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How to Please the Court

A Moot Court Handbook


Edited By Paul I. Weizer

Designed for anyone who has an interest in using moot court simulations as an educational exercise, How to Please the Court brings together prominent moot court faculty who share their collective years of experience in building a successful moot court program. Touching on all aspects of the moot court experience, this book guides the reader through conducting legal research, the structure of an oral argument, the tournament experience, and the successes and rewards of competition.
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Chapter Five: Moving Beyond the Classroom: The Moot Court Tournament



Moving Beyond the Classroom: The Moot Court Tournament

Charles Knerr and Andrew Sommerman

American justice is adversarial: the “truth” will emerge, it is believed, by using a process of attorneys competing with each other. Since the process of answering questions and reasoning through moot court competition allows the students to experience how the adversarial process operates, nearly all American law schools require students to compete in moot court. Schools which are members of the American Bar Association (ABA) are required to send at least one team to a national competition. The ABA feels that competition will sharpen students’ ability and motivation to practice law. Moot court competitions additionally stimulate students’ desire to prepare for “court” and sharpen their critical thinking and communication skills.


Nearly every law student will experience moot court; undergraduate students can also benefit from moot court competition. There is no other program which can provide adequate opportunities to sharpen an undergraduate student’s abilities at persuasive speaking, research, and logical reasoning. While the traditional class is graded solely on a final exam, final exams do little to improve the true skills that will most benefit undergraduates in whatever career they choose.

In business as well as legal settings final exams are non-existent. However, throughout nearly all business and legal settings, individuals communicate verbally in a concise logical fashion with prepared re ← 87 | 88 → search and information to back up their positions....

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