This is going to sound super nerdy, but I love moot court! I often tell people that I lettered in high school, but I often fail to mention that my letter was in Speech and Debate. People seem to think lettering in varsity football is cooler than Speech and Debate. Whatever. I had a blast doing Speech and Debate in high school, and it definitely prepared me with a good skill set going into moot court. With that said, moot court is so much different than anything you may have done in high school or undergrad. It’s less about giving a speech, and more about fielding questions from the panel of judges. Additionally, legal writing is immensely important as part of the competition is a written brief. Even if you are not insanely comfortable with public speaking, I would highly recommend giving moot court a chance — I’ve learned a lot, and have had a lot of fun in the process. The best part? You usually get free wine and cheese following your oral argument!
I’ve listed below the moot court opportunities at BU. Click here for more on BU’s Appellate Advocacy program.
Esdaile: As a first year student, you are required to participate in Esdaile Moot Court as part of your first year writing and research course. The first year moot court is pretty painless, and if you never want to do moot court again, then you don’t have to! If you are interested in continuing your moot court experience, there are many opportunities to do so.
Stone: Stone Moot Court occurs in the fall of your second year and is completely voluntary. The problems are written by upperclassman, and the rounds are judged by practitioners and professors. You only argue the problem once and the top 32 competitors are invited to move on to Albers.
Albers: Albers is much more intense than the other moot court competitions. After the field of 32 teams is halved, the competition becomes a knock-out tournament with rounds judged by faculty, and later rounds judged by sitting judges (state and federal). I learned a lot in this competition, and had a blast arguing the problem more than once.
3L Teams: There are a number of 3L moot court teams that you can apply to after Stone and Albers. The competition topics range from general to specific, including First Amendment, criminal procedure, and intellectual property. I’m currently on one of BU’s teams for the National Appellate Advocacy Competition hosted by the American Bar Association. This year’s topic has to do with the legality of unpaid internships. We are currently gearing up for competition now, and if we make it past our regional competition, we get to go to Chicago. Send good vibes our way!