A student in a striped tie speaks in the Moot Court semifinals.

First-Year Moot Court

All first-year students acquire valuable advocacy skills through one of the Law School’s 10 moot court offerings. Students can participate in the Foundation Moot Court; a specialized, domestic moot court program; or a specialized, international moot court competition.

First-year students must apply to specialized moot court programs, which accept a limited number of participants. 

Moot Court Handbook 2022-23

Information Session Presentation Slides

First-Year Moot Court Application Timeline, Fall 2022

Students can apply to individual moot courts, rank their choices, and select interview/oral tryout slots through the online moot court application system in LawNet

Friday, September 9 - 9:00am EST

Moot court application opens on LawNet

Friday, September 16 - 5:00pm EST

Moot court application closes on LawNet

Monday, September 26 - 11:59pm EST 

Ranking of moot court programs closes

Thursday, September 29  - Friday, September 30

Team notifications released
(Note: This is a tentative date)

Learn More About First-Year Moot Court Programs

Most first-year students participate in Foundation Moot Court—part of the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison Moot Court Program—to fulfill their requirement. 

  • Students are automatically enrolled in Foundation Moot Court unless they apply to—and are accepted by—an approved, specialized moot court program.
  • In the spring semester course Legal Practice Workshop II, participants research and write an appellate brief under the supervision of an upper-class student editor and an instructor. Past topics include First Amendment violations, trademark infringement, libel, securities fraud, employment discrimination, and criminal law.
  • Editors and instructors work with the participants through the research, drafting, and revision process. 
  • Later in the semester, students present oral arguments on their briefs before panels of alumni attorneys and student judges.

As an alternative to Foundation Moot Court, first-year students may participate in an approved moot court program under the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison Moot Court Program to satisfy their moot court requirement. 

Each competition has its own set of rules. See details about applications, information sessions, timelines, and the tryouts/oral arguments for each program on the application information below.

The Moot Court Program Handbook includes dates and descriptions of each program, including details about competitions, teams, topics, and more.

  • American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Moot Court: Participants in AIPLA moot court learn the basics of intellectual property law and the appellate procedures of the Federal Circuit.
  • Environmental Law Moot Court: Students gain advocacy experience by exploring legal issues drawn from real cases and representing the multiple parties often present in environmental litigation (e.g., the government, a public interest group, and a member of the regulated industry).
  • Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition: Sponsored by the National Black Law Students Association, this national competition focuses on constitutional law issues that affect minority communities. All students who participate become members of the Columbia Black Law Students Association.
  • Latinx Law Students Association (LaLSA) Moot Court Competition: Students explore complex contemporary issues in refugee and asylum law while developing their brief writing and oral advocacy skills.
  • National Native American Law Students’ Association (NNALSA) Moot Court Competition: Students from all backgrounds gain experience in the multidisciplinary and challenging field of federal Indian law. Recent topics include the right to counsel in tribal courts, marijuana legalization, and the “Baby Veronica” child custody case.
  • The Columbia Gender and Sexuality Moot Court: Formerly known as the Williams Institute Moot Court, students analyze challenging issues of constitutional law affecting the LGBTQ community in this, the only national moot court competition dedicated to sexual orientation and gender identity law.

First-year students may compete in one of three world-renowned moot court programs to meet their first-year moot court requirements. 

See details on information sessions and the tryouts/oral arguments for each program on the application information below and find important dates and more information about each program—including topics, teams, and the competition process—in the Moot Court Program Handbook.

  • European Law Moot Court: This annual competition tackles current legal, social, and practical questions emerging from European integration and political changes in Europe. Previous problems have touched on EU law concerning hate speech, the European arrest warrant, and data privacy regulations.
  • Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition: The world’s largest moot court competition simulates a dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice—the judicial arm of the United Nations. Participants have represented more than 700 law schools across more than 100 nations. Participating in this moot court requires a two-year commitment.
  • Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (Vis): This international competition trains students in international commercial law and arbitration for resolution of international business disputes. The competition attracts more than 300 law schools from around the world.

The Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP Moot Court Program

1L Foundation Moot Court:

  • Not applicable 

American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Moot Court: 

Recording of Information Session

  • Oral argument tryouts: Tuesday the 20th, Thursday the 22th, and Friday the 23rd from 12-2 pm

Contact Information:
General Email: [email protected]
Justin Norris, Editor: [email protected]
Penina Cohen, Editor: [email protected]
Lourania Oliver , Coach: [email protected]
Hafsah Hanif , Coach: [email protected]

Environmental Law Moot Court:

Contact Information:
Abigail Pelton, [email protected]
Jack Jones, [email protected]
Will Donaldson, [email protected]

Frederick Douglass Moot Court:

  • Oral argument tryouts: September 17-25

Contact Information:
Godard Solomon, Coach, [email protected]
Joanna Hernández, Coach, [email protected]
Brianna Gordon, Editor, [email protected]
Jonte Simpson, Editor, [email protected]
Jamail Gibbs, Editor, [email protected]

Latinx Law Students Association (LaLSA) Moot Court: 

  • Oral argument tryouts: September 20-25

Contact Information:
Adrián C Nava, Coach, [email protected]
Caroline Lee Dorsey, Coach, [email protected]
Hannah Palczuk, Coach, [email protected]
Casandra Mercedes Delgado, Coach, [email protected]
Ashley Fleck, Editor: [email protected]
Lizamaria Arias, Editor, [email protected]
Luke Richard Anderson, Editor, [email protected]

Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) Moot Court:Contact Information:

Andrew Bentivoglio, Coach, [email protected]
Sarah-Yeoh-Wang, Coach, [email protected]
Benjamin Smith, Coach, [email protected]a.edu
Alex Serrurier, Coach, [email protected]
Louis Degre, Coachlrd, [email protected]
Naomi Hardin, Editor, [email protected]
Haley Talati, Editor, [email protected]

The Columbia Gender and Sexuality Moot Court:

  • Oral argument tryouts: September 19th and 21st from 12-2pm 

Contact Information:
Karysn Archambeau, Coach, [email protected]
Zak Kayal, Coach, [email protected]
Leah Haberman, Coach, [email protected]
David Phillips, Editor, [email protected]
Andrew Straky, Editor, [email protected]

The Winston & Strawn International Moot Court Program

European Law Moot Court

  • Oral argument tryouts: September 17-25

Contact Information:
Anisha Dangoria: [email protected], Jonathan Gliboff: [email protected]
Aarushi Kaul: [email protected], and Julianna Eboli: [email protected]

Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court:

  • Oral argument tryouts: September 20-22

Contact Information:
General email: [email protected]

Vienna International Arbitration Moot Court (Vis):

  • Oral argument tryouts: TBD

Contact Information:
General email: [email protected]
Margalit Zimand: [email protected]
R. Daniel Knaap: [email protected]
Adam Burstain: [email protected]
Emily Erickson: [email protected]

Questions? Contact:

Sophia Bernhardt

Director of Legal Writing and Moot Court Programs