The Law School’s budget for travel is very limited, especially now that both student interest and travel costs have risen. Traveling to a moot court competition at the expense of the Law School is a privilege, not a right. At a moot court competition, you represent not only yourselves but the Law School. At all times while you are traveling on behalf of the Law School, you are expected to comport yourself professionally, and to participate in the competition in good faith and to the best of your abilities.
No student may commit Law School funds (for example, by booking a hotel room or airplane ticket) without first consulting with Professor McFadden and a pre-approved student travel account. Professor McFadden’s assistant, Connie Griffin, can help with establishing pre-approval, booking travel, filling out reimbursement paperwork, and other administrative details. Ms. Griffin’s office is on the second floor of the Lewis Building, and she is there Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please note, her office is closed for lunch and other university business. You can email her directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pre-approved Student Travel Account (Chrome River and Egencia)
Student pre-approval for travel is required before incurring any travel expenditures including- booking economy flights, economy car rental, lodging, ground transportation, and parking. Please work with Connie Griffin to establish your travel account profile.
Several departments are involved with the approval process, and this process can take up to 30 (thirty) days, so it is important to provide the requested information as soon as possible.
Once the official schedule of the tournament weekend has been released, students can book air travel for that competition. Students should book travel promptly to ensure that their departure and arrival times leave enough time before and after the competition. Students may arrive on the night before a competition begins with the advance approval of Professor McFadden. Students should not plan to depart until after the competition has ended. Moot court team members should ideally be on the same flights, allowing them to share transportation costs to and from the airport. Coaches and faculty advisors, if attending, may travel separately from the team
Students driving their personal vehicles to the airport will be compensated for fuel costs with the appropriate fuel receipt(s). Parking at the airport is also reimbursable, with receipt, provided that students must park in Economy at IND or comparably affordable long-term parking at other airports.
Airline travel may be booked in one of two ways:
- The Law School can book airline tickets for each student.
Indiana University has a full-time travel office that has a partnership with a travel service provider and a system for booking and maintaining reservations. Students can first search for available flights using airline websites or other third-party services like Expedia or Kayak. Students must then ask Professor McFadden to approve the times and costs of the flights before asking the Law School to book that ticket for them. Ms. Griffin can assist students with booking. Students may want to register an account with Egencia (using their University email address), because the Egencia app will contain the latest information about any travel booked by the University and can provide updates on delays, changes, or cancellations.
- Students may buy airline tickets individually and be reimbursed.
Alternatively, students may book their own airline tickets. Before doing so, students must first ask Professor McFadden to approve the times and costs of the proposed flights. If students choose this option, they should still plan to travel together, and each student must book their own ticket. If students reserve an airline ticket on behalf of another student, they will not be reimbursed by the University. Keep all receipts from the purchase of the ticket—you can also print a receipt that will include the cost of the ticket from the check-in kiosk at the airport where you print a paper boarding pass.
Not all flights are available through Egencia (the University’s travel program), so booking flights independently may sometimes give students better (or cheaper) options. However, students will be required to pay out-of-pocket for the ticket at the time of reservation, and cannot be reimbursed until after the actual travel has occurred. The Law School business office can usually provide a reimbursement check within week or two after the request is submitted. Still, students should be cognizant of the fact that this approach may result in their having to pay a credit card bill before receiving a reimbursement check.
If the moot court tournament has reserved a block of rooms at a discount for competitors, that hotel is preferred. Typically, the tournament will post information and hold networking events at the tournament hotel, so staying there can be convenient. However, if there is no single tournament hotel, or if a variety of nearby choices are presented, then students should seek the most affordable accommodations within a reasonable distance of the tournament. Teams of 2 or 3 students should share a single room where possible. Larger teams may reserve multiple rooms, in consultation with Professor McFadden, bearing in mind that no student will have a single room except when required for necessary physical accommodations. Often, an AirB&B (or similar rental service) can provide more comfortable and functional lodging for a comparable price, and students should look into these options as well before booking a hotel room. Please note, students are responsible for extra amenities and will not be reimbursed for those charges. If you require Internet service, please check to see if the service is provided free of charge prior to making a reservation.
Hotel rooms may be reserved in one of two ways:
- The Law School can reserve the rooms for students.
The Law School can reserve hotel rooms for students through Egencia. This avoids the need for students to provide their personal credit card at the time of booking (hotels will still ask for a personal credit card for incidentals at check-in). Once team members have determined where they will stay, the dates and room rates must be sent to Professor McFadden for approval. Once approved, students will work with Ms. Griffin to reserve the rooms.
- Students may reserve rooms and be reimbursed.
Alternatively, once Professor McFadden has approved the specific location, dates, and room rates of the team’s proposed lodging, students may reserve rooms directly. One or more students can reserve the lodging for all members of the team, and then seek reimbursement from the Law School after returning from the trip. Keep all receipts from your reservation, and submit proof of payment for reimbursement (not just a receipt that says you have made a reservation but have not yet paid). Booking your own lodging may be easier for reserving Air B&Bs or similar accommodations not available in the University’s travel program. However, bear in mind that students cannot be reimbursed for lodging until after they return from the trip. Professor McFadden can assist with this process and may be able to make the reservation for you.
Vehicle Rental and Personal Vehicles
Students are expected to drive (instead of fly) to any moot court competitions within a 4-5 hour journey of Bloomington, including all competitions in the Chicago area. Professor McFadden can rent a University vehicle that will hold six people and their luggage. Anyone who might drive the vehicle must come to the motor pool to present a drivers’ license at the time the vehicle is picked up, and must agree to a background check by the University. Additionally, all drivers must complete this form in advance.
Alternatively, students may choose to drive a personal vehicle to the competition. Students using their personal vehicles will be compensated for fuel with appropriate receipts.
Note that students will not be reimbursed for any damage to a personal vehicle, including flat tires or windshields, and drivers must carry their own insurance. (If renting a rental car, do not purchase additional rental car insurance, and you must return the rental car full of gas or incur the rental company’s re-fueling fee.)