All rising second-year law students or joint degree-seeking students with four semesters remaining are invited to compete. Students must be in good academic standing with the University to be eligible to participate in tryouts for Moot Court. Students must also have already completed appellate advocacy.
The tryout process will begin with an Informational Meeting. The process will conclude with the Final Four event. Interested students should read about the Final Four for general information about the tryout process.
The Intramural Competition is the team’s method for selecting new members. It is an endeavor that we take very seriously. We will make every effort to ensure that the process is fair and unbiased. Selections are made anonymously and are based entirely upon numerical scores. The team will extend an invitation for membership to ALL competitors deemed capable of representing the Levin College of Law in intercollegiate competitions. The rules of this competition, which are designed to ensure fairness, will be strictly enforced. Any competitor who fails to abide by the competition rules will be automatically disqualified from the competition.
The competition is designed to showcase the entire range of appellate advocacy skills necessary to compete at the national level.
Students trying out for the team must submit an appellate brief similar to the one produced in appellate advocacy on a topic the team has selected. All try-out information is posted on TWEN. The competitor may choose to write for either the appellant or respondent. After the brief has been submitted, the competitor has a set period of time to prepare for oral arguments. Competitors argue against the side they wrote for (off-brief) and then in favor of the party they chose to write for (on-brief).
Although both arguments are ten minutes long, the off-brief oral argument is worth only twenty percent of the competitor’s overall score while the on-brief oral argument is worth forty percent of the competitor’s overall score. The brief comprises forty percent of the competitor’s overall score. At the end of the competition, the team decides which new members to accept.
The Final Four Event
After the team picks its new members, the top four finishers and one alternate compete in what is known as “The Final Four.” The event is sponsored by Zimmerman, Kiser & Sutcliffe, P.A. and Holland & Knight LLP. In teams of two, the competitors present oral arguments in front of federal and state judges. Awards are given at the end of the competition to the best team, best oralist, and best overall competitor. A best brief award is also given out to new team member with the highest brief score, a person not necessarily selected for the Final Four. Winning briefs from past competitions are available on TWEN. The arguments are open for observation by fellow students, alumni, and faculty, so competitors often argue before both a prestigious panel as well as a sizable audience.