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 held in the Fall of each year. The purpose of the Council is to give students the opportunity to develop valuable skills in legal writing and oral argument, two skills vital to successful legal practitioners. Student members work in teams of two or three in competition with students across the country. Each team writes a brief and argues the brief against other schools at the competition. Washburn's Moot Court members travel all over the United States to compete against other law schools on topics such as evidence, criminal procedure, constitutional law, environmental law, and family law.
What are the benefits of joining Moot Court?
There are many incentives for becoming a Moot Court member. Each member will have the opportunity to earn up to two academic credits on Moot Court.
Members have the opportunity to travel and compete in Moot Court competitions nationwide. Members who compete may enroll for one credit per competition performance. The University pays for competition expenses, including travel, lodging, and a meal stipend. Members also have the option of using their tournament participation to fulfill the upper level oral and writing requirements.
Scholarships are awarded to two participants in the fall try-out competition. Awards are given to the person who submits the best brief and to the person who performs the best in oral arguments. These students are also recognized in front of faculty and guests at the spring awards banquet.
Members may also campaign for a position on the Moot Court Executive Council. Elections for the Executive Council are held near the end of the spring semester, when Moot Court members elect a president, vice president, and secretary. Members serving on the Executive Council also receive scholarships.
Another benefit of becoming a Moot Court member is the ability to network with faculty, alumni, practicing attorneys, and judges. Many members of the legal community help Moot Court members prepare for competitions by watching practice rounds and giving valuable feedback. This preparation is key to the teams' success and an indispensable learning experience.
Perhaps the most valuable benefit of Moot Court membership is the skill and knowledge that develops when participating in practical, hands-on exercises that prepare members for legal practice.
How does one become a member?
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 once each year during the fall semester. The try-out competition involves preparing a brief and presenting oral arguments on a topic selected by the Council.
How much time will membership require?
Students will prepare for competition in teams of two or three people. 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 oral argument. Many Moot Court members successfully balance membership with other demanding law school activities.