External competitions

National or regional law school competitions—whether organized around appellate, trial, A.D.R., transactional, negotiation, or drafting problems—provide a great opportunity to hone professional skills and to network with other students, practitioners, and judges from around the country. 

Indiana Law has a long history of success in these intermural events. Our law school enthusiastically encourage students to participate, and we will support our teams with coaching, logistics, and, within the limits of our budget, funding for registration and travel. Participating in the external teams requires a similarly high level of commitment from students, because 

  • The Law School wants to maximize the benefit of this opportunity for students who will work hard and gain as much as possible from the experience;
  • We want to ensure that both our individual students and the Law School as an institution are well represented;
  • Participants are eligible for academic credit, with instructor approval (see below);
  • Fielding a team is expensive and often involves funds both from the Law School and student fundraising. A typical budget for a two- or three-person team, including entry fees and travel, is (depending on location) $2,000 to $4,000, depending on location.

The policies described in this document apply to all external competition teams that intend to compete using the Indiana University Maurer School of Law name, regardless of whether any funding is sought from or provided by the Law School, and regardless of whether participation is for academic credit. 

Important dates to note: in order to give everyone an equal shot at participating, to distribute resources as efficiently as possible, and to allow everyone to plan in advance: 

  • Students hoping to participate in an external competition in the coming fall semester (except for those teams that have already been organized by a center, institute, or faculty member) must submit their application to the Office of Student Affairs by no later than April 15 of the preceding spring.
  • Students wishing to participate in an external competition in the coming spring semester (with the same exceptions noted above) must submit their application to the Office of Student Affairs by no later than September 15 of the preceding fall.

Please note that the above are merely the Law School’s internal deadlines; students interested in a particular completion are also responsible for researching and meeting each competition’s own deadline and other requirements for registration. 

Where possible, first consideration will be given to students who have not participated in an external competition before, in order to distribute opportunities as widely as possible.

Types of events

The Law School competes in two principal types of events:

(a) Competitions in which Maurer traditionally or often fields a team; and 

(b) Other events that students may discover and pursue based on their own initiative and interests, whether or not the Law School has participated in the past.

Academic credit is often available for participation in the competition.

Course-Related and Affiliated External Teams

Competitions that the Law School enters regularly are often linked to one of our research centers, clinics, classes, or student organizations that organize the team and sometimes help raise funds. Teams for these competitions are typically selected through an established process with faculty involvement and may require course enrollment or other prerequisites. Several teams (such as IP and environmental) are selected in the spring of the preceding school year.  

Among these affiliated or course-related competitions are the: 

  • American Association for Justice Trial Competition
  • ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law Student Trial Advocacy Competition
  • Pace Environmental Law Competition (sponsored by the Environmental Law Society)
  • NBLSA Marshall Mock Trial and Douglas Moot Court Competitions (sponsored by BLSA)
  • Williams U.C.L.A. Competition (sponsored by OUTLAW and the LGBT Alumni Board)
  • ABA Nat’l Appellate Advocacy (sponsored by the Sherman Minton Advocacy Board)
  • Jessup Int’l Moot Court (sponsored by the Int’l Law Society)
  • Competitions sponsored by the Elmore Entrepreneurship Clinic
    • Transactional/Startup Law Meets
    • Venture Capital Investment Competition
  • Competitions in intellectual property law or related areas (administered by the Center for Intellectual Property Research), including:
    • AIPLA Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition
    • INTA Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition
    • Oxford University International IP Law Moot
    • International Patent Drafting Competition

To learn more about any of the above teams, please contact the organizational sponsor or faculty advisor (identified in the list at the end of this document) to ask about when and how that particular team is selected and what participation entails.  

Student-Initiated Teams 

Students with an interest in a particular competition, issue, or area of practice may also propose and organize an external team with the approval of the Office of Student Affairs. The Law School has  limited funding to support such teams, and will try to ensure allocation of resources in a way that permits as many students as possible to participate in quality competitions as possible. 

Among the competitions for which Indiana Law students have organized teams in past years or in which the Law School has competed more frequently are the:   

  • National Telecommunications Moot Court
  • Indiana State Bar Assoc. Moot Court
  • National Latina/o Law School Association Moot Court
  • Fordham Kaufman Securities Law Moot Court
  • Gabrielli National Family Law Moot Court
  • Tulane Sports Law Competition
  • Federal Bar Association Thurgood Marshall Moot Court
  • National Animal Law Moot Court
  • Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court
  • Wisonsin Evan Evans Moot Court
  • Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot
  • Charleston School of Law National Moot Court Competition

Links to information about these and many other national competitions may be found at this website.

Preparing your proposal

The following guidelines will help you prepare student-initiated proposals to compete: 

  • Your proposal must first be approved by a Law School faculty member (regular or adjunct) who is willing to serve as team advisor. Then notify the Office of Student Affairs of your proposal team at least thirty (30) days before the registration deadline.
  • Write and submit your proposal as EARLY as possible. Competitions take place year-round, but registration deadlines often are many months before the events. Some competitions fill up well before the deadline. Early sign-up also can mean access to closer locations, which may mean the difference between driving and flying. And the Law School’s pool of funds to support external teams will be distributed largely on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Make sure that the calendar of the competition realistically aligns with your and your teammates’ other school, work, and vacation plans. Briefs may be due or oral arguments held during school breaks, over the summer, or even right before exams. Do not rely on past years’ calendars for your event; make sure that the web page and dates that you are viewing are for the upcoming year’s competition.
  • You should also outline in your proposal the method for choosing team members. Ordinarily, teams should be selected through an open solicitation to all 3Ls and/or 2Ls, drafted by team organizers and distributed through the Office of Student Affairs. But where a particular group of students has crafted the proposal, or a student organization is sponsoring it, that group’s preferences will be honored where possible.
  • In addition, your proposal must include a proposed practice schedule for your team, to begin at least five (5) weeks before the live competition. Each team is responsible for organizing its own practice sessions, or “moots,” with classmates, faculty members, or alumni serving as judges, and notifying your sponsoring faculty member of each practice. The Sherman Minton Advocacy Board is also happy, with sufficient notice, to help solicit judges and to conduct at least one moot for each external team.
  • Students who wish to receive academic credit for their work on the team must register (under B734, Advocacy), either during regular registration or during the Add/Drop period as for any law school course. Ordinarily one credit is awarded per competition, but you may enroll for two credits, with the permission of your faculty advisor, where the amount of academic work is commensurate.

Please feel free to contact Dean Orenstein or Prof. Lahn with any questions or suggestions. Good luck, and our best wishes for your participation in these rewarding events.

Partial List of National and Regional Competitions and Faculty Advisors

External Writing Competitions

Indiana Law students are also encouraged to take part in external writing competitions. Contact the Office of Student Affairs to learn more.