The William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition is an inter-scholastic appellate moot court competition. Its goals are to promote interest in all areas of civil rights law and to help interested students develop the oral advocacy and writing skills essential to be successful appellate practitioners. Each team will write a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on a problem involving a recent case in the field of civil rights. They will argue the case in front of the court at the competition.
Each participating school may enter one or two teams, each team consisting of two or three students. If a team has three members, all must argue in the preliminary rounds but only two may argue in any given round.
Each team argues in a minimum of three preliminary rounds with the opportunity for additional arguments in the quarterfinals, semifinals, and the third place or final round.
Philosophy of openness
Based on a philosophy of openness with regard to information, participants know where they stand. They are informed regarding their brief and technical scores and the brief and technical scores of the other participating teams prior to their arrival and are able to check their team’s oral scores at various points during the competition.
- While hard copies of the brief must be filed with the Competition Administration, it is not necessary for teams to serve copies on other teams. E-mailed copies will be uploaded through Google Docs and shared with all registered teams along with other Competition updates and important data
- The substantive arguments of each brief are read by five select judges with the high and low scores excluded and the remaining three scores averaged.
- Participants have the opportunity to review and challenge the citation and technical error marks concerning their brief prior to the oral argument phase of the competition.
- Participating teams are guaranteed three arguments in the preliminary rounds and up to three additional arguments in the advanced rounds
- Eight teams will move forward to the advanced rounds.
- The oral argument panels that preside over the arguments consist of a diverse cross section of select attorneys and judges.
In addition to First, Second and Third place team awards, there is a team award for Best Brief and two awards for Best Oral Advocates: The Best Oral Advocate of the Preliminary Rounds and the Best Oral Advocate Overall.