ABA Moot Court Competition Team and the Maynard Pirsig Moot Court – 7055
The Maynard Pirsig Moot Court focuses on practical writing and oral argument exercises common in modern litigation. In the fall, students work on portions of, and then a full, appellate 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. They rewrite the appellate brief and advocate in three rounds of oral arguments, including one round in front of a panel of skilled Twin Cities attorneys. Recent topics have included First Amendment rights in public schools, a gay-straight alliance’s ability to organize under the Equal Access Act, constitutionality of law school affirmative action programs under the Fourteenth Amendment, and search and seizure of student cellphones.
Students work in five to eight small sections of about 8-10 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), directors nominate the “Best Brief” from each section for the best brief tournament. Similarly, the “Best Oralist” is selected from each section for the Maynard Pirsig Honors Oral Competition, a bracket tournament that culminates in a final oral argument in front of justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court.