Competition Teams

Heathman, Chang and ManigrassoRepresenting our school at advocacy competitions is an excellent way to practice the skills you will need as an attorney. You will work with local attorneys and professionals, forming professional networks that may assist in future job searches. Having strong written and oral skills is vital to a successful law career.

Texas A&M School of Law will send teams in a combination of the three advocacy disciplines (moot court, mock trial and ADR) to competitions each school year. The competitions in which the school participates are selected by the Director of Advocacy Programs, in consultation with the Associate Dean for Experiential Programs or the Advocacy Programs Oversight Committee, based on competition prestige, previous success at the competition, administration of the competition, topic and location. 

Interscholastic Team Selection

Eligibility

Students who have completed their full-time first-year law school classes and are not on academic warning or probation are eligible for the tryouts held at the end of the fall semester. All students who are not on academic warning or probation are eligible to tryout at the end of the Spring semester.

Process

Adv-Holtman-Hamilton-Oct2016Participants are chosen through a competitive selection process. Tryouts are held at the end of each semester to select teams for the following semester. Separate tryouts are held for moot court, mock trial, and ADR teams. The Director of Advocacy Programs will announce the date and time of each tryout in advance of the tryout by sending information regarding tryouts to all students by email, as well as posting the information on the school’s electronic calendar and including it in other announcement methods. Tryouts begin in the late afternoon or early evening and generally last into the late evening to accommodate all students who wish to be considered. Students will sign up for a tryout time on the Board of Advocates TWEN page.

Tryouts

  • Moot Court Oralist: To be considered as an oralist for a moot court team, a student must present a ten-minute oral argument of his or her choice. A student may use an oral argument performed for a first-year writing class (such as a motion for summary judgment) or any other class of the student’s choice. A student may also use his or her arguments from previous intramural or interscholastic competitions.

  • Moot Court Brief Writer: To be considered as a brief writer for a moot court team, a student must submit a persuasive writing sample to the Director of Advocacy Programs on or before the date oral tryouts begin. It is not necessary for a student who wishes only to be a brief writer to appear at tryouts. A student may submit an appellate brief or a motion for summary judgment the student wrote for a writing class. Alternatively, a student who has written a brief for a previous interscholastic moot court team may submit the brief he or she wrote for that competition.

  • Adv-Anderson-Oct2016Mock Trial: To be considered for mock trial, a student must present either a ten-minute opening statement or a ten-minute closing argument of his or her choice. A student may use a fact pattern or opening/closing presented in a class, such as a first-year writing class, trial advocacy, or any other class involving simulated trials. A student may also use fact patterns from previous intramural or interscholastic competitions.

  • ADR: To be considered for an Aggie Dispute Resolution team, a student will perform a negotiation with a partner assigned at the tryouts. The student will be given a general fact pattern a week in advance of the tryouts. At the tryout, each student will be assigned a party to represent, as well as a partner who will represent the opposing party. The pair will then be given a set of additional, confidential facts specific to their respective clients. After fifteen minutes for each student to review the new facts, the pair will perform a twenty-minute negotiation.

Selection

The Director of Advocacy Programs and a panel of current included coaches in that discipline (the “Selection Committee”) will judge each tryout. Selection will be based on the students’ skill level in advocacy at the tryout. For example, skills such as speaking ability, confidence, ability to answer questions, use of proper negotiation techniques, as applicable, will be evaluated. Students will necessarily be compared to other students trying out as only limited spots are available. The Selection Committee will also consider information provided by the student, such as competition experience and success (interscholastic and intramural), work experience, and classes taken in advocacy field.

Practice Times and Dates

Advocacy Mock TrialCoaches will decide practice schedules for competition teams. Generally, practices will begin three to six weeks before the competition, depending on the problem release date and competition date. Most teams will practice two evenings a week (Monday through Thursday), beginning at either 6:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. for two hours, and once on the weekend for two to four hours. Coaches may determine additional practices are necessary as competitions draw near.

