The Moot Court Board offers a variety of trial and appellate competitions for students to participate in during the year. Appellate competitions require each team to write an appellate brief and argue before a panel of judges. Those students advancing to a regional or national competition will be required to write a new brief for the advanced competition. Trial competitions require each team to work in a trial setting, making opening and closing statements and examining witnesses. All competitions are open to second- or third-year students. Some competitions are for Moot Court Board members only. Any student who competes in a Moot Court Board-sponsored competition is eligible for one ungraded academic credit.
First-year students are encouraged to participate in the competitions as bailiffs or witnesses. This exposure introduces first-year students to mock advocacy and prepares them to compete as second-year students. In addition, each spring, the Board sponsors the First-Year Appellate Competition, where all first-year students jump head first into the world of appellate advocacy.
Every year, the Moot Court Board sponsors several teams in regional and national appellate advocacy and trial advocacy competitions. The regional and national competitors are chosen by their success in Moot Court Board sponsored on-campus competitions, which are great opportunities to experience high levels of competition, represent Willamette Law, and enhance advocacy skills. Moot Court Board members who participate in regional or national competitions work with attorney coaches and are expected to prepare and practice prior to the competitions. Students who compete in regional competitions also receive an additional ungraded academic credit.
One academic credit is available only for the first time competing in any competition. Credit will be awarded upon successful completion of the competition and attendance at the Moot Court Board Educational Meeting designated for that competition. Proof of attendance at a registered trial, appellate, or dispute resolution CLE, not otherwise required to satisfy an academic requirement, will satisfy the educational seminar requirement. An additional academic credit is available to Moot Court Board members who advance to a regional or national competition. This academic credit is only available for the first time advancing in any competition and is limited to one academic credit per year.
First-Year Appellate Competition
The Moot Court Board organizes the competition portion of the legal research and writing course. Each first-year student must research and write an appellate brief and participate in oral arguments to receive credit for the second semester of legal research and writing. Each section of the course has its own competition. Finalists may argue up to five times and the winner of each section will be automatically offered a position on the Moot Court Board. Additionally, the runner-up of each section will be offered an automatic interview for a position on the Board.
Beyond the initial experience of legal research and writing and the First-Year Appellate Competition, a student's exposure to appellate writing and advocacy is primarily through additional Moot Court competitions. Involvement in Moot Court activities through assisting with competitions, participating in advocacy workshops, competing in various competitions, and serving as a Moot Court Board member can provide immeasurable insight into what many attorneys deal with in practice. Potential employers view membership on the Moot Court Board favorably.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities that membership on the Moot Court Board can provide. Additionally, students are encouraged to participate in the various activities and competitions that Moot Court Board organizes and sponsors throughout the year.
September 11-14, 2017
AAJ Trial Competition
The AAJ Trial Competition is a civil trial competition that is limited to Moot Court Board members only. The top team(s) will represent Willamette College of Law at the AAJ Regional/National Competitions.
October 9-12, 2017
National Appellate Competition
The National Appellate Competition is limited to Moot Court Board members only. The top team(s) will represent Willamette College of Law at the National Appellate Competition.
November 6-9, 2017
Don Turner Criminal Trial Competition
The Donald H. Turner Criminal Trial Competition was created to honor the memory of Professor Donald H. Turner, who contributed an immense amount of time and effort to the success of the Moot Court Board. The competition is held in the fall and is the second largest Moot Court Board sponsored competition. It is open to all second- and third-year law students. The top team, if applicable, will be invited to join the Board and will represent the law school at a national criminal trial competition.
January 22-25, 2018
Spaulding Civil Trial Competition
The Bruce Spaulding Competition is a civil trial and is open to all Moot Court Board members. This is a great opportunity to practice trial advocacy.
February 19-22, 2018
Open Appellate Competition
The Open Appellate Competition is open to all second- and third-year law students. This open competition offers students interested in improving their appellate advocacy skills a competitive forum and interactive experience with other students and various members of the local legal community. The top team, if applicable, will be invited to join the Board.
March 12-15, 2018
First Year Appellate Competition
The First Year Appellate Competition is an appellate problem sponsored by the research and writing professors. Every spring, first-year students write an appellate brief in conjunction with their legal research and writing class. In March, the first-year students compete in oral arguments based on their briefs.