Chief Justice, Justices and May it Please the (Moot) Court

Oyez, Oyez, Oyez! Reporting live from Green Hall Room 201 – it’s In-House Moot Court Competition week.

Karen Campbell, 2L

KU’s nationally ranked Moot Court program is more than just a trophy-stocked room on the 5th floor. It’s an opportunity to engage deeply with an important issue, work closely with a partner (shout out to Leah Stein, who has been keeping me sane for the past three months!) and see what an oral argument on the highest stage looks and feels like (spoiler alert: stressful). It’s also one of the most rewarding, hands-on experiences I’ve had in law school so far. Even if you have no interest in litigation, you should check it out!

There are two ways to qualify for KU’s Moot Court Council. This is a little complicated, so I’ll break it down:

  1. Students can qualify as 1Ls under the Shook, Hardy & Bacon Scholars Program, which awards membership (and a generous scholarship) to the best oral advocate from each 1L Lawyering Skills class. These advocates participate in at least one national competition throughout their 2L year and have the option to participate in Moot Court Council as 3Ls as well.
  2. Students can also qualify, as here, by participating in the In-House Moot Court Competition Class, offered for one credit hour each fall. The class itself is open to both 2Ls and 3Ls. As part of the class, each student writes a brief with a partner, practices arguing that brief in front of a Moot Court Council member, and prepares arguments on both sides of that brief for presentation at oral argument.

This week, 17 teams will compete in the Preliminary, Octofinal, Semifinal and Championship Rounds of the In-House Moot Court Competition. The stakes? A place on Moot Court Council next year. This entails:

  1. The chance to participate in (and maybe even travel to a cool location for) a National Moot Court Competition as a 3L.
  2. The chance to grade briefs, judge rounds and engage with 2Ls as a 3L Council member.
  3. First priority for a coveted seat in Professor Keller’s Writing for Law Practice class.
  4. The chance to be part of the number ten–ranked Moot Court program in the nation.
  5. If you’re lucky, a pretty sweet scholarship!

Congratulations and good luck to all Moot Court participants for fall 2023!

– Karen Campbell is a 2L KU Law Student Ambassador from Lawrence, Kansas