Information for judges
Thank you for your interest in judging our moot court competition. Your service as a visiting judge is extraordinarily valuable to us.
Frequently Asked Questions
- When are oral arguments?
- How do I sign up to judge, if I haven't already?
- What does a competition judge do?
- How long does each Moot Court session last?
- Should I plan to judge at all the sessions on weeknights?
- How can I view the competition problem?
- Do I need expertise in any particular subject area in order to judge?
- What if I have worked with, or am related to, a participant in this year's competition?
- Will I have to travel to Bloomington to judge?
- Do I need to download anything?
When are this year's oral arguments?
Oral arguments take place between the last week of September and the first week of November. You can find more information about available times to judge here.
How do I sign up to judge if I haven't already?
To sign up to judge oral arguments, please use this link.
What does a competition judge do?
As a judge, not only do you get to meet distinguished legal professionals and alumni from around the country, but you also will have an influential role on young law students and soon-to-be graduates. The duties of a judge are serving as a member of a three to four person panel for student oral arguments. Students will present opposing sides in a case heard before a fictional federal circuit court of appeals. Judges listen to the arguments and pose questions to test the strength of the student's logic. Some questions may help students in articulating an argument, and other questions may challenge application to a new fact pattern.
After competitors have presented, judges will evaluate the competitors' performance and have an opportunity for informal discussion with students to provide them feedback. You will not read the actual briefs written by the competitors, but you will be given a bench memo written by the Moot Court Board to help acquaint you with the issues.
How long does each Moot Court session last?
Judges will evaluate the competitors' performance and have an opportunity for informal discussion with students after each round. Each student argues for 15 minutes; a complete session, including judges' comments, takes about one hour. Judges are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before each session
How can I view the competition problem?
When you register to judge a round of oral arguments, you will receive a copy of the problem as well as additional helpful information. A copy of the problem is available here.
Do I need expertise in any particular subject area in order to judge?
No; we have found that having judges from diverse legal backgrounds greatly enhances our competition. Whatever your field of practice or experience, your service as a judge will be a tremendous benefit to our students.
Judges are sent a bench brief before oral argument that concisely outlines the current applicable law and suggests questions for each side. While the bench brief, plus the competition problem itself, provides all of the information that you will need to judge, Board members are also available to answer any questions that you might have about the topic or the scope of the issues in advance of arguments.
What if I have worked with, or am related to, a participant in this year's competition?
You may still judge in the competition if you have worked with or are related to a student participant. However, please provide us with the name of the student, and we will ensure that you are not assigned to judge that particular argument.
In light of COVID-19, all rounds of the competition will be judged remotely via Zoom. When you sign up to judge, you will receive a separate note from the team with information on how to join the virtual session.
Zoom operates best when accessed via a desktop or mobile application. However, if you are unable to install the application, you can still join by browser. If you plan to judge this way, please let us know.