Moot court and trial competitions
A lawyer's role is, above all else, one of client advocacy. Whether representing clients in a corporate transaction, in tax planning, or in a courtroom trial, proficiency as an advocate is essential.
Student competitions are an excellent way to develop principles of good advocacy. Students with a special interest in litigation — the resolution of legal disputes through the court system — are encouraged to participate in competitions, but they are open to everyone.
Here is a description of the competitions offered at Maurer, along with information about external competitions and off-campus competitions that the Law School sponsors.
- Competition Dates:
Several competitions throughout the year
3Ls who have completed required prerequisites are selected based on their performance in Indiana Law’s trial tournament.
Students who participate in the Trial Competition Team take part in several competitions that vary based on the interests of participating students. The primary competition is sponsored by the American Association for Justice.
Law School Trial Tournament
- Competition dates:
Early spring semester at Indiana Law
Open to all 2L and 3L law students
Students try a case in teams of two against two representing either the plaintiff or the defendant. Each student will conduct an opening statement, a closing argument, a direct examination, and a cross-examination. The four top-scoring students in each category (16 total students) will compete in a single elimination playoff tournament, seeded according to first-round scores.
Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition
- Competition Dates:
Vary by semester; regular class meetings and assigments required
Open to all 2Ls (and 3Ls who have not previously competed)
The student-run Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition gives students the opportunity to enhance skills in argument, legal representation, and jurisprudence by researching and writing an appellate brief and engaging in oral arguments. Indiana Law alumni and other legal practitioners and judges from around the country serve as competition judges.
Each year the law school sponsors a team to compete in the International Law Students Association’s Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition. Students from more than 550 law schools in 80 countries participate in the Jessup Moot Court Competition every year. It is the largest and most prestigious international law moot court competition in the world. The International Law Society works with the Jessup advisor at Indiana Law for this competition.
National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
Each year the law school sponsors a team to compete in the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition sponsored by Pace Law School in New York. Three adverse teams argue the issues, reflecting the fact that environmental litigation frequently involves multiple parties: the government, a public interest group, and a member of the regulated industry. The Environmental Law Society manages this competition. Interested students should contact the ELS president at Indiana Law.
Williams Institute Moot Court Competition
The law school sponsors one or two teams of 2L and 3L students every year for the Williams Institute Moot Court Competition at UCLA Law School, the nation’s only national moot court competition devoted to legal issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity. A call for applications usually goes out in November. Past teams have advanced to the semi-finals and have won Best Brief honors. The participation of the school's students in this competition is generously supported by the law school’s LGBT Alumni Advisory Board.
Other External Moot Court Competitions
Students who want to enter other external moot court competitions can request support from the Law School. The school is able to provide partial funding for up to two student-initiated external teams per academic year. Students interested in participating should submit a request to the Office of Student Affairs in advance of the competition. The request should:
a. Describe the competition and the written and oral work product that students will be expected to prepare;
b. Set out a proposed fair process for selection of the students who will participate, which must include an open call for participants;
c. Include a budget for entry fees, travel expenses, and any other costs of participation;
d. Provide a proposed schedule for the team’s practice oral arguments in advance of the live portion of the competition; and
e. Be accompanied by the written commitment of a faculty member to serve as advisor in preparing the team for competition and, if academic credit is requested, as the grading faculty member.
More information is available from the Office of Student Affairs.
External Writing Competitions
Indiana Law students are also encouraged to take part in external writing competitions. Contact the Office of Student Affairs to learn more.