Lawyering Skills Competitions
All second- and third-year students are eligible to participate in intramural moot court and mock trial competitions and to try out for any of several law school teams that compete in interscholastic competitions. In addition, first-year students are eligible to compete in the intramural Negotiations Competition in the spring semester and may serve in support capacities (e.g. bailiff or court clerk) in the other intramural competitions.
Pitt Law’s intramural competitions are organized and supervised by the Moot Court Board, and include the Murray S. Love Trial Moot Court Competition, Appellate Competition, and Negotiations Competition. The school also offers an intramural Client Counseling Competition as a means for selecting the team that will represent Pitt Law at the ABA Client Counseling Competition.
Mock Trial Program
In the Mock Trial Program, Pitt Law’s adjunct mock trial coaches recruit, train, and select students to serve on any of several different school teams going to interscholastic mock trial competitions.
Many of the interscholastic competitions to which the school sends teams concern a specific area of law such as international law, intellectual property law, health law, and environmental law. Competitions in which Pitt Law students have participated recently are listed here; however, this list is not exhaustive.
See International Moots for more information on participating in an international competition.
Students are eligible to receive academic credit for participating in most* moot court competitions, intramural or interscholastic, provided a faculty member oversees the work and certifies it as worthy of credit. These are classified as credits for activities, and students may count only four credits for activities toward their graduation requirements. (Credits earned for service on a journal and/or the Moot Court Board also count as activities credits.)
*The Negotiations Competition does not currently qualify for academic credit.
Moot Court Board
The primary function of the Pitt Law Moot Court Board is to organize and administer the Murray S. Love Trial Moot Court Competition, the Appellate Competition, and the Negotiations Competition. All associate members must also complete an academic component during each year of Board service--either by working in a group that researches and creates a competition problem or serving as a reader who evaluates and scores competitors' briefs in the Appellate Competition. Board members who complete the requisite academic and administrative duties are eligible to receive one credit per semester of Board service.
Membership is limited to a maximum of 10 students per year and includes second-year and third-year students.
Board selection is a competitive process that takes place during the spring term and over the summer. Pursuant to the Board’s bylaws, the faculty advisor and the Board assess candidates in three areas:
- Moot court experience, including experience prior to law school;
- Leadership and organizational experience; and
- Academic performance and references.
Students who serve on the board during their second year are eligible to apply for a second term for their third year. As membership generally precludes competing in the competitions that the Board administers, some board members serve one year and compete in either or both of the competitions during the subsequent year. Questions regarding service on the board or applying for membership should be directed to the current student chairperson or the faculty advisor, Ben Bratman.