Trial Team and Moot Court Competitions
The University of Illinois College of Law’s Trial Team has supported competitive student advocacy at the school for nearly two decades. The mission of the team is to empower members to gain the required tools, skills, and knowledge to be “practice ready” as they embark on their legal careers. Trial team competitions teach students how to meet the practical challenges that lawyers typically face in a modern legal practice.
In addition to polishing their basic advocacy skills, team members learn how to analyze and master a case file, navigate a courtroom environment, discipline hostile or aggressive witnesses, and turn the laws of evidence into allies. The team participates in eight interscholastic tournaments each academic year at both the national and regional level. Trial team members try at least one case during each semester of membership and, in doing so, they transfer knowledge gained in the classroom domain into firsthand practical experiences in the courtroom.
The Trial Advocacy Program annually chooses team members through a competitive selection process. Eligibility for the trial team requires the prerequisites or co-requisites of three College of Law courses: Trial Advocacy (694), Fundamentals of Trial Practice (695) and Evidence (682). Those who accept invitations to the team undergo rigorous training with a practitioner coach with periodic bonus critiques from College of Law faculty, Illinois alumni, and additional seasoned practicing attorney volunteers as competition weekends approach. Members earn academic credit each semester for participation on the team, attending training workshop sessions, and competition events. Moreover, members have exceptional opportunities at trial advocacy tournaments to make valuable networking connections within the legal community with sitting judges, practicing attorneys, and peers from law schools across the country. Ultimately, team members gain knowledge, experience, and expertise in trial skills, oratorical skills, evidence, and teamwork – the very skills they need to excel in the legal profession.
The College of Law offers a robust set of moot court competitions. The top students in each section of Law 793: Advanced Legal Writing: Appellate Advocacy will be invited to represent the College of Law in moot court competitions during the Spring semester of the same academic year. Twelve of the advancing students are invited to participate in one of three external moot court competitions. These competitions will vary annually.
The overall top four students, selected from a combined pool of all students enrolled in all of the Advanced Legal Writing: Appellate Advocacy sections in the fall semester, will be invited to participate in the prestigious Frederick Green Moot Court Honorary Round. In the Honorary Round, the four finalists will compete before a panel of distinguished judges from across the country for the coveted prize of the Best Oral Advocate.