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
In the first year, all students prepare either summary judgment motions or appellate briefs and present oral arguments before a panel of alumni and faculty judges. 

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.

Moot Court Society
The Moot Society selects law students to represent Northwestern Law at regional and national moot court competitions. 1Ls and 2L transfers are allowed to participate in try-outs each fall. Students are exposed to appellate brief writing and oral advocacy training by participating in intramural competitions, helping to prepare one another for competition, and meeting with appellate advocates from both the public and private sectors.

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
The Vis Moot is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious international moot court competitions. Held annually since 1993, the Vis Moot draws students from approximately 300 law schools from more than 65 countries. Teams draft memoranda for both the claimant and respondent in a hypothetical commercial dispute between two parties in an international arbitration and then present oral arguments at hearings held in Vienna, Austria, in the Spring. This moot team is a year-long commitment. Team members are selected based on a tryout process held in September. A background or interest in international commercial law or international arbitration is desirable. The judging of the memoranda and oral arguments is performed by over 800 of the world’s top arbitrators, arbitration counsel, and arbitration and international sales law academics.