The St. Thomas University Undergraduate Moot Court Program is a credited course that gives students the opportunity and support to flourish as they act as legal counsel in fictitious cases. STU Moot is dedicated to mastering the art of oral advocacy and brief writing for both International and Canadian Competitions. Each year, the university selects a team of no more than 30 students from a very competitive applicant pool.
Historically, STU has been one of the only Canadian Undergraduate Universities to compete in the American Moot Court Association, and now competes in six international competitions and numerous National Moots. STU has consistently performed well in all areas of competition, making it a stellar program aimed at legal preparation, problem solving, communication, and success. It is an exceptional academic experience that follows students in their pursuit of further academic and professional endeavours.
How does Moot Court work at STU?
The Moot Court course- Human Rights (HMRT) 3503- revolves around appellate arguments for hypothetical cases concerning multiple international legal issues. You will work with a small group of 4 or 5 students and will act as if you are a true attorney. You will read the case, research to find relevant laws and case precedents, and will then prepare legal arguments for both petitioner/prosecution and respondent/defense. You will become familiar with all international precedent surrounding the issue, will practice your oral arguments in class, and compete in regional (and potentially international) competitions around the globe
While simultaneously working on your international competition, you will also be required to choose a Canadian competition to take part in. The method will be relatively similar to that of your international competition with the small differences being that you will only work with one other student (your co-counsel) and the case has been previously argued in real life and thus there will be more resources readily available to you.
Both international and Canadian competitions are highly competitive and extremely selective. Moot Court at STU is time-consuming and will require you to put in substantial time during each week for preparations. The course will span over both fall and winter semesters with most international competitions taking place during the summer months. Moot Court truly is a responsibility all year round and thus only those students showing constant dedication will be chosen for some of the international competitions. Students are also required to have permission from the instructor of the course in order to register, no other prerequisites are required.
Why Take Moot Court?
Moot Court has many benefits other than just preparing students for law school (where moot courts are often mandatory in all programs). It provides a strong foundation for any career that requires writing, communication, critical analysis, and problem solving. Through coursework, you will learn to read case law, prepare legal briefs and memorandums, form arguments, and communicate effectively and persuasively.
National and international competitions will help you hone your public speaking skills, ability to work under tight deadlines, and capacity to think on your feet, while providing practical courtroom experience.
“Participating in Moot Court before law school has allowed me to better understand the cases I read and identify and apply important rules or tests in the case law that are crucial to my assignments and exams.” - Megan Cormier, STU Alum and law school student at uOttawa
When to Apply?
The Moot Court Program is reserved for second, third- and fourth-year students. The application is released in March for the following academic year so be sure to be on the lookout. Do not hesitate to get in touch with a senior mooter for details on the process!