External Competitions

External competitions

Table of contents

National and regional law school competitions—involving appellate, trial, dispute resolution, transactional, negotiation, or drafting problems—provide a great opportunity to hone professional skills and to network with other students, practitioners, and judges from around the country. 

Indiana Law has a long history of success in external competitions. Our school enthusiastically encourages students to participate, and we will support our teams with coaching, logistics, and, within the limits of our budget, funding for registration and travel.

Participating on an external competition team also requires a high level of commitment from students, because

  • We want to ensure that both our individual students and the Law School as an institution are well represented;
  • Participants are eligible for academic credit, with instructor approval (see below);
  • Fielding a team is expensive and often involves funds both from the Law School and student fundraising. A typical budget for a two- or three-person team, including entry fees and travel, is $2,000 to $4,000, depending on location.

The policies described below apply to all external competition teams that intend to compete using the Indiana University Maurer School of Law name, regardless of whether any funding is sought from or provided by the Law School, and regardless of whether participation is for academic credit.

Types of events

The application process differs for the three principal types of events in which the Law School competes:

  1. Course-related and affiliated external teams;
  2. Appellate moot court competitions; and
  3. Student-initiated teams, whether or not the Law School has participated in the past.

Each year, Indiana Law sends students to a variety of competitive moot court competitions on teams associated with certain courses or clinics offered by the Law School. More information about each of these is available from the sponsoring faculty. Teams for these competitions typically require course enrollment or other prerequisites. These competitions include:

  • American Association for Justice Trial Competition
  • ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law Student Trial Advocacy Competition
  • Competitions sponsored by the Elmore Entrepreneurship Clinic
    • Transactional/Startup Law Meets
    • Venture Capital Investment Competition
  • Competitions in intellectual property law or related areas (administered by the Center for Intellectual Property Research), including
    • AIPLA Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition
    • INTA Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition
    • Oxford University International IP Law Moot
    • International Patent Drafting Competition
  • Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court

Beginning in the 2021–22 academic year, the Law School will hold a unified audition and application process for several of the appellate moot court competitions that the school attends on a regular basis but that are not listed above. These teams will be supervised and coached by Prof. Lane McFadden, along with separate faculty advisors for each team who contribute their expertise in the field when helping students prepare. These competitions include the:

  • Miller National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition at Pace University
  • ABA Young Lawyers' Division National Appellate Advocacy Moot Court Competition
  • Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Competition
  • Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition
  • Global Antitrust Institute Invitational
  • National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition 

Application materials for participation on any of these six teams are due to Professor Lane McFadden by email (lanemcfa@iu.edu) no later than August 28, 2021. To apply, submit the following:

  • A cover letter describing: 1) your interest in a particular moot court competition, including any relevant courses or work experience; 2) your past moot court or oral advocacy experience (to include activities like debate or public speaking); and 3) your interest in appellate advocacy more generally.
  • A current résumé
  • A writing sample. The ideal writing sample is in the form of a litigation pleading, e.g., a motion or part of a brief. Please submit work product (which has been cleared by your employer), if you have it. Otherwise, you can submit an LRW assignment or writing for another Law School class that demonstrates your advocacy skills and your ability to assess a complicated legal problem.

Certain moot court teams may require an interview or short audition. More information about this process will be provided at the beginning of the fall 2021 semester.

Students with an interest in a particular competition not listed above may also propose and organize an external team with the approval of the Leonard D. Fromm Office for Student Affairs. The Law School has limited funding to support such teams and will try to ensure allocation of resources in a way that permits as many students as possible to participate in quality competitions.

The best way to ensure the Law School’s support for your proposal is to submit a complete application (as described below) as early as possible. You should first check the registration deadline for your specific competition (usually on the competition’s website), as that date will determine all of your internal deadlines for seeking Law School approval.

Among the competitions for which Indiana Law students have organized teams in past years or in which the Law School has competed more frequently are the:

  • NBLSA Marshall Mock Trial and Douglas Moot Court Competitions (sponsored by BLSA)
  • Williams UCLA Competition (sponsored by OUTLAW and the LGBT Alumni Board)
    • National Telecommunications Moot Court
    • Indiana State Bar Association Moot Court
    • National Latina/o Law School Association Moot Court
    • Fordham Kaufman Securities Law Moot Court
    • Gabrielli National Family Law Moot Court
    • Tulane Sports Law Competition
    • Federal Bar Association Thurgood Marshall Moot Court
    • National Animal Law Moot Court
    • Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court
    • Wisconsin Evan Evans Moot Court
    • Charleston School of Law National Moot Court Competition


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211 South Indiana Avenue
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: lawadmis@indiana.edu

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