Competitive Opportunities

Internal Competitions

The School of Law hosts both an internal trial and appellate moot court competition. The competition format recognizes the importance of teaching material in a practical setting, where students have an opportunity to learn then apply discrete skills. If you are interested in judging any of these competitions, please contact the ALTA faculty at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Fall Semester:

  • Ernie Goodman Mock Trial Tournament
    The Ernie Goodman Mock Trial Tournament is hosted by the Moot Court Board of Advocates and named for one of Michigan’s finest trial attorneys and civil rights advocates, Mr. Ernie Goodman. Competitors, in teams of two, are required to attend trial workshops, to produce a trial notebook, and to try the competition case at least twice (once as plaintiff and once as defendant) in the preliminary rounds of the tournament. The trial will be evaluated by judges and attorneys who act as judge and jury. Two teams will then advance to the final round, with cash prizes available. Regardless of whether students enroll for credit, the prerequisites are Evidence and Trial Practice (either the traditional course or the NITA intercession course). Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above to enroll for academic credit.

Spring Semester:

  • Patrick A. Keenan Appellate Advocacy Competition 

The Keenan Competition is an annual tournament administered by UDM's Moot Court Board of Advocates.  The tournament is a two-person team competition in which both students write the brief and compete in oral rounds.   Students participate in a series of workshops and are assigned a coach from the Moot Court Board of Advocates to prepare for oral argument.  The topic of the tournament is an issue taken from a case currently pending and/or up for writ of certiorari before the Unites States Supreme Court, or an issue that is generating attention among the federal circuits.  The competition is open to ALL upperclassmen that have a minimum GPA of 2.5.  Further, students can receive one (1) credit for completing the tournament.  This competition is mandatory for all Junior Moot Court members, with the exception of those serving on national teams.

  • G. Mennen Williams Moot Court Competition
    This is the mandatory first-year moot court competition and is part of the Applied Legal Theory and Analysis course. Students will draft a dispositive motion and brief in support as part of their writing course. They will then argue their position before a mock tribunal. Students will receive in-class oral advocacy training from their ALTA professors as well as from the Moot Court Board of Advocates.

External Competitions

Each year the Moot Court Board of Advocates sponsors competitive teams that travel across the country to argue mock appellate cases against law students from other American and Canadian law schools. In the past, substantive law topics have included Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Employment Law, Entertainment Law, Environmental Law, International Law, and Tax Law. Team members are selected in the second week of the fall semester to serve on a competitive team the following spring. In the spring semester, two- to four-member teams will write an appellate brief and prepare oral arguments that will be heard before a mock appellate court. Students will then travel to the host school and present their arguments over the course of one weekend. Advanced Advocacy is a pre- or co-requisite, and students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.8 or above to tryout and compete.