Moot Court and Harry Potter World

March 5, 2012 - 12 AM

A.S., 3L

What do Moot Court and Harry Potter World possibly have to do with each other? Well, it all started last October. I had wanted to participate in the Moot Court competition at YLS, but because of the competition’s timeline, I could not participate. (Note: Moot Court is a competition in which you submit an appellate brief arguing an assigned case and then you defend that brief in oral arguments before a panel of judges.) So, I looked for Moot Court competitions outside of YLS. One particular competition caught my eye. It was the American Bar Association (ABA) First Amendment and Media Law Diversity Moot Court. I was very interested in the topic (an espionage case modeled after the WikiLeaks controversy). Furthermore, the finals were in Orlando, FL!

A classmate and I entered the competition and were chosen to submit a brief. A few weeks later, we found out we made it to the semi-finals: the oral argument round. In the weeks leading up to the oral arguments, we enlisted the help of fellow classmates, alumni, and professors. We had four moots before panels of judges made up of the aforementioned. They picked our briefs apart and pushed us to consider questions we hadn’t thought about before. They were intense judges, but by the time we got on the plane to go to Orlando, we felt thoroughly prepared. One of the best parts of being a student at YLS is that you have access to an amazing community and alumni network always willing to help!

The ABA flew us to Orlando, FL to attend the First Amendment and Media Law Conference, where the moot court competition would take place. The semi-finals included two rounds before two different panels of judges. The first round, we argued our brief. But the second round we switched sides and argued “off-brief.” Later that day, we were informed that our team was one of two teams to make it to the final round.

That afternoon, in front of our fellow competitors and attorneys attending the conference, we argued the final round in front of current sitting judges. The judges battered us with questions left and right, but we were fully prepared for them – thanks to all the preparation by our fellow students, professors, and alumni. At the end of a heated oral argument, my partner and I were declared the winners.

And of course, we celebrated by spending the next two days at Universal Studios, particularly the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!