Lawyering Skills Competitions

Lawyering skills competitions allow students to simulate negotiating, trying a case, or arguing an appeal on behalf of a fictional client. This experiential learning provides an unmatched opportunity to build real-world lawyering skills. Opportunities are available within and outside Pitt Law to students in all class years. 

Within Pitt Law

Pitt Law’s intramural competitions are organized and supervised by the Moot Court Board. Students build negotiation and client advising skills at the Ronald D. Ecker Memorial Negotiation and Client Counseling Competition, which is open to all class years. Second- and third-year students try a fictional case at the Murray S. Love Trial Moot Court Competition. First-year students may serve as bailiffs or witnesses. Second- and third-year students brief and argue an appeal in the Appellate Competition.

Outside Pitt Law

In the Mock Trial Program, students learn to examine witnesses, admit evidence, raise objections, and deliver opening and closing arguments. These courtroom skills are developed with the help of Pitt Law’s adjunct coaches, who are experienced trial lawyers. Students may then try to compete in one of several national mock trial competitions. Professor Chalon Young oversees the Mock Trial Program.

On a Moot Court Team, students brief and argue an appeal in a general litigation area or a specialized practice setting, such as intellectual property or environmental law. Pitt Law has also sent a team to a health law transactional competition in many recent years.

Students who participate in International Moots gain skills in international arbitration and litigation under the guidance of Pitt Law’s Center for International Legal Education faculty. Learn more about International Moots.

Academic Credit

Students can receive academic credit for participating in moot court competitions, intramural or interscholastic. Specific information about academic credit is available during the signup for each competition from the competition's faculty advisor or the competition coordinator, Professor Paige Forster

Moot Court Board

The Pitt Law Moot Court Board organizes and administers the competitions within Pitt Law: the Murray S. Love Trial Moot Court Competition, the Appellate Competition, and the Negotiations Competition. In addition to its logistical role, the Board researches and creates competition problems. Board selection is a competitive process that takes place over the summer. Questions should be directed to the current student chairperson or the faculty advisors, Judge D. Michael Fisher or Professor Paige Forster.