The purpose of our Moot Court program is twofold: (1) to provide practical experience and cultivate skill in the art of advocacy at the appellate level, and (2) to provide a top flight Moot Court team to represent UMKC in national competition.
The program consists of two semesters of intra-school competition. Introduction to Appellate Advocacy (formerly Appellate Advocacy II) is held in the fall semester of the second year. The competition problem is set in the Missouri Supreme Court, and students are required to prepare Points Relied On and a summary of argument. Students argue twice, once representing appellant and once representing respondent. Arguments are held at the Jackso0n County courthouse and are judged by local attorneys.
The sixteen top-ranked participants from Introduction to Appellate Advocacy are invited to take Appellate Advocacy: Ellison Moot Court Competition in the spring. In this competition, students write a brief and argue both sides of a case set in the United States Supreme Court. Arguments are held in early April at the Thomas E. Whittaker Federal Courthouse and are judged by actual state and federal court judges. Students compete for the six positions on the National Moot Court team as well as for several prizes (the Sheridan and DeWitt awards) given in conjunction with the Ellison Competition.
The members of the National Moot Court team go on to Appellate Advocacy: National Moot Court Team, which involves writing a brief and presenting arguments at the Region 9 Regional Moot Court Competition that takes place in the Fall of the third year of law school. If a team qualifies at the Regional Competition, they can participate in the Final Rounds of the National Moot Court Competition in New York City in February.
The School participates in a variety of other competitions, including at times the National Appellate Advocacy Competition and a variety of specialized competitions. We recommend that students interested in any interschool competitions participate in Introduction to Advocacy.