WashULaw offers a rich program of lawyering skills competitions to the curricula. Both first-year and upper-class students are encouraged to refine their lawyering techniques through our various lawyer advocacy competitions. Some of the competitions earn academic credit and all of the competitions provide excellent training, invaluable lawyering skills, and professional values. The trial and appellate skills competitions are administered by the Trial and Advocacy Program. The client counseling, negotiation, mediation, and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) competitions are administered by the ADR Program. If you have any questions regarding the competitions, please contact:

Jennifer French
Program Coordinator for Trial and Advocacy & Advocacy and Distance Learning
Phone: (314) 935-7964
Fax: (314) 935-8463
E-mail: jlfrench@wustl.edu

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW MOOT COURT

  • Saul Lefkowitz National Trademark Law Moot Court

    The Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition is sponsored by the International Trademark Association (INTA) and centers around issues arising in US trademark and unfair competition law. Students write a brief and argue the case before a panel of volunteer attorneys and jurists from the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit and the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board of the USPTO, as well as judges from various districts and other courts.

    Awards

  • Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Intellectual Property Moot Court

    Students interested in intellectual property law have the opportunity to participate in the Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the American Intellectual Property Law Association, which primarily focuses on issues in patent law.

    Awards

INTERNATIONAL LAW MOOT COURT

NATIONAL MOOT COURT

The National Moot Court Team competes annually in the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition. In addition, it competes in various other national competitions. See below for examples of the types of national competitions in which the National Moot Court Team has participated. For more information about the National Moot Court Team, contact Professor Richard Finneran at refinneran@wustl.edu.

  • ABA National Appellate Advocacy Moot Court

    The National Moot Court Team represents the law school at the American Bar Association (ABA) National Appellate Advocacy Competition, the largest and most competitive moot court competition in the country. Each team writes a brief on behalf of the Petitioner or Respondent and represents both the Petitioner and Respondent at oral argument. The team is selected annually through an audition process early in the fall semester that is open to second- and third-year students.

    The National Moot Court Team won the ABA National Championship in 2012. In the preceding five years, it had advanced five teams to the national quarterfinal round, a feat matched by no other team in the country. The team qualified for the National Finals every year from 2006 to 2012, and again reached the National Finals in 2016 and 2018. Since 2006, it has had four students recognized as the best speaker in the region and twice won the award for best brief in the region. In 2012, its students received recognition as the second- and third-best speakers overall in the national final.

    The National Moot Court Team also competes in a second competition each year. From 2007 to 2014, it competed in the William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court, where it won three consecutive national championships from 2009 to 2011 and captured second-place honors in 2013. In 2016, it competed in and won the 2016 Evans A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition, where it also fielded the second-place team and received recognition for having the top speaker in the competition. In 2018, it won the William B. Spong Invitational Tournament, where it again was recognized as having the top speaker in the competition.

    Awards

    Faculty Advisors/Coaches
    Richard E. Finneran
    Steve Alagna
    Kelly Snyder
    Derek Wiseman

  • William B. Spong Invitational Moot Court Tournament

    In 2018, the National Moot Court Team competed for the first time in the William B. Spong Invitational Moot Court Tournament, which gathers top-ranked schools and judges from across the nation to debate current constitutional law issues. The 2018 competition problem was focused on the First Amendment’s right to freedom of speech and the Fourteenth’s Amendment’s substantive due process clause. The National Moot Court Team won the championship in the competition in its first year participating, with one of its members capturing top speaker honors.

    Awards

    Faculty Advisors/Coaches
    Richard E. Finneran

  • Billings, Exum & Frye National Moot Court

    In 2017, the National Moot Court team represented the law school at the Billings, Exum & Frye National Moot Court Competition, which honors three former Chief Justices of the North Carolina Supreme Court and focuses on constitutional law issues. Both WashULaw teams reached the octofinals of the competition and received recognition for having the third-best speaker in the competition.

    Awards

  • Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court

    In 2015 and 2016, the National Moot Court Team competed in the Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition, which requires students to prepare oral arguments on various subjects in constitutional law. In 2015, the team won the award for having the best brief in the competition, and in 2016, it not only won the competition but also captured second-place honors for its second team. To have two teams from the same school competing against each other is an achievement that no other team has ever accomplished in the Evans competition.

    Awards

    Faculty Advisors/Coaches
    Richard E. Finneran
    Kelly Snyder

  • William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court

    From 2007 to 2014, the National Moot Court Team represented the law school at the William E. McGee Civil Rights Moot Court Competition, which simulates an argument before the United States Supreme Court on an actual case on certiorari. The team is selected annually through an audition process early in the fall semester that is open to second- and third-year students.

    The National Moot Court Team won the McGee Civil Rights Moot Court in three consecutive years (2009 through 2011). A member of the team received top speaker honors in each of those years. It also received second-place honors in 2013.

