Founded in 1929 by a small group of Tulane law students (including the legendary U.S. Fifth Circuit Judge John Minor Wisdom), the Tulane Moot Court counts among its alumni state and federal judges, members of Congress, Ambassadors, and state governors. Indeed, it is among the oldest, most revered, and most visible programs of its kind in the nation. Through numerous competitive and non-competitive simulations of actual courtroom situations, the Tulane Moot Court empowers students with the opportunity to learn by doing direct and cross-examinations, opening and closing arguments, persuasive appellate presentations, negotiations, and arbitrations. Presided over by experienced judges, attorneys, and accomplished student advocates, the situations are realistic and in many cases are based on actual disputes.
The Tulane Moot Court Board oversees both intra- and inter-school competitions. Intra-school competitions are open to second- and third-year students at both trial and appellate levels. The intra-school competitions begin in the fall and continue through the academic year. The final rounds at the appellate level are held at the Louisiana Supreme Court and the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The final rounds of the trial competitions are held before Federal District Court judges. Winners of the Senior competitions (for third-year students) have their names engraved in gold on the marble tablets in the appellate moot court room in Weinmann Hall. Winners of the Junior competitions (for second-year students) are invited to join the Moot Court Board.
The Moot Court Board also conducts tryouts among interested students in order to fill vacancies on several inter-school competition teams. There are places for oralists and brief-writers, and the teams are coached by current Moot Court Board members as well as by alumni of our Moot Court program. Inter-school competitions in which Tulane typically competes include:
- Inter-American Sustainable Law Moot Court Competition
- ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition
- Philip C. Jessup International Law Appellate Competition
- Pace Environmental Law Appellate Competition
- Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Appellate Competition
- Kaufman Securities Law Appellate Competition
- William W. Daniel National Invitational Mock Trial Competition
- Texas Young Lawyers' Association National Trial Competition
- ATLA Student Trial Advocacy Competition
- National Ethics Trial Competition
- Louisiana Trial Competition
Negotiation, Mediation, and Arbitration Competitions
- American Bar Association Negotiation Competition
- American Bar Association Mediation Competition
- Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Competition
Each year, the Tulane Moot Court Board hosts the Mardi Gras Invitational Sports Law Competition and welcomes to New Orleans moot court teams from law schools throughout the United States.