Students are expected to coordinate their work and class schedules to accommodate practices such that all students on all teams attend all practices.

The Director of Advocacy Programs will assign rooms for practices.

Time Commitment

RMBLSA Jan2017 moot court winnersServing Texas A&M School of Law on an advocacy team requires a significant time commitment. The amount of time any individual spends will vary, depending on level of experience, speed of reading and working, etc. Nevertheless, as representatives of the law school, students must be fully prepared to do their best. Participating on most ADR teams (with the exception of the FINRA triathlon) require about half as much time as participating on a moot court or mock trial team. In general, students should expect to spend approximately 125 hours on moot court, mock trial, and ADR FINRA triathlon teams during the two months leading up to competitions and approximately 60 hours on the other ADR competition teams during the three to four weeks leading up to competitions.

Students are expected to prepare in advance for this time commitment, so they are able to manage their school and other commitments during that time. Students must be especially mindful of missing classes during this time period, as classes will be missed during competition. Absences for advocacy competitions count in the calculation of absences under the rules and corresponding sanctions outlined in ​Academic Standards 5.1 to 5.7. No exceptions are made by the administration for absences.

Many advocacy students successfully work or serve in other organizations, such as the Law ​Review or ​Property ​Law Journal. But prior planning, diligence and professionalism are required.

2016-2017 Competition Schedule

Moot Court
TYLA State Moot Court Competition Nov. 17-19 Houston
National Moot Court Competition Nov. 17-19 Houston
San Diego Criminal Procedure Competition Nov. 11-13 San Diego, CA
Pepperdine Entertainment Law Competition Nov. 12-13 Malibu, CA
Chicago Bar Competition Nov. 10-12 Chicago, IL
Mack Kidd Administrative Law Competition Oct. 21-22 Austin
BLSA Frederick Douglass Competition (Regional) Jan. 11-15 New Orleans, LA
BLSA Frederick Douglass Competition (National) March 8-11 Houston
Lefkowitz Trademark Competition Feb. 11 Dallas
ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition Feb. 15-18 New York City, NY
Adoption Law Competition March 10-12 Columbus, OH
Gibbons Criminal Procedure Competition March 25-26  Newark, NJ

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Mock Trial
Lone Star Classic Competition Oct. 13-15 Houston
ABA Labor and Employment Law Competition Nov. 5-6 Houston
San Diego Defense Lawyers Competition Oct. 20-22 San Diego, CA
National Criminal Trial Advocacy Competition Oct. 13-16 Malibu, CA
BLSA Thurgood Marshall Competition (regional) Jan. 11-15 Chicago, IL
BLSA Thurgood Marshall Competition (national) Mar. 9-11 Austin
National Trial Competition Feb. 3-5 New Orleans, LA
Student Trial Advocacy Competition March 9-12 Houston
South Texas Challenge Competition Mar. 29-Apr. 2 Dallas

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A​ggie Dispute Resolution (ADR)
FINRA Securities Triathlon Competition Nov. 17-19 Houston
Sports Law Negotiation Competition Nov. 17-19 Houston
ABA Negotiation Competition Nov. 11-13 San Diego, CA
Jeffry S. Abrams Mediation Competition Nov. 12-13 Malibu, CA
ABA Client Counseling Competition Nov. 10-12 Chicago, IL
ABA Representation in Mediation Competition Oct. 21-22 Austin
Energy Law Negotiation Competition Jan. 11-15 New Orleans, LA
Fordham Sports Law Negotiation Competition March 8-11 Houston
Lynne-Justin-Natl-champLynne Nash '16 and Justin Davis '16, winners of the 2016 ABA National Representation in Mediation Competition

     
Our Moot Court, Mock Trial and A​ggie Dispute Resolution teams are nationally recognized. Since the law school’s inception, the program has received:

  • 3 international championships
  • 12 national championships
  • 23 regional championships
  • 1 state championship
  • 16 best advocate awards
  • 13 best brief awards