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Maynard Pirsig
Moot Court

The Maynard Pirsig Moot Court introduces students to practical writing and oral argument exercises common in modern litigation. In the fall, students work on portions of an appellate brief, and then on the full brief. This work is followed by an oral argument. In the spring, students continue to work with the same law and facts in an appellate venue, rewriting the appellate brief and arguing a series of oral arguments. Recent topics have included internet personal jurisdiction and law school affirmative action programs.

Students work in seven small sections of approximately 12-14 students, with each section taught by an experienced attorney and a third-year student director. After participants complete the required writing and oral arguments (usually by the first week in March), directors nominate the two best briefs from each section for the best brief tournament. Similarly, the two top oralists are selected from each section for a best oralist tournament.

The ABA Moot Court competition team:

The competition team is composed of two third-year and two second-year students, chosen from the participants in the Maynard Pirsig Moot Court. The second-year participants are selected during the fall of their second year; the third-year participants are selected during the spring. The second-year participants compete on the team during their second year and then direct the competition team in their third year. The third-year team competes in the spring of their third year. The teams first compete at the regional level and, if successful, move on to nationals.

In recent years, the University of Minnesota’s ABA Moot Court has been highly successful, regularly advancing from regional to national competition, and winning numerous speaking and brief awards.