    Awards

    Faculty Advisors/Coaches
    Richard E. Finneran
    Kelly Snyder

WILEY RUTLEDGE MOOT COURT

  • Wiley Rutledge Intramural Moot Court

    The oldest and largest moot court at the law school, the Wiley Rutledge Moot Court Competition began at the law school in 1867. It is named in honor of Justice Wiley B. Rutledge of the U.S. Supreme Court, a former Dean of the law school. This competition, open to all second and third year law students during the Fall semester, focuses on federal law. Prior to the competition, students learn effective brief writing and oral advocacy skills through seminars led by faculty. For the competition, students work in teams, with each team ultimately writing a brief and delivering appellate arguments before panels of lawyers and judges. Judges for the final round are usually federal judges from various circuits in the country.

    Awards

    Faculty Advisors/Coaches
    Richard E. Finneran

TRIAL TEAM

  • Trial Team

    Washington University School of Law participates in two Trial Advocacy Competitions each semester. In the fall, students compete in the Tournament of Champions (TOC) or the National Civil Trial Competition (NCTC). In the spring they compete in the National Trial Competition (NTC), sponsored by the Texas Young Lawyers, and the American Association of Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition (AAJ STAC). These competitions are designed to promote trial advocacy training and to provide a forum for exercising knowledge of the laws of evidence and trial strategy.  Selected students participate in a full trial in which each competitor makes opening statements, conducts direct examination and cross-examination of witnesses, and presents final arguments.  Students receive two credits for participation.

    All 2nd and 3rd year law students are encouraged to tryout for the Trial Team. Team members are selected by an intramural competition during which each competitor delivers a 15 minute closing argument either for the prosecution or for the defense (based upon a previous years national problem). The top individuals from round one will be paired up and will be automatically sided for either the prosecution or defense for a second round if necessary. Round two of the tryouts will involve a direct and cross-examination for a witness. Round two competitors are responsible for getting their own witness for direct examination. Depending on the strength of the students trying out for the Trial Team, the Trial Team will consist of ten to fourteen students, and students selected from the Trial Team will compete in four competitions over the course of year.

    The team coach is The Honorable David C. Mason, of the 22nd Judicial Court of Missouri, who has served in that role since 1989. Judge Mason, a 1983 WU graduate, was a member of the 1983 national championship team. He is assisted by a host of qualified members of the Bench and Bar in St. Louis.

    Twelve (12) to sixteen (16) students are selected to participate on the Trial Team. Each year, the Trial Team competes in four (4) to six (6) national trial competitions (usually from the competitions listed below). Through participating in these competitions, students 1) learn how to analyze case files, 2) argue pretrial motions, 3) construct a theory of the case that frames their opening statements, 4) conduct direct and cross examinations, 5) examine expert witnesses, 6) use demonstrative evidence and introduce exhibits, and 7) make closing arguments.
    • Tournament of Champions (TOC)
    • National Civil Trial Competition (NCTC)
    • National Trial Competition (NTC)
    • AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition (AAJ STAC)
    • ABA Labor & Employment Law Competition (ABA LEL)
    • Missouri Attorney General’s Cup Trial Competition (AG Cup)

    Trial Team – 2018-2019 Tryouts

    Tryout Problem
    Guidelines
    Tryout Information

  • Tournament of Champions (TOC)

    The Tournament of Champions, sponsored by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), is an invitational competition. The competitors are part of the nation’s sixteen (16) top-ranked trial schools. The competition is a grueling one and ultimately the winner of the competition has the honor of calling itself the best trial school in the nation.

    Hundreds of trial teams compete nationally to earn the privilege of being invited to this competition. Teams are selected on the basis of their demonstrated record of achievement during the past three (3) years in regional and national competitions, such as those sponsored by the American Association of Justice (AAJ), the Tournament of Champions (TOC), and the National Trial Competition (NTC), which is co-sponsored by the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) and the American College of Trial Lawyers.

    Experienced trial lawyers and judges preside over the preliminary rounds. A panel of distinguished federal and state trial and appellate judges serve as judges in the semi-final and final rounds.

    Awards

    Faculty Advisors/Coaches
    Judge David Mason
    David M. Fahrenkamp
    Jennifer Hofman
    Mark Rudder

  • National Civil Trial Competition (NCTC)

    The National Civil Trial Competition (NCTC) is open to all ABA-accredited law schools that have demonstrated excellence in mock trial competitions and/or demonstrated excellence in the training of law students in litigation skills. The purpose of the tournament is to provide student litigants an opportunity to develop and display the skills of a successful civil litigator.

