How can I join the Moot Court Honor Society?
Each spring, the MCHS extends invitations to about 25-30 new members with demonstrated potential to be strong appellate advocates. We identify candidates though a tryout process held during the week after the Charles Evans Hughes Oral Arguments in April. The process is simple, particularly for first-year students. Candidates submit a writing sample and resume. And they present an oral argument. For the writing sample, first-year students typically use the brief they’ve just completed in their Legal Writing II class; for the oral argument, they usually just reprise their Hughes presentation.
Who is eligible to try out?
Any Chicago-Kent student in good academic standing who has at least two semesters in residence remaining before graduation may participate in spring tryouts. This includes students who will be 3Ls and 4Ls. Students transferring to Chicago-Kent are eligible to try out as well; they should contact Professor Keller prior to the beginning of the fall semester to arrange an audition.
I’m a first-year student. How can I prepare myself to succeed in moot court tryouts?
This is easy: be the best law student you can. Great appellate advocates think sharply, write forcefully, and converse nimbly about legal principles and their application to the facts of a case. And they develop these skills through what cognitive scientists call deliberate practice. Most of what you ought to do daily in law school will be practice for being an effective appellate advocate. Prepare well for class. Engage deeply with the material. Talk about it. And work hard and humbly on mastering the process and conventions of legal writing while developing an assured professional voice.
The Moot Court Honor Society will offer you opportunities throughout the year to get a sense of what appellate advocacy entails. Our competition teams will hold open practices. The semifinal and final rounds of our Ilana Diamond Rovner Moot Court Competition are open to the public. And our members are eager to help you in April as you prepare for the Charles Evans Hughes Oral Arguments.