External competitions

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National or regional law school competitions—whether organized around appellate, trial, ADR, 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 external competitions. Our school enthusiastically encourages 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 on an external competition team also requires a high level of commitment from students, because

  • 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 $2,000 to $4,000, depending on location.

The policies described below 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. Where possible, first consideration will be given to students who have not previously participated in an external competition.

Types of events

The application process differs for the two principal types of events in which the Law School competes:

  1. Course-related and affiliated external teams; and
  2. Student-initiated teams, whether or not the Law School has participated in the past.
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 Jessup, IP, and Pace Environmental) are selected in the spring of the preceding school year. These competitions include:

  • 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 UCLA Competition (sponsored by OUTLAW and the LGBT Alumni Board)
  • ABA National Appellate Advocacy (sponsored by the Sherman Minton Advocacy Board)
  • Jessup International Moot Court (sponsored by the International 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

Dates and contact information for organizational advisors are listed below. The school tries to keep this page as current as possible, but each student is responsible for complying with all deadlines and requirements.

Student-initiated teams

Students with an interest in a particular competition not listed above 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.

The best way to ensure the law school’s support for your proposal is to submit a complete application (as described below) as early as possible. You should first check the registration deadline for your specific competition (usually on the competition’s website), as that date will determine all of your internal deadlines for seeking law school approval.

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
  • National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court at West Virginia University Law School
  • Indiana State Bar Association 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
  • Wisconsin 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.

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Preparing your proposal

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

  • Your proposal must first be approved by a Law School faculty member (regular or adjunct) who is willing to serve as team advisor. You must then notify Director Beck in the Office of Student Affairs (katbeck@indiana.edu) of your intended proposal at least thirty 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. This is important because 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 aligns with your and your teammates’ school, work, and vacation plans. Briefs may be due or oral arguments held during school breaks, over the summer, or even right before exams. Many require extensive work during winter break. Do not rely solely on past years’ calendars for your event; make every effort to find the dates for the upcoming year’s competition.
  • The written proposal must include a budget, taking into account entry fees, transportation, and housing at the competition site. Please study and follow the attached “Travel Procedures for All Indiana Law Student for Events out of Bloomington” to ensure that your budget will cover travel and lodging expenses.
  • Describe 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 by 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.
  • 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. With sufficient notice, the Sherman Minton Advocacy Board will help solicit judges and 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 Drop/Add period as for any Law School course. Ordinarily a maximum of one academic credit hour is awarded per competition.

Important dates to note: 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 teams that have already been organized by a research center or faculty member) must submit their application to the Office of Student Affairs no later than June 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 no later than September 15 of the preceding fall.
  • These dates apply to all student-initiated competitions—the competitions regularly organized and supported by the school may have their own separate deadlines.

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

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Websites and contact information for certain recurring competitions:

  • Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Competition (Prof. Lane McFadden)
    • Team registration opens in May 2020. Applications are due as part of the Spring 2020 Appellate Advocacy Moot Court Combined Solicitation.
    • Last year’s problem was released on August 19, 2019. Briefs were due mid-October and the competition was scheduled for mid-November in Chicago.
  • Miller National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition (Prof. Lane McFadden)
    • Applications are due as part of the spring 2020 appellate advocacy moot court combined solicitation
    • Last year’s dates:
      • Team registration opens: July 2019
      • Problem release: October 3, 2019
      • Brief deadline: November 21, 2019
      • Oral Arguments:  February 20-22, 2020 at Pace Law School in White Plains, NY.
    • This competition requires regular meeting with Prof. McFadden. Schedules will be coordinated once teams are assigned.
  • ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law Student Trial Advocacy Competition (Prof. Seth Lahn)
    • Past dates:
      • Case materials available in September 2019
      • Team registration deadline: October 1, 2019
      • Regional Competition Weekends (Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC): Oct. 27 – Nov. 18, 2018
  • National Black Law Student Association (NBLSA) Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition (sponsored by the Black Law Students Association) Participants must be registered NBLSA members one full academic semester prior to the competition. Participants may compete in either the Frederic Douglass Moot Court Competition or the Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition, but not both.
    • Past dates:
      • Team registration open from October 7 to November 24, 2019
      • Briefs due on December 8, 2019.
      • Regional rounds (date and location dependent on NBLSA Regional Conventions): January 9 through February 10, 2020. Chicago Regional competition was February 6-10, 2020.
      • National Final Rounds (date and location dependent on NBLSA Annual National Convention): March 3-8, 2020, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • National Black Law Student Assocation (NBLSA) Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition (sponsored by the Black Law Students Association).
    • Participants must be registered NBLSA members one full academic semester prior to the competition. Participants may compete in either the Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition or the Frederic Douglass Moot Court Competition, but not both.
    • Past dates:
      • Team registration open from October 7 to November 24, 2019
      • Midwest regional qualifying rounds held February 5-9, 2020 in Indianapolis
      • National final rounds (date and location dependent on NBLSA Annual National Convention): March 4-7, 2020, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • NBLSA Nelson Mandela International Negotiations Competition (Prof. Aviva Orenstein) (Check website for 2019-20 calendar)
  • American Association of Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition (Prof. Seth Lahn)
    • Past Dates (Check website for 2020-21 calendar)
      • School registration opens: September 10, 2018
      • School registration closes: November 9, 2018
      • Fact pattern released: December 12, 2018
      • Participant registration deadline closes: February 11, 2019
      • Regional competition: February 28–March 3, 2019
      • National Finals: April 11–April 14, 2019
  • Transactional Law Meets Competition (Prof. Mark Need)
    • Past Dates (Check website for 2020-21 calendar)
      • Team registration deadline: January 21, 2019, by 5:00 p.m.
      • Draft agreement submission deadline: January 25, 2019, by 5:00 p.m.
      • Responsive markup submission deadline: February 4, 2019 by 5:00 p.m.
      • Negotiation rounds:
        • Preliminary round 1: February 12, 2019
        • Preliminary round 2: February 19, 2019
        • Final round: February 26, 2019
  • Venture Capital Investment Competition (Profs. Mark Janis and Mark Need) (Check website for 2019-20 calendar)
    • Global Finals:  April 13-14, 2019, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition (Prof. Lane McFadden) Applications are due as part of the spring 2020 appellate advocacy moot court combined solicitation. Participation will require regular meetings with Prof. McFadden as well as some research over the summer and extensive writing work over winter break.
    • Past dates:
      • Registration opens: September 3, 2019
      • Problem released: September 13, 2019 
      • Memorials (briefs) due:  January 13, 2020
      • Regional qualifying rounds: February 6-9, 2020, in Chicago
      • White & Case international rounds:  April 12-18 2020, Washington DC
  • ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition (Prof. Joe Hoffmann and Prof. Seth Lahn) (Check website for 2020-21 calendar)
    • Past Dates:
      • Registration deadline: November 1, 2018
      • Briefs due: January 9, 2019 at 11:59 a.m.
      • Regional competition weekends:
        • February 21-23, 2019 – San Francisco and Portland
        • February 28 – March 2, 2019 – Philadelphia and Boston
        • March 7-9, 2019 – Brooklyn and Washington, DC
        • National Finals:  April 11-13, 2019 - Chicago, IL
  • Williams Institute Moot Court Competition (sexual orientation and gender identity law) (Prof. Steve Sanders and Prof. Seth Lahn) (Check website for 2019-20 calendar)
    • Past dates:
      • Registration closes: November 30, 2018
      • Brief submission deadline: February 17, 2019
      • Oral arguments: March 23, 2019
      • Finals: April 5, 2019, UCLA. Law School, Los Angeles
  • International Patent Drafting Competition (Prof. Norm Hedges)(Check website for 2019-20 calendar; Law School team generally selected in spring semester of previous academic year)
    • Problem release: October 2018
    • Competition: February 23, 2019
  • Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition (on trademark and unfair competition law) (Prof. Mark Janis) (Check website for 2019-20 calendar year; Law School team generally selected in spring semester of previous academic year
    • Past Dates:
      • Registration opens: September 10, 2018
      • Registration closes: October 12, 2018
      • Briefs due: January 4, 2019
      • Regional oral arguments: February 9, 2019
      • Finals: March 16, 2019, Washington, DC
  • Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition (Prof. Pamela Foohey)
    • Past dates:
      • Early registration deadline: September 1, 2019
      • Regular registration deadline: November 22, 2019
      • Briefs due: t/b/a
      • Oral Arguments: Feb. 29 – March 2, 2020, St. John’s Law School, Queens, NY
  • Kaufman Memorial Securities Law Moot Court Competition (check website for 2019-20 calendar)
    • Past dates:
      • Early registration deadline: November 16, 2018
      • Final registration deadline: December 14, 2018
      • Briefs due: March 1, 2019
      • Oral argument rounds begin: March 29, 2019, Fordham Law School, New York
  • Robert Wagner National Labor and Employment Law Moot Court Competition (Prof. Ken Dau-Schmidt) (Check website for 2019-20 calendar)
    • Past dates:
      • Problem release: January 14, 2019
      • Briefs due: February 22, 2019
      • Oral Arguments: March 22 – 24, 2019, New York Law School
  • AIPLA Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition (Prof. Mark Janis; check website for 2019-20 calendar; Law School team generally selected in spring semester of previous academic year)
    • Past dates:
      • Priority registration deadline: December 14, 2018
      • Final registration deadline: January 18, 2019
      • Regional oral arguments: March 22 - 24, 2019
      • Briefs must be served: March 29, 2019
      • Finals: April 10-12, 2019, Washington, DC
  • Antonin Scalia Law School Global Antitrust Invitational Moot Court (Check website for 2019-20 calendar)
    • Past dates:
      • Registration deadline: November 25, 2018
      • Briefs must be submitted: February 3, 2019
      • Competition begins: February 28, 2019, Washington, DC
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