM School of Law have many opportunities to hone writing and oral advocacy skills outside of the classroom in a variety of academic competitions.

Moot Court

Moot court competitions expose participants to the appeals process. Students are presented with a legal problem and a set of facts. Paired participants write a brief in support of one side or the other and then argue the case before a panel consisting of judges, attorneys and law professors. The many benefits that come from participating in a moot court competition include:

  • Developing appellate advocacy and litigation skills;
  • Conducting in-depth research and preparing arguments on both sides of a case;
  • Learning to "think on your feet";
  • Honing legal analysis and persuasive speech skills;
  • Having an excellent experience to include on a resume for job searching.

Mock Trial

Students interested in becoming a trial lawyer are encouraged to try out for the National Mock Trial competition. Participants learn how to prepare witnesses for trial, develop their style in direct and cross-examination, and conduct opening statements and closing arguments to a jury.

Note: Repeating a competition - Law Students who have received credit for participating in an interscholastic competition will not be allowed to participate for credit in the same competition in subsequent years.

For more details regarding academic credit, selection of participants, and reimbursement of expenses, please see the UNM Law School Bulletin & Handbook of Policies.


A small stipend is provided to each student participating in a moot court or mock trial team for credit. Stipends do not cover all expenses should the student need to travel to an in-person competition. Students may only receive one stipend per their law school career. To check the amount of the potential stipend, students should consult with the Financial Aid Officer before joining a team.

Competition Descriptions

To view competition course descriptions please visit the UNM School of Law Course Descriptions page.