Moot Court and Trial Teams

Moot Court and Trial Teams

Moot Court programs are an important part of legal training at Northwestern Law. They prepare students for and allow them to participate in appellate arguments:

Arlyn Miner First-Year Moot Court Program
This program is required for first-year students. Participants present a professional-level written brief and argue the case against fellow students before an appellate court composed of alumni and faculty.

Julius H. Miner Moot Court Competition
In their second year, students may participate in this annual moot court competition, administered by third-year students under faculty supervision. It involves the preparation of appellate briefs and presentation of oral arguments before panels of judges and practitioners. The final round is conducted before the entire student body with a panel of distinguished judges from the federal and state benches.

Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Team
The Jessup competition is the largest moot court competition in the world and Northwestern Law students have a long history of successful participation. Five students are selected to be members of the Jessup Moot Court team after an intra-school competition during their first year of law school. Students on the Northwestern Law team are coached by an adjunct professor and compete in the inter-school competition during their second year. Team members prepare briefs addressed to the International Court of Justice and present oral arguments at the Regional Competition. The team who wins at regionals goes to Washington, D.C. for the International Rounds, where students from more than 80 countries compete for the Jessup World Cup. Northwestern Law won the Jessup World Cup in 1979, and the 1999 and 2005 teams won the Regional Championship and competed in the International Rounds.

Bartlit Center National Trial Team
The Bartlit Center National Trial Team was established in 2003 as part of the Law School's Bartlit Center for Trial Strategy, established in 2000 in honor of Fred Bartlit, renowned trial lawyer and founding partner of Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott. The Bartlit Center National Trial Team consists of eight students selected for their oral advocacy skills, poise, and confidence during a try-out process each October. Team members receive course credit to prepare for and compete in the Chicago Regional Competition each February and, if they advance, the National Trial Competition hosted by the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA) each March.

National Trial Team
Law students may try out for Northwestern Law's National Trial Team. Members of the team are selected based upon their advocacy and oral communication skills. The National Trial Team is coached by practicing attorneys who work with the team members throughout the year in preparation for regional and national competitions. At competition, the team members present an entire trial, including an opening statement, direct and cross examinations, and a closing argument.

Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court
Second- and third-year law students interested in international arbitration may participate in the annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Competition. Team members are selected based on their successful completion of course study or current enrollment in International Arbitration and tryouts. This moot team is a year-long commitment, which culminates in an international competition in Vienna, Austria in the spring allowing team members to interact with many of the top arbitrators, arbitration counsel, and arbitration and international sales law academics in the world. In 2013, 290 teams from 67 countries took part in the competition.