    A total of sixteen (16) law schools are invited to compete in the competition. Each school may bring one team of four advocates/witnesses, and each team is guaranteed to participate in at least three full trials. Trials are judged by distinguished members of the Southern California bar, including partners and associates from numerous Los Angeles civil litigation firms. Schools are invited based on the applications submitted.

    Awards

    Faculty Advisors/Coaches
    Judge David Mason
    David M. Fahrenkamp
    Jennifer Hofman
    Mark Rudder

  • National Trial Competition (NTC)

    The Texas Young Lawyers Association’s (TYLA) National Trial Competition was established in 1975 to encourage and strengthen students’ advocacy skills through quality competition and valuable interaction with members of the bench and bar. The competition is designed to expose law students to the nature of trial practice and to serve as a supplement to their education. The top 28 teams out of over 300 in the Regional Competitions advance to the National Finals.

    Awards

    Faculty Advisors/Coaches
    Judge David Mason
    David M. Fahrenkamp
    Jennifer Hofman
    Mark Rudder

  • AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition (AAJ STAC)

    American Association for Justice (AAJ) seeks to inspire excellence in trial advocacy through training and education for both law students and practicing attorneys. The association accomplishes this goal in part by sponsoring the National Student Trial Advocacy Competition, an annual nationwide mock trial competition. The competition is an exceptional opportunity for law students to develop and practice their trial advocacy skills before distinguished members of the bar and bench.

    Sixteen (16) teams are assigned to each of fourteen (14) regions in the Regional Competition. Only the top team from each region will advance to the National Finals. AAJ’s mock trial cases are always civil cases and tend to deal with products liability, personal injury, or medical malpractice/negligence issues. Teams are judged on their skills in case preparation, opening statements, use of facts, the examination of lay and expert witnesses, and closing arguments. There are no written exercises.

    Awards

    Faculty Advisors/Coaches
    Judge David Mason
    David M. Fahrenkamp
    Jennifer Hofman
    Mark Rudder

  • ABA Labor & Employment Trial Advocacy Law Competition

    The American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of Labor and Employment Law (LEL) established the LEL Trial Advocacy Competition to introduce law students to the challenges and rewards of employment and labor litigation.

    Law students who participate in the competition have the opportunity to develop their trial advocacy technique in a mock courtroom experience. The competition offers participating students a forum in which they may develop the skills they will be using as practitioners, and a chance to meet and network with fellow law students as well as labor and employment law practitioners.

    Awards

    Faculty Advisors/Coaches
    Judge David Mason
    David M. Fahrenkamp
    Jennifer Hofman
    Mark Rudder

  • Missouri Attorney General’s Cup Trial Competition

    The Attorney General’s Cup is a mock trial competition among Missouri’s four law schools – University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Washington University, and St. Louis University. Teams from all four schools will compete for custody of the traveling trophy.

    “This is a tremendous opportunity for law students from across Missouri to hone their courtroom skills and learn how to better prepare themselves for courtroom practice following admission to the Bar,” Koster said.

    Awards

    Faculty Advisors/Coaches
    Judge David Mason
    David M. Fahrenkamp
    Jennifer Hofman
    Mark Rudder

LLM TRIAL COMPETITION

  • LLM Moot Court Competition

    This competition is a required component of the Introduction to U.S. Law and Methods II. Students first draft a 10-page persuasive trial memorandum and then present an oral argument before a panel of judges.

    Awards

NEGOTIATION

  • ABA 1L/LLM Intramural Negotiation Competition

    The ABA Regional Negotiation Competition simulates legal negotiations in which law students, acting as lawyers, negotiate a series of legal and factual problems against another team of students. The simulations consist of a common set of facts known by all participants and confidential information known only to the participants representing a particular side. All of the simulations deal with the same general area of the law, but the negotiation situation varies with each round and level of the competition.

    Awards

    Faculty Advisors/Coaches

REPRESENTATION IN MEDIATION

  • ABA Representation in Mediation Competition

    In the ABA Representation in Mediation Competition, students play the roles of attorney and client in a mediation setting. Students are evaluated on their preparation for and representation of a client in mediation. The competition provides students a valuable opportunity to experience client representation in the mediation process and to learn to work with mediators.

    Awards

    Faculty Advisors/Coaches
    Michael Geigerman

CLIENT COUNSELING

  • 1L/LLM Client Interviewing & Counseling Intramural Competition

    WashULaw’s 1L/LLM Client Interviewing & Counseling Intramural Competition simulates a law office consultation in which students, acting as attorneys, conduct an initial interview with a person playing the role of the client. Students are called upon to embrace the role of lawyer by explaining various aspects of the attorney-client relationship, building rapport, ascertaining the new client’s concerns and goals, and preliminarily considering applicable areas of law and options available to the client. After the meeting, students are expected to reflect upon and evaluate the interview as they consider next steps in the representation.

    Awards