Moot Court

Staton Intramural Competition

Advocate FAQ
What is the deadline for deciding whether I will participate in the next competition?

In order to participate in Staton Moot Court Competition, competitors must register for the class before the first in-class session. Check the fall class schedule for this year's first Moot Court meeting time/date. 

What is the deadline to register for the Staton Competition?

To participate in the Staton Competition, competitors must register for the class before the first class session. Refer to the Academic Calendar for registration dates.

What is the time commitment for the Staton Competition?

Like every activity in law school, the Staton Competition involves a substantial time commitment. Competitors will have almost five weeks to write and submit an appellate brief.  The next four weeks, competitors must argue their issue one night a week.  Typically, arguments start at 7:45 P.M. and last until 9:15 P.M.  If a competitor makes it to the Order of the Barristers, s/he argues each night until eliminated or until advancing to the final round.  The final argument occurs in the Indiana Supreme Court. 

How is the brief organized for Moot Court?

At the beginning of the fall semester, each competitor will receive the competition problem, which will contain two related but distinct legal issues. Each competitor will pair up with another student. Competitors may choose a specific partner or ask the Moot Court Board to assign them a partner. Each competitor will write a brief arguing only one side of one of the issues. After the brief-writing period of the competition, the competitors will submit their briefs for scoring. Members of the faculty, practitioners, and judges from the Indianapolis legal community will score the briefs.

How are the oral arguments organized?

After the competitors submit their briefs, the oral advocacy portion of the competition will begin.

Each two-student team will deliver four oral arguments. During each round of argument, each competitor will argue only the issue that he or she briefed. For round one and three of the arguments, each team will argue for whichever side (petitioner or respondent) their brief was written. However, for round two and four, each team will argue for the opposing side.

Panels of two to four judges drawn from the law school faculty, the Moot Court Society’s Order of the Barristers, and the Indianapolis legal community will preside over the oral arguments. The judges will score each competitor individually. When determining scores, judges will focus on the competitors’ forensic ability and the substance of their arguments.

Oral arguments will be held Monday through Thursday evenings at Inlow Hall and in the Indiana Court of Appeals at the Indiana Statehouse. Competitors will argue once per week. Before the oral arguments begin, each team will be given the opportunity to tell the Moot Court Board which day of the week they prefer to argue. Although there is no guarantee, the Board generally assigns teams to either their first or second scheduling preference.

What is the Barrister Tournament?

Competitors with composite scores in the top 25% of all competitors are named to the Order of the Barristers. If the number of competitors that score in the top 25% of all competitors is less than 32, the top 32 competitors are named to the Order of the Barristers. Members of the Order of the Barristers advance to a one-week tournament called the Barrister Tournament. At that point, the competitors are assigned new partners unless both partners on a team advance and both partners wish to continue as a team. Some students may be required to switch issues during the Barrister Tournament.

Scoring during the Barrister Tournament is on a team basis. The Tournament is a single-elimination tournament (winning teams advance; losing teams are done). By the end of the Tournament, the field is narrowed to two teams who argue in the Tournament final. The final round is held in the Indiana Supreme Court before a panel of trial and appellate court judges.

What is the Order of the Barristers?

The Order of the Barristers is the elite group of Moot Court Society members. Students who are named to the Order of the Barristers and participate in the Barrister Tournament receive one credit of "A." All other competitors who complete the competition requirements become members of the Moot Court Society and receive one credit of "Satisfactory."

All Barristers are automatically eligible to represent the school in prestigious national and international moot court competitions. After representing the school in one of those competitions, a Barrister may serve as a coach for a team competing in these competitions. Additionally, all Barristers, regardless of national team participation, are eligible to serve on the Moot Court Board. All of these activities entitle Barristers to additional credits of "A." Finally, all Barristers are expected to judge oral arguments during future Staton Competitions.

Can I realistically participate in both Moot Court and Law Review?

Yes. Despite the time commitment involved in both activities, it is possible for students to do both law review and moot court successfully.  Students in the past have been tremendously successful at doing both activities.

Are there any awards for participating in the Staton Competition?

Competitors who achieve excellence will receive awards. More specifically, the top advocate in the initial four rounds of the competition, the competitor who writes the top brief, the winning team in the Barrister Tournament, and the top advocate in the Barrister Tournament final receive awards.

What if I still have questions about the Staton Competition before I decide to participate?

Please bring these questions to the members of the Moot Court Board, or e-mail the Board at Board is happy to answer any question you have about the competition.