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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.

Some of the key features of the program include:

  • Small sections: Students work in small sections of about 6-8 students, each taught by an experienced attorney and a third-year student director.
  • Director opportunities: Eight teaching directors, two of whom are managing directors, and one research director are chosen each year from the 2L participants. There are more directors in the Maynard Pirsig Moot Court program than any of the other moot courts. Being a director during your 3L year satisfies the third-year legal writing requirement.
  • Oral Argument and Best Brief tournaments: In the spring, directors from each section nominate the best brief for the best brief tournament and the best oralist for the best oralist tournament. Competitors in the best oralist tournament argue in front of practicing attorneys and judges, and the finals are typically judged by Justices on the Minnesota Supreme Court.
  • ABA Moot Court Competition team: Only participants in the Maynard Pirsig Moot Court are eligible to try out for the ABA Competition team. Typically, the team consists of two 2Ls selected during the fall of their second year, and two 3Ls selected during the spring of their second year. In recent years, the ABA Moot Court team has been highly successful, regularly advancing from regional to national competition, and winning numerous speaking and brief awards.