The University of Minnesota Law School is among law schools from around the world that compete in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the Association of Student International Law Societies in Washington, D.C. The case problem distributed each fall presents a hypothetical lawsuit between two countries before the International Court of Justice. Issues can include international human rights violations, terrorism, environmental responsibilities, remedies for broken treaties or contracts, establishing a nuclear free zone, and theft of cultural antiquities. Each International Moot Court member will write a brief and prepare an oral argument based on the international problem for the year.
The first draft of the brief is written during October, and orals training is concentrated in November. Students have the opportunity to compete in their second year. A five-member competition team is chosen in late November or early December; other 2L students continue in the intramural program. The competition team works together in January and February to write two team briefs and prepare for the oral competition February or March. Competitors who are successful at regionals go on to nationals in Washington, D.C., in April. Ultimately, international winners are selected. Minnesota's International Moot Court team has done well in recent years, winning a number of regional competitions, placing well at nationals, and bringing home speaker and brief awards. Intramural participants rewrite their briefs in teams of two and engage in further rounds of intramural oral arguments, mostly during February and March.
Competition team members have the option of becoming international moot court directors in their third year of law school. Additional directors are selected from among members of the intramural program to reach a total of seven directors. Course credit: Second-year students receive three course credits. Directors receive two credits during their third year. Selection In addition to following the uniform application procedures, applicants for the International Moot Court must submit a personal statement, as described in the application materials. Selection is based primarily on the brief, the legal writing instructors' recommendations (especially related to orals skills), and application information. The directors also seek members with diverse ethnic and experiential backgrounds.