Moot Court & Mock Trial
The Moot Court & Mock Trial Program at Capital University Law School is a student-run trial and appellate advocacy honors society. Students develop strong oral advocacy skills, intellectual flexibility, the ability to function well under pressure, and the self-confidence necessary to become successful advocates. Moot Court participants also receive the practical experience of writing appellate briefs.
The student-led Moot Court & Mock Trial Executive Board is responsible for running the program each academic year. The Board’s responsibilities include assisting in planning the annual National Moot Court Competition in Child Welfare & Adoption Law hosted by Capital University Law School.
Professor Jennifer Goldson serves as the advisor to the Moot Court & Mock Trial Executive Board and both programs.
Moot Court Competitors, also known as “Mooters,” travel all over the United States to compete in regional and national team competitions. Competitions focus on various subject areas including labor & employment, criminal law, child welfare & adoption law, corporate law, and constitutional issues connected with these practice areas. Competitors receive the practical experience of writing an appellate brief and making their oral argument while under the pressures of questions from judges and a time limit. Teams are scored based on their appellate brief and oral advocacy. Mooters meet regularly with their coaches in preparation for their competition. Coaches, who are typically practicing attorneys and Capital University Law School alumnae, provide students with valuable feedback and advice on their oral advocacy.
Participation in the Moot Court program occurs in one of two ways: Students may serve as a Moot Court Fellow during their first and or second year, or students may compete as an Advocate on one of the Moot Court teams during their second and or third years. Advocates take a two-credit, seven-week practicum class in their first year of competition in which they learn to write an appellate brief.
Mock Trial is a student organization where students develop and apply the principles of trial advocacy during a simulated trial that is based on fictitious facts and evidence. The Mock Trial team learns how to conduct a trial from start to finish. Students are taught how to think and act like a trial lawyer. They plan, draft and present opening statements, direct examinations, cross-examinations and closing arguments. Mock Trial also teaches students how to object to evidence properly, how to handle objections raised against them, as well as how to handle various courtroom procedures like entering evidence or impeaching witnesses. These experiences are unlike anything that can be taught in a classroom because students learn to deal with the unexpected, just like they will have to do in practice.
Mock Trial allows students to test their mastery of the Federal Rules of Evidence and formulate effective arguments under the pressure of a time constraint. In preparation for the competition, teams meet regularly with their coaches who are attorneys from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Coaches provide important feedback so that students develop the requisite skillset to be successful in competition.
Mock Trial Team Members compete in the annual Ohio Attorney General’s Public Service Mock Trial Competition in which they are assigned the role of an attorney or a witness. Students submit applications in the fall of each school year to be considered for a team.
Participation in the Mock Trial program occurs in one of two ways: Students may serve as a Mock Trial Fellow during their first and or second year (no credit), or apply to be selected for the Mock Trial team during their second and or third years (may earn 1 credit hour as a competitor).
The Mock Trial team competes in the annual American Association for Justice’s (AAJ) Mock Trial Competition and the Attorney General’s Public Service Mock Trial Competition.