Argue whether liquor advertisements in a college newspaper are protected First Amendment speech before prominent trial attorneys and judges. Organize internal Moot Court competitions, or contribute case comments and notes to the prestigious Suffolk Journal of Trial & Appellate Advocacy as a Moot Court Honor Board member.
Suffolk Law’s Moot Court teams provide experience you can’t get from a textbook. Set yourself apart from other law school graduates by adding a brief, case comment or appellate competition experience on real-world issues to your resume. And, you’ll work as a team member – an invaluable skill in the transition from law school to law career. And, there are opportunities to travel and to network with lawyers, judges and other students from schools around the country.
“It’s all about enhancing the educational experience,” says Professor Richard Pizzano, director of the Moot Court programs and coach of the Constitutional Law Moot Court Team. “It gives them hands-on training and teaching, and contact with faculty that you don’t have in larger schools. You form relationships and establish a bond.”
Moot Court Competitions
Moot Court competitions give you the opportunity to research, write and then present your argument in courtroom setting. More importantly, training and competing teaches important courtroom skills – how to conduct yourself in a courtroom; and learning to think on your feet, taking control of an argument while responding to a judge’s adversarial questions.
“It was fantastic, one of the most beneficial things I did in law school,” says Joseph Lazazzero, JD ’11, an associate at Littler Mendelson in Boston. Lazazzero, who competed in the Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C., and the J. Burton Craven Competition in North Carolina, describes it as a confidence-builder. “You’re learning practical, real-world argument and presentation skills; being able to think on your feet. It gives you confidence – even if you never appear before a judge in your career, you still have to interact with law firm partners and clients.”
Our Moot Court Programs offer two distinct competition opportunities:
- four interscholastic appellate and mock trial competitions exclusively for Suffolk Law students
- specialized travel teams that compete in cities across the US, London, and Frankfurt
Traveling Moot Court Teams
For our Traveling Moot Court teams, it’s not just about winning – although our teams do that, too. They regularly advance to deep in competition rounds, and past team members have received individual honors for best brief and oral advocacy. Our successes include:
- Trademark Law Moot Court Team: 6-time first-place Eastern Region Championship winners, Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition
- National Moot Court Team: Over the past 6 years, 3-time National finalists, National Moot Court Regional Competition
You’ll travel to competitions against other schools across the US, and for the FDI Moot Competitions, to cities including London and Frankfurt. It’s a chance to experience different legal perspectives – a lawyer or judge in Santa Monica or Houston may be very different from one in the Northeast.
Amanda Border JD ’12, now an associate with Wilmer Hale in Boston, traveled to the Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition in Washington, DC, and the J. Burton Craven Competition in North Carolina. “It teaches you how to tailor your style to meet what other judges are looking for,” she says. “You learn how to mold yourself to work in different environments."
Competition can be intense, and so is the preparation. A student typically argues both sides of an issue as the petitioner and the respondent, as many as 3-4 times over the course of a day’s competition. It’s useful training for future litigators who have to understand their opponent’s side of the argument.
To help prepare, coaches regularly invite former team members, now prominent lawyers and judges in the field, back in the later stages of training to give the students a real-life perspective on their arguments. It’s another example of how the dynamic Suffolk Law community continues on well past graduation.
Moot Court Honor Board