Loyola University Chicago

Dan K. Webb Center for Advocacy

School of Law

Appellate Advocacy

Loyola has a history of dedication to the art of appellate advocacy. Loyola students receive intensive training in the appellate process through coursework and participation in regional, national, and international appellate advocacy competitions. Students are also offered the opportunity to gain practical experience by assisting Professors who sometimes accept the cases of indigent prisoners on appeal. Students selected to contribute to these cases may conduct interviews, prepare motions and other pleadings, and, on occasion, may even argue the appeal before an appellate court.

Appellate Advocacy Courses

Moot Court

Loyola's Moot Court Program, praised as one of the strongest and most successful in the nation, offers intensive training in oral and written appellate advocacy skills, preparing students who will represent Loyola at some of the most prestigious regional, national, and international appellate advocacy competitions. The program is run by a Moot Court Board consisting of a Chief Justice and three additional Co-Justices, along with an advisor from the administration.

Students are selected to compete on Moot Court teams by the members of the Moot Court Board, who evaluate briefs submitted by applicants, and assess each applicant's oral argument skills. With over 200 applicants each year vying for only 55 positions, admission into the program is highly competitive. Students who demonstrate exceptional oral and written advocacy skills will be invited to represent Loyola at competitions. Members of all Loyola teams are prepared for competition through the Honors Appellate Advocacy Program, an intensive course focusing on advanced legal research, advanced brief writing, oral arguments, and aspects of appellate procedure. Currently, Loyola sends more than 20 teams to competitions each year, and has an outstanding record of success

Loyola also hosts an annual Intra-school Moot Court Competition each spring, which is open to all second year students Participants submit a brief and conduct several rounds of oral argument. Judges for the Competition consist of faculty members and distinguished practitioners and judges from the Chicago legal community, all of whom are Loyola alumni. Members of Loyola's team in the National Moot Court Competition are chosen through participation in this Intra-School Moot Court Competition. In recognition of the importance of the art of appellate advocacy, first year students are required to attend one session of the arguments.

Gary David Friedman Award 

Made possible through the generosity of the late Gary David Friedman, a 1962 graduate of the School of Law, the Friedman Award recognizes commitment to advocacy. Each year, a Friedman Award is given to a student competition team which demonstrates success, diligence, and teamwork. Additionally, the student with the highest grade in the trial practice courses each semester also receives a Friedman Award.

Moot Court Teams

2016-2017 American Bar Association Team

The American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition focuses on topics of general legal interest attracting students from across the nation. Among recent topics: whether felon disenfranchisement laws violate the Fourteenth Amendment; whether the search incident to arrest doctrine should be modified to ask whether evidence may be found in the vehicle and whether a judge violated the sentencing reform act when requiring a student to pass out flyers regarding his crime on campus. Winners of regional rounds advance to national rounds.

2016-2017 Chicago Bar Association Team

Sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division of the Chicago Bar Association, this competition consists of mock appellate argument before the Supreme Court of the United States. Among recent topics: whether an extra-jurisdictional arrest performed by a security officer violated the Fourth Amendment; whether a state could broadcast the execution of a condemned prisoner live over the internet; and whether such a broadcast violated the First Amendment rights of the prisoner; whether the Safer Schools Anti-Terrorism Act, which banned the possession of certain items on school grounds, was constitutional; and whether the Defense of Marriage Act obstructs the application of Full Faith and Credit amongst the states and whether these doctrines can work to deny a state's recognition of same-sex union properly solemnized in a sister state.

The CBA Moot Court Competition will take place this fall in Chicago. Best of luck to this year's CBA team! We know you will represent Loyola Chicago well.

2016-2017 Frederick Douglass Moot Court Team

Open to students who are members of the Black Law Students Association, the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition examines legal issues of relevance to the African-American community. Recent moot court topics include:

  • Whether sentencing guidelines and the disparity in sentences for crack and cocaine violates the due process clause, the equal protection clause, and the cruel and unusual punishment clause
  • Whether a state university scholarship program open only to black students violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by discriminating against a white student otherwise qualified for the scholarship

2016-2017 Jessup International Law Team

Sponsored by the International Law Students Association and the American Society of International Law, the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition looks at international issues. Students argue as if they are before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. Among recent topics: expropriation, immunity, standing, and whether an obligation exists to admit a country into a multi-state union; whether a multinational corporation's decision to stop vaccine trials in one of its manufacturing host countries violated the country's sovereignty. Students from more than 50 countries participate, with winners of regional rounds advancing to national rounds. National winners advance to the final international competition held in Washington, D.C. Students who participate in this program need to have completed or be enrolled in one of the following two courses: International Business Transactions or International Law and Practice.

