Tryouts for Hastings Moot Court Competition teams for 2016-2017 will be held April 8-14, 2016.
Applications and tryout materials are available online. Applications are also available outside Room 431 now. You may sign up for a tryout time only after you have returned your completed application packet to the Moot Court Department 4th Floor, Room 454.The following must be included along with your completed application (new members; returning members):
Applications are due Tuesday, April 5, 2016.
At your tryout, you will be expected to present a five minute oral argument in front of four to five judges. This argument should be based on one of the tryout briefs that will be available outside Room 431. Review the available briefs and select a topic that interests you. Then select a side (respondent or petitioner) and a specific issue (briefs generally contain two or three different issues). Once you have an issue selected, prepare a five minute argument. You should begin with a roadmap and be prepared to speak the entire five minutes.
The Hastings Moot Court Competition Team is the top Moot Court team in the nation. Be a part of our successful competition family!
Why should I do Moot Court?
You will have the opportunity to hone your legal writing and speaking skills as part of one of the top-ranked Moot Court programs in the country. As a part of the Moot Court team, you will get the opportunity to work with talented and interesting people, and travel to competition cities. Many employers are interested in job applicants’ Moot Court experiences.
What are the prerequisites to try out?
To be eligible you must receive a positive review from your teaching assistant, and turn in a completed application on time. Satisfactorily complete Moot Court.
How does the tryout process work?
You must complete the tryout application and turn it in by 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, 2016. After you turn in your application, sign up for a tryout time on the list located on the fourth floor just outside Room 431. Then pick up a brief to use for your oral argument. Read the brief and prepare to argue one issue. You should have a roadmap and be prepared for a 5-minute argument. After your argument, the judges will briefly interview you and then the tryout process is complete. Those who make teams and those on the waitlist will be notified by the week of April 18, 2016.
What do I have to do once I make a team?
Once you make a team, you must enroll in Appellate Advocacy during the Fall semester. If you are waitlisted, you must still enroll because this course is a prerequisite to team membership and you want to be prepared when you’re moved off the waitlist. Appellate Advocacy is only offered in the Fall semester.
Also, being a team member is a commitment. You may be expected to work on your brief or have oral argument practices during OCI, finals, summer, holiday, or spring breaks. If your competition overlaps with one of these dates, you will be expected to be present and participate at school or the competition.
Finally, team members are expected to give back to the program. Each team member must judge 5 practices each semester for other teams and everyone is expected to TA for our Department classes.
Can I choose which team I’m on?
No. The team selection is a long and careful process undertaken by the Moot Court Board. However, you are free to indicate which competitions you find most interesting during your tryout interview. If you are chosen, the Board will give you a tentative team placement which may be altered to accommodate the needs of the team.
Do I get credit?
Yes. You will get 2 credits for each team. You will also receive 2 units from Appellate Advocacy (which counts as your professional skills requirement), and 1 unit for each class you TA.
Can I do journal too?
Yes. Most students participate in both journal and Moot Court.
What if I’m afraid of speaking?
Moot Court is still for you because you can be a brief editor on one of our many 3-person teams. You may also find, as many of our competitors have, that you enjoy speaking more than you realized during your 1L oral argument.
Can I make a team if I didn't’t get an award in my Moot Court class?
Yes. While these nominations and awards factor into the decision, a good application, an excellent writing sample, your GPA, your LWR grade, your interview and a strong tryout are also important in choosing team members.