Friday, February 20, 2015
Guiding a law school’s moot court program can be a challenging task, especially when the faculty advisor is new to the task or simply not well informed about the program. A great source for advisors in the newly published “The Moot Court Advisor’s Handbook”, authored by members of the Legal Writing Institute’s Moot Court Committee: James Dimitri, Melissa Greipp, and Susie Salmon (Carolina Academic Press).
These veteran advisors offer a step-by-step guide for the reader. The main topics are administering a program, managing an internal competition, advising an external competition team, and developing and managing (or hosting) an external moot court competition. Here is an excerpt from the promotional material:
No matter what your role or level of experience, the Legal Writing Institute’s Moot Court Advisor's Handbook is designed to be a resource of sound advice and best practices for running moot court and other legal skills competitions. With chapters on administering a moot court program, running an internal moot court competition, coaching teams at external moot court competitions, and running your own external moot court competition, this handbook also includes several model documents that you can use to create your own competition rules, program bylaws, judge training materials, competition scoring rubrics, and more. Drawing on the combined expertise of the Legal Writing Institute’s Moot Court Committee, this handbook can be your soup-to-nuts manual for building and administering a moot court program, a handy reference guide for the moot court newbie, or anything in between.
In the next edition, I hope the authors will consider addressing some of the structural problems with moot court programs, for example, judges who are unprepared and coaches who offer coaching that exceeds what is allowed. It is one thing to advise students how to deal with these sorts of problems in a competition. It is another to suggest ways to eliminate these problems in the first place.