Moot Court

Students in Moot Court

Moot courts give law students opportunities to research and litigate advanced hypothetical problems, compete with a team against other student attorneys, and receive professional feedback on their performance by peers, faculty, and the moot court itself.

Pace Law students have a tremendous opportunity to represent the School in over twelve of the most prestigious national and international moot court competitions. Each fall, students are selected to represent the School in moot court competitions. Competition to participate is highly selective and Pace Law has a strong track record of  moot court competition wins and placements around the country and internationally. 

International Moot Courts

Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

Teams from over 550 law schools from more than 80 different countries take part in each year’s Jessup Moot Court Competition. The Jessup is recognized by practitioners and academics alike as one of the most prestigious moot court competitions in which law students can participate. In some circles, being a member of the Jessup Moot Court Team is considered equivalent to being a member of a law review.

The moot simulates a dispute between two countries before the International Court of Justice. Students assume the roles of counsel and present oral arguments on a controversial issue of international law. Before reaching the oral argument stage, the teams will have drafted legal briefs, known as memorials, on behalf of both the Applicant and the Respondent. Qualifying rounds take place throughout the world, with winning teams advancing to the final rounds, held each spring in Washington, D.C. Learn more about it and how to get involved.

Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot

Over the past two decades, the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot and its associated events have become the world’s leading forum in the fields of international sales law and international arbitration. The Moot was founded at Pace Law in the early 1990s and is named in memory of the late Professor Willem C. Vis, who was a member of the Pace Law faculty for many years. Until his retirement in 2013, the Moot was run by Pace Law Professor Emeritus Eric E. Bergsten. Pace Law is proud to remain a member of the Moot Board of Directors, and is one of only six law schools to have competed in the Moot each year since its creation.

The Moot is a simulation of a commercial dispute between private parties located in two different countries. The primary source of substantive law is the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. Procedural rules vary from year to year. Teams write memoranda in support of the legal positions put forward by both Claimant and Respondent, and then present oral arguments in a series of qualifying and elimination rounds held each spring in Vienna. The Moot has been remarkably successful over the years, growing rapidly to include teams from some 300 law schools in over 90 different countries.

Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot

Held each spring in Hong Kong, the Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot is a sister moot to the larger Vis Moot in Vienna. Although the Moots are separate events and run by different entities, the format and rules are the same, as is the hypothetical case problem for each year. Unlike its sister Moot in Vienna, the Vis East Moot is limited to 100 participating teams. It was founded in 2004 and has become a mainstay of the international sales and international arbitration communities in Asia and the Pacific Rim.

International Criminal Court Moot Competition

Peace Palace at the HagueFounded at Pace Law, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Moot Competition has become the official English-language round for the ICC Moot Court Competition held annually in The Hague. This new global competition is organized by the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, in partnership with Pace Law, the University of Leiden and the International Criminal Court. Sponsors include the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands, the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and the Planethood Foundation. Teams compete using the procedures and substantive law used by the International Criminal Court in prosecutions of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Each team submits three short memorials presenting arguments based on the three participants in ICC proceedings: the Prosecution, the Defense and the Victims’ Advocates. Teams from Pace Law have advanced to the final rounds in The Hague for two straight years.


2013 ICC Moot Team
First Place - ICC Regional Round

Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition

The Jessup Competition is the second-oldest moot in the country. The Jessup is recognized by practitioners and academics alike as one of the most prestigious moot court competitions in which law students can participate. In some circles, being a member of the Jessup Moot Court Team is considered equivalent to being a member of law review. The competition is worldwide, comprising of regional and final rounds often attracting one or more judges from the International Court of Justice.

Pace Law School competes in the Northeastern Regional Round, facing some of the biggest international law powerhouses in the world. Second and third year law students are encouraged to try-out to become part of this five-member team. The Compromis (the case record) is usually released early in the fall semester at which point the selected team begins work. The team members have the opportunity to research cutting-edge international law issues and to write Memorials (briefs) on behalf of the Applicant and Respondent. Memorials are due in early January followed by regional oral argument rounds in the middle of February. Students participating in Jessup competition receive 2 credits for Law 872 upon completion of the work.

