Photograph: Eagle statue outside law school.

Moot Court

What is Moot Court?

Logo: Washburn Law Moot Court Council.The Moot Court Council on Oral Advocacy is an honor society comprised of students who have exhibited exceptional writing and oral advocacy skills at the intramural try-out competition. The purpose of the Council is to give students the opportunity to develop valuable legal writing and oral argument skills. Student members work in teams and compete with students across the country. Each team writes a brief and argues the brief against other schools at competitions on topics such as constitutional law, criminal procedure, environmental law, family law, and evidence.

Benefits of Moot Court?


The most valuable benefit of Moot Court membership is the skill and knowledge that is gained when participating in practical, hands-on experiences that prepare members for legal practice.


Another benefit is the process of learning not only the legal arguments, but being able to make arguments at a competition and receive feedback about how to improve.


Members of the Moot Court Council have the opportunity to travel across the nation and compete against advocates from other law schools.


Members have the opportunity to travel and compete in Moot Court competitions nationwide (most expenses are covered by the law school). Members also have the option of using their tournament participation to fulfill the upper level oral and writing requirements.


Members must successfully complete Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing (LARW) I and II, and maintain either

  1. a 2.75 cumulative grade point average or
  2. a 2.5 cumulative grade point average with at least a combined B average in LARW classes.

Try-outs are held twice each year for current first year students towards the end of the semester in which they are enrolled in LARW II (Fall Semester for J-Section Students and Spring Semester for A- or B-Section Students). The try-out competition involves filing an Intent to Compete form (new window) with the President of the Moot Court Council, filing the students LARW II brief with the Moot Court Council, and arguing that brief before a panel of Moot Court Council members.

In addition, each year the Moot Court Council sponsors the Lester M. Goodell Memorial Intramural Moot Court Competition. In that competition, scholarships are awarded for the top brief and the top oral argument. These students are also recognized at the spring Advocacy Awards Ceremony. Students who excel in the Goodell competition who are not already members of the Moot Court Council may receive an invitation to join the council based on their performance.

Time Commitment

Students prepare for competitions in teams of two or three. The time and energy required varies, depending on each individual's writing and work habits. For most competitions, students spend a month writing the brief and an additional month practicing the oral argument. Many Moot Court members successfully balance membership with other demanding law school activities.

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