The Moot Court Program at Saint Louis University School of Law introduces students to written and oral advocacy in the American appellate court system. Moot Court is an extension of the law school’s legal writing programs and offers students the opportunity to advance appellate advocacy skills. Our director of appellate advocacy, Paige Canfield, is an experienced appellate advocate who continues as a practicing attorney in addition to her duties as a professor and program director here at SLU LAW. Additionally, every professor in the Moot Court Program has prior experience practicing in the appellate court system. Students learn how to construct persuasive oral and written arguments by integrating the foundational legal principles from other courses such as Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Civil Procedure.
Moot Court I
Students taking the Moot Court I course learn the fundamental requirements of appellate advocacy by representing fictional clients in a case set before a federal appellate court. Students research legal issues on behalf of their client and draft a legal brief arguing their client's positions on the issues. Moot Court students learn the research, writing, analysis, argument and teamwork skills needed to be an effective advocate for a client before an appellate court. At the end of the semester, students participate in oral arguments on behalf of the same client in front of members of the local Bar who participate as judges.
Moot Court II
Students who excel in the skills taught in Moot Court I are invited to take Moot Court II. This course teaches advanced briefing and oral argument skills. Students represent a fictional client in a case set before the United States Supreme Court and learn advanced argument techniques using a combination of legal precedent and public policy to support a client's position. Students in Moot Court II participate in an inner-school competition at the end of the semester to determine which students will represent SLU LAW the following year in external moot court competitions.
Moot Court Competitions
Students in the Moot Court Program have the unique opportunity to compete in prestigious national competitions each year to further develop their brief drafting and oral argument skills. SLU LAW has participated in the National Health Law Moot Court Competition, Environmental Law, Professionalism and Ethics, The National Moot Court Competition, The Frederick Douglas Moot Court Competition, Whittier Juvenal Law Moot Court Competition, ABA Moot Court Competition, and the ALA Moot Court Competition as well as many others. Our students routinely reach the final rounds of these competitions in both brief drafting and oral advocacy skills, and we are very proud of their accomplishments.