All students considering trying out for this team are strongly encouraged to enroll in Law 698 - International Law course in the fall of their second year of study.

Congratulations to the 2015 Pace Jessup Team - Bianca Francois (15'), Cassandra Castellano (17'),Eileen Henry (17'), Michael Pesin-Virovets (16'), Susi Yanez (16'), and Lucie Olejnikova (coach) - that placed thirteenth at the Northeastern Regional Preliminary Round competition.

2014 Jessup teamCongratulations to the 2014 Pace Jessup Team - Ann Bermont (14'), Rocky Boussias (14'), Bianca Francois (15'), Kiersten Schramek (15'), and Lucie Olejnikova (coach) - that advanced to Quarterfinals and Received Fourth Best Overall Memorial Award at the Northeastern Regional Round! Read more.

The International Environmental Moot Court Competition

Held at Stetson University in Florida during the fall semester, this competition provides an excellent opportunity for law students to explore issues of international environmental law in the context of a dispute before the International Court of Justice. The participants' memorials are evaluated by international environmental legal experts, selected with the assistance of the ABA International Environmental Law Committee, Section of International Law and Practice. Oral arguments are evaluated by local attorneys and judges who have experience in international law, environmental law, and appellate advocacy. The problem is usually released in May and the written memorial is due in early October, with the oral competition to follow a few weeks thereafter. Students will receive 2 credits for their participation in the International Environmental Moot Court Competition in Law 872. Only second-year day and third-year evening students are eligible to apply for this moot.

American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition

This competition emphasizes the development of oral advocacy skills through a realistic appellate advocacy experience. Students will argue a hypothetical appeal to the United States Supreme Court, which involves writing a brief as either respondent or petitioner and arguing the case in front of a mock court.

National Moot Court Competition

This competition is co-sponsored by the Young Lawyers Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the American College of Trial Lawyers. The regional round in which Pace Law School competes is held in November, in New York City; the final round is held in late January or early February, in New York City. The competition is the oldest and largest of its kind in the United States, with more than 200 teams from more than 140 law schools competing annually. Students will receive 2 credits for their participation in the National Moot in Law 872.

Pace Law School Grand Moot Competition

This moot involves a competition of sixteen students selected by the faculty to participate in an intra-law school moot court. The problem for this moot involves an issue within the jurisdiction of the federal courts. Students selected for this competition will be enrolled in the spring semester Appellate Advocacy Course, in which the subject matter of the Moot will be researched and argued. Students receive 2 credits for their participation in the Grand Moot Competition/Appellate Advocacy Course in Law 849 and do not need to do any work prior to the spring semester course. In that course, students draft an appellate brief and argue in competitive rounds in late February through March. Two or three of the four finalists will be selected to represent the Law School in the National Moot Court Competition in the prior fall semester. The spring semester AAA/Grand Moot Course is taught by Adjunct Professor John Fullerton, a member of the firm at Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. in New York City.

Dean Jerome Prince Evidence Competition

This competition is the only one of its kind dedicated to the appellate advocacy of criminal evidence issues. A previous panels of judges included the Honorable Judith S. Kaye, Chief Judge of the State of New York.

The National Black Law Students Association’s Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition

Renowned as the premier black legal advocacy competition, this program facilitates and promotes academic excellence. Each year, more than 150 teams of black law students have the opportunity to compete in oral advocacy at the national level and to connect with black attorneys and judges. This moot is organized by the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), the largest student-run organization in America. Students who are members of BLSA are eligible to participate in this moot. Students will work on the brief during the fall and early portion of the spring semesters and will compete in February. Students will receive 2 credits for their participation in the Frederick Douglass Moot in Law 872.

Pace Law's Additional Moot Court Competitions

Animal Advocacy Moot Court Competition

Two-person teams from schools all over the country converge at Harvard Law School to argue a problem involving an area of Animal Law. The competition includes a separate contest for best closing argument.

American Constitution Society
The American Constitution Society (ACS) sponsors the Constance Baker Motley National Moot Court Competition in Constitutional Law. In the spirit of its namesake, the annual competition deals with an issue of constitutional law that concerns equality, liberty, and justice.