Students who excel during the Intramural Competition are invited to interview for Southwestern's nationally recognized Moot Court Honors Program. Those selected represent Southwestern in local, regional and national interscholastic competitions as oralists or brief writers in arguing an appeal of a hypothetical legal case—conducting legal research, drafting an appellate court brief and presenting oral arguments.
Southwestern's Moot Court Honors Program is recognized as one of the most active moot court programs in the country, sending teams to various major competitions annually and garnering many top awards in written and oral appellate advocacy.
A board of governors made up of experienced moot court team members coordinates Southwestern's annual Moot Court Intramural Competition and advises program members throughout the year. Professors Catherine Carpenter and Alexandra D'Italia serve as the Co-Directors.
"This entire process reaffirmed my deep appreciation for Southwestern and reminded me how lucky I am to attend a school that is truly committed to seeing their students succeed. During the competition, students from other schools would talk about the lack of support they received in preparing for the competition. My experience could not be more different. The students, faculty and alumni at Southwestern went above and beyond the call of duty to help us prepare. I felt as if the entire school was behind us, and I am very proud to have had the opportunity to represent such a great school in a national competition."
~Chandler Parker, SCALE Program
Moot Court Intramural Competition
The Moot Court Honors Program's intramural competition is open to all first and second year day, evening, PLEAS, part-time day, and SCALE I students who have completed the requirements of the LAWS II course.
The Moot Court intramural competition consists of five rounds of competition following the one mandatory advocacy round that all students participating in the Appellate Advocacy track must complete to earn credit for the LAWS II course:
- Switchers Round (for students switching into the Moot Court Intramural Competition from the Negotiation or Trial Practice LAWS tracks)
- Round One (for all competitors)
- Octa Finals: top 16 advocates
- Quarter Finals: top 8 advocates
- Semi Finals: top 4 advocates
- Finals: top 2 advocates
At the conclusion of Round One, the top sixteen oral advocates are invited to compete in single elimination rounds. These sixteen finalists are chosen on the basis of a combined score of points from the two oral rounds and the individual student's brief score. The oral scores are weighted 60 percent, and the brief score is weighted 40 percent. The briefs are scored by the Moot Court Honors Program's Board of Governors. Beginning in the octa-round, each advocate must be prepared to argue either side (either appellant or appellee). Advocates are seeded and paired at the beginning of every round.
Typically, Round One and the Octa- and Quarter-Finals are held at the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The Semi-Final and Final rounds are held at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Pasadena, California. Thirty-two participants will receive awards in recognition of their accomplishments in the competition: the sixteen octa-finalists and an additional sixteen students selected from the first two rounds (including the switcher round when applicable).
2020-2021 Board of Governors
- Hope Casella, Chair
- Eden Moalem, Internal Operations Chair
- Robert [Cole] Cable, Academic Chair
- Elijah Hakobian, Intramural Rounds Chair
- Byron Lansford, Scoring Chair
- Elena Cordonean
- Nancy Santiago Cortes
- Ariel Coto
- Tannaz Ghayadi
- Kelsi Grau
- Jacob Halajian
- Asher Hoffman
- Malak Cherkaoui Jaouad
- Melanie Khosravi
- Dean Matsuyama
- Antonino Patti
- Lauren Polk
- Jonathan Salvilla
- Carlos Soriano
- Carlos Valenzuela
- Zachary Wagner
- Stephanie Zirulnikoff
- James Glassman
- Professor Catherine Carpenter
- Professor Alexandra D'Italia