2016-2017 Family Law Team

Students participating in the National Child Welfare and Adoption Law Moot Court Competition argue current critical issues concerning child welfare and adoption law before a state supreme court. Among recent topics: The constitutionality of a state law requiring transfer of frozen embryos by adoption procedures; whether a putative father should be afforded appointed counsel under the protections of the Due Process Clause in involuntary parental termination proceedings.

2016-2017 Health Law Team

Sponsored by the American College of Legal Medicine, the National Health Law Moot Court Competition focuses on timely issues relevant to both law and medicine. Among recent topics: whether a state can involuntarily test individuals for sexually transmitted infections and criminalize consensual sexual conduct which transmits HIV from one person to another; whether a state can deny a proxy's request to refuse artificial nutrient hydration from an incompetent patient; whether an emergency room physician's instructions to a paramedic to take a patient to a different hospital violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act; issues concerning asymptomatic HIV under Titles I and II of ERISA and the ADA.

2016-2017 Uvaldo Herrera Team

The Hispanic National Bar Association's Uvaldo Herrera Moot Court Competition is open to members of HNBA who are of Hispanic descent. This competition focuses on problems of concern to the American Hispanic community. Recent topics include: racial profiling; whether police may conduct traffic stops based partly on ethnicity and appearance.

2016-2017 National Team

One of the most prestigious competitions in the nation, the National Moot Court Competition, requires students to prepare to deliver an argument before the United States Supreme Court. Topics are based on recent cases in which the Court has actually granted certiorari. Winners of the regional rounds advance to the national rounds. Among recent topics: whether a person's Fourth Amendment right is violated when police officers stop an individual based on an anonymous tip regarding DWI without the officers observing such driving and then subsequently finding a loaded gun in the vehicle; an Eighth Amendment challenge to whether a certain state's Three-Strikes Law is cruel and unusual punishment; and whether the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment prohibits sentencing a juvenile to life in prison without parole for a non-homicide.

2016-2017 Tax Team

Sponsored by the Florida Bar Tax Section, the National Tax Moot Court Competition focuses on issues in tax law.

2016-2017 Saul Lefkowitz Team

Sponsored by the International Trademark Association, the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court competition focuses on issues in trademark and unfair competition law.

2016-2017 Thomas Tang Team

Sponsored by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Associationand Loyola's Asian-American Law Student Association (AALSA), theThomas Tang Moot Court Competition examines issues of importance to the Asian-American community. Participants are not required to be of Asian decent. Recent topics include: whether preemptory challenges were improperly used to strike venire persons because of their Asian ethnicity and whether the Public Defender violated the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by retaliating against an employee who advocated for the rights of persons in a protected class. Winners of the regional rounds advance to the national rounds.

2016-2017 Wagner National Labor & Employment Law Team

The Wagner National Labor and Employment Law Moot Court Competition is one of the most distinguished competitions in the nation. In recent years sitting United States Supreme Court justices have been among the final round jurists. Among recent topics: whether a company can prevent a labor union from distributing information to non-unionized company employees, using a lawfully obtained list of company e-mail addresses and whether an unauthorized alien employee is able to recover damages under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"). To participate in this program, students must have completed one of three courses: Labor Law, Employment Law or Employment Discrimination.

2016-2017 Houston Invitational Team

The Houston competition invites the 16 top moot court programs from around the country to compete for the title of nation's best. Loyola has one of the top moot court programs in the country and is a regular competitor at the Houston Invitational.

2016-2017 Seigenthaler-Sutherland Cup National First Amendment Moot Court Team

Recognized as one of the nation's finest constitutional law competitions, this annual event features a current First Amendment controversy.