The Environmental Law Moot Court program introduces students to the art of appellate advocacy by focusing on current issues in environmental law. Students research two areas of environmental law. They write a summary judgment motion in the fall, then the appellate brief, which is rewritten over the course of several months and is due in January. Students do one argument in the fall based on the summary judgment topic. In the spring, after practice rounds and coaching on substantive and stylistic aspects of their oral presentation, students present a final oral argument. Practicing environmental attorneys evaluate each presentation.
The court usually consists of 16 second-year students. Three third-year student directors and the attorney director, who practices in environmental law, review the written and oral work of second-year law students.
The National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition:
The national competition, hosted by Pace University Law School in White Plains, New York, allows more than 60 law school teams to compete on issues of environmental law.
The University of Minnesota competition team consists of one second-year and two third-year students. The second-year student is selected in the fall based on the summary judgment motion and oral argument on the motion; he or she then serves as the managing director the following year. The third-year student competitors and directors are chosen in the spring of their second year based on their performance that year.