Guidelines for External Moot Court Competition Credit

Academic credit for school-approved participation in an external Moot Court, which includes other skills competitions such as mock trial or alternative dispute resolution competitions, may be appropriate where competitors write an argumentative brief, or prepare other appropriate written materials, and participate in competition thereby furthering knowledge of a particular substantive area of law. However, to assure appropriate academic rigor, any academic credit given for external Moot Court competition must meet the following guidelines:

1. A student will not be approved for academic credit if the granting of such a request will move that student from part-time to full-time student status. A full-time student’s total course credit load in any given semester shall not exceed 17 hours.

2. In computing the required number of credits for graduation, no more than a total of four of the required 88 credit hours (or 90 credit hours for students entering in 2014 and beyond) may be in the form of Law Review, Moot Court, or Independent Study credit.

3. The preparation for the competition and any subsequent follow-up work must be designed by and agreed upon by an arrangement between the student-competitor and the Professor-coach.

4. Except in special circumstances, academic credit earned via an external competition shall constitute two hours.

5. Students will only receive credit for demonstrating specific skills associated with Moot Court, or other skills, competitions. Students must conduct extensive legal research on various issues required by the competition problem. Students must prepare written materials for the competition such as an appellate brief, a pretrial brief, or written drafts and/or scripts of motions in limine, direct examinations, cross examinations, openings, and closings required for trial work. In addition to developing research and writing skills, students are expected to learn the essential procedural components of pretrial, trial, appellate, or alternative dispute resolution work depending on the venue for the particular competition. Students must also develop oral advocacy skills similar to those in a traditional law school skills class. Students are also expected to develop fact analysis skills and to learn how to work facts into their legal analysis.

6. The design of the competition preparation requires regular meetings (preferably weekly) between the student and the Professor, which justify the credit request, prepare the student to compete, and ensure high standards of performance.

7. Participation in an external Moot Court competition will be available only to students who have satisfactorily completed all first-year courses and who are in good academic standing.  Given the rigorous course requirements, external competition participation should be avoided where the student’s time commitment to the competition is likely to jeopardize the student’s academic standing by diverting attention from other courses.

8. Participation in external Moot Court, or other skills, competitions may not be used to replace required or existing curricular items.

9. Academic credit for participation in an external Moot Court competition is offered on a Pass/Fail basis only.  Students must register for the course, with the approval of the faculty-coach, during the semester in which the competition is held.

10. Participation in an external Moot Court competition and the necessary preparation required for such is subject to all regular class record-keeping requirements.

11. Coaching an external Moot Court team does not count toward faculty teaching load requirements.