• ABA Moot Court Competition Team and the Maynard Pirsig Moot Court – 7055



Subject Area

Civil Litigation *
Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution & Advocacy
  • Student Year
    Upper Division
    Course type

The Maynard Pirsig Moot Court introduces students to practical writing and oral argument exercises common in modern litigation. In the fall, students may write a motion for summary judgment and supporting memorandum of law, followed by oral arguments on the motion. In the spring, students likely will continue to work with the same law and facts, but in an appellate venue. Topics include issues of contemporary interest, such as a school district’s liability under tort and constitutional law for sexual abuse of a high school student by its teachers.

Students work in seven small sections of about 12-14 students, each 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), they have the opportunity to compete in both a writing competition and an oral tournament. Directors submit the best Appellant and Appellee briefs from each section for the Best Brief competition. Similarly, two top oralists are selected from each section to go on to the four-round orals tournament. These rounds are judged by experienced litigators and by state and federal judges. The final round, which is open to the public, is presided over by Justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court and by federal court judges.

Seven directors, two of whom are managing directors, are selected in the spring from among 2L participant applicants. An eighth director is selected, and works with the Legal Writing Director to design a case problem for the court. Students are eligible both to be Maynard Pirsig directors in their third year, and to compete on the ABA Moot Court.

The ABA Moot Court competition team is composed of two 3Ls and two 2Ls, chosen from the participants in the Maynard Pirsig Moot Court. The 2L participants are selected during the fall of their second year; the 3L participants are selected during the spring. The 2L participants compete on the team during their second year and then direct the Competition Team in their third year. The 3L team competes in the spring of their third year. The teams first compete at the regional level and, if successful, go on to nationals. The ABA Moot Court has been highly successful in recent years, regularly advancing from regional to national competition, and winning numerous speaking and brief awards.

Course Credits: Second-year participants in the Maynard Pirsig Moot Court receive two credits. Those 2Ls who compete on the ABA competition team receive two credits for Maynard Pirsig in their second year, and another two credits in their third year for competing and directing. The 3L participants receive two credits for competing.

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-1000

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