As a student ambassador I often hear applicants and newly admitted students ask current law students what their favorite law school experience has been. Without a doubt one of my favorite experiences has been participating in moot court, and I think it is something every law student should try before graduation.
Moot court competitions come in all shapes and sizes. But I think the ones that are the most fun are national competitions that include writing a Supreme Court brief and then later competing in oral argument. So what perks come from competing in a national competition , you ask? Well to start, it’s fun! Moot court experience is a great resume builder – it demonstrates writing experience and oral argument experience. Some competitions provide substantial cash awards, and being able to reduce school debt is always a nice perk. Moot court provides the opportunity to travel and experience fun cities. For example, I just returned from a weekend in Los Angeles where a classmate and I competed in the Williams Institute Moot Court Competition, and the CLLSA team is currently in New Orleans competing in the Hispanic National Bar Association competition. (As a quick aside I just got word that the team is advancing to tommorow’s quarter final rounds – congrats and good luck Jamaar and Claudia!!) Moot court provides the opportunity to network with peers from other schools as well as practicing attorneys and judges. It is a great way to get an in depth understanding of complex legal issues. Etc. etc.
I could rant endlessly about the benefits from competing in moot court. But I think it is also important for students to realize that moot court competitions can take a substantial amount of time and preparation. I realize everyone works at their own pace and some people are more efficient than others, but I have never heard someone who competes in national level moot court competitions say the preparation is easy. Before adding moot court to your plate I think it is wise to ask students who have competed before about their experiences and how they managed the work.
If you are willing to challenge yourself and put in the effort, moot court is incredibly rewarding and fun!