Moot Court Tips (part 1) by: Hope Turner

​Mister Chief Justice and may it please the court…

​Moot court is something special. It transcends the everyday and takes you to a higher plane of thought. At least, that’s how I think of it. I LOVE moot court, but I’ll be the first to tell you that it is HARD. However, I have learned that if you invest in it, moot court will grow you into a stronger, smoother speaker who gives mic-drop answers using razor-sharp reasoning skills.

​I would like to give you a few tips to approaching moot court that makes you a better advocate and helps you have more fun. These aren’t just abstract tips. I’ve actually done these. In fact, I’m doing them right now as I prepare to compete at Nationals in collegiate moot court.

Fully immerse yourself in moot court
​Moot court can be daunting at first. And two months in. And six months in. In all honesty, I’m still intimidated by it to this day. That’s ok. The Supreme Court of the United States is daunting too. Ask anyone who has argued before the Supreme Court.

​“Come on, Hope,” you say. “It’s just pretend. We’re not actually arguing for a real person in front of the real Supreme Court.” To which I say, “but what if it were real? What if you actually were arguing for a real person before the real Supreme Court trying to affect real change?”

​That is the attitude you should have when you compete in moot court. Take it seriously! Fully immerse yourself in the role of The Attorney: arguing passionately on behalf of your client, who has been seriously injured; or defending the United States of America, who has done nothing wrong. Don’t do it half-heartedly. You get out of moot court what you put into it. So throw your whole self into it! Treat every round as if it were your one chance to speak before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Your client is counting on you for justice. Act like it.

Read the cases
​Real talk: life is busy. Between high school (or college) classes, SAT prep, and everything else you are doing, your time is very limited. I get it. But actually reading the cases is invaluable to your moot court preparation for a few reasons:

  • Quotes
    ​SCOTUS has some pretty punchy lines. Use them to your advantage. Memorize them to use as answers to questions. Incorporate them into your arguments. Respond to opposing counsel’s arguments with them. They are wonderful little tools.
  • Actually understanding the cases
    ​This one seems like a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many times I have heard cases misrepresented or misquoted because counsel hasn’t actually read the case. Read the whole thing. Read the footnotes. Read the concurrences and dissents. Read it all.
  • Commentary on other cases
    ​It is common for cases to comment on past cases. Sometimes, SCOTUS overturns past cases (a fancy way of saying that they were wrong). They may even comment on cases you have available to you. That can increase your understanding of those cases, show you how to apply them to different circumstances, and distinguish the rule from dicta. (if you have no idea what I just said, let me explain: the “rule” is the part of a case that is binding on lower courts. It is the actual decision and the reasoning behind it that causes real change. It is how they answer the question presented to them. Anything else, like commentary on other cases or thoughts about potential future cases, is “dicta,” which is the non-binding opinion of the court. Dicta can be great for persuasive or rhetorical appeal, but it is not binding on the court.)

​​Tune into Hope’s next article for tips on – how to read cases…

Hope Turner is a Lasting Impact! Team Member and Coach. She is the reigning Moot Court Champion, along with her partner Hope Rawlson. For more one on one coaching, contact us.

Debate – Moot Court Breakdown by: Eric Meinerding

New challenges ought to be seized with vigor. Moot Court’s rise over the past four years in homeschool forensics has cemented it as an opportunity not to passed up. If you would like to learn more about this activity, want to learn some new and advanced strategies to prepare for the season, or are interested in the legal world at all, Lasting Impact!’s, Eric Meinerding will be offering two opportunities to explore Moot – Online Moot Court Club and an Online Workshop this Wednesday covering the ins and outs of Moot Court …

Continue reading “Debate – Moot Court Breakdown by: Eric Meinerding”

Introducing… Chris Baldacci, Lasting Impact! Moot Court Coach

Lasting Impact! is excited to announce another coaching expert for your coaching needs… Schedule a one on one coaching session with Chris Baldacci, watch his Moot Court Recorded Video Workshop or join his 4 Week Moot Court Seminar … STARTS MoNDAY! If you can’t make all of them- they will be recorded!

Chris Baldacci was a two-time national champion in collegiate Moot Court and the top individual speaker at the national championship in 2018. He is the only orator in American Moot Court Association history to win three titles. He was also the runner-up in last year’s national brief-writing competition. Chris has competed on the varsity Moot Court team for four years at Patrick Henry College and has been active in coaching underclassmen and serving as a volunteer judge. He will attend law school in the fall.

To check out the Recorded Moot Court Workshop CLICK HERE.

To sign up for the Moot Court Seminar CLICK HERE.

JOIN US… Second Semester Online Clubs (Moot, Debate, and Apol.)

How cool is it, we live in an age where we can meet people all over the country from the comfort of our homes? How awesome is it, that your students can receive solid coaching and instruction from experienced instructors? Lasting Impact! is dedicated to helping you and your students, in your Speech and Debate journey, with the guidance you are looking for by offering online classes, clubs, and workshops. Sign up for our Second Semester Clubs NOW…

4 Week Moot Court Seminar

Start Date: Feb. 18, 2019 8:00-9:00pm CT (meets weekly)
Instructor: Chris Baldacci
Cost: $45 member/$65 nonmember

This four-week course will give beginners a strong foundation in moot court and help experienced students separate themselves from the competition with advanced techniques. The four classes will cover the fundamentals of constitutional law, how to prepare arguments like a lawyer, argument building for both the 2nd and 5th Amendment issues, and improving your answers to judge questions. Students will also receive individual feedback on their arguments and presentation styles to make them more confident and professional. All sessions will be recorded.

Second Semester Online Apologetics (Stoa and NCFCA)

Start Date: Feb. 19, 8:00-9:00pm CT (every other week)
Cost: $40 members/$50 nonmembers
Instructors: Matthew Harper and Kirsten Erickson

Are you competing in apologetics in NCFCA or Stoa? Interested in trying the category but unsure where to start? Or simply looking to gain a deeper understanding of Christianity and how to defend it? If so, Lasting Impact’s online apologetics club is for you! Aimed at helping students prepare throughout the semester and stay engaged between tournaments, meetings occur twice a month, alternating between apologetics teaching and speech coaching. All meetings are recorded, so you can review previous sessions if you miss a week or would like to review a lesson. All experience levels are welcome; whether you’ve competed in apologetics for years or are trying it for the first time, you will be encouraged and equipped!

Second Semester Team Policy Debate Club (NCFCA)

When: Starting Wed. Feb. 13
Time: Approx. 1 hour/ 8:00-9:00pm CT
Instructor: Eric Meinerding
Cost: $50 per member/ $75 per non-member

Looking for additional Team Policy support for the competition season? Well you’re in luck! Eric Meinerding is hosting a second semester TP debate club exclusively through Lasting Impact. He’ll be meeting with students weekly for 8 weeks, all across the NCFCA nation to work through strategies against the popular cases, find the best arguments in the current climate, go over ballots, discuss debate theory, advanced impacting, and a host of other topics. Included with your enrollment is a free coaching session with Eric at any point during the season to get direct, personalized feedback tailored directly to your team’s needs. So whether you are without a club for the season, looking to go above and beyond, or are looking for innovative strategies, this seminar will provide what you’re looking for.

LD (NCFCA) Club for Intermediate/Advanced Students

Instructor: Joel Erickson
When: Feb. 12, 8:00-9:00pm CT (meets weekly for 8 weeks)
Cost: $50 per member/$75 non member

We’ll be studying advanced strategy and drilling techniques, deconstructing cases, and collaborating on briefs. The club will be recorded weekly.

To SIGN UP for any one of these awesome opportunities… CLICK HERE