National Moot Court

Prof. Andrew King-Ries
Prof. Larry Howell

This competition, the oldest and largest in the country, is open only to second-year students, six of whom will be selected. Team members, who earn two credits, must attend a day-long training session right before school starts in August and be prepared to devote a great amount of time during fall semester to writing the brief and practicing.

National Moot Court involves briefing and arguing a case, generally concerning statutory or constitutional issues, in the United States Supreme Court. Each three-student team writes a brief that is due in mid-October. Then the teams practice their oral arguments about four times a week until the Northwest Regional competition in mid-November. The top two teams from each of the country’s 15 regions advance to the week-long National Competition, held in late January at the New York City Bar Association.

The University of Montana teams traditionally perform well in the competition, which involves approximately 150 law schools. UMSL is among a handful of schools that have won the national championship more than once, most recently in 2000. As of 2012-2013, UMSL teams have advanced to the national finals twelve years out of the last fifteen, including an unprecedented ten years in a row from 1999-2008. During that period, UMSL teams have won the region’s award for best brief seven times and the award for second-best brief six other times. In both 2000 and 2005, a UMSL brief was judged one of the top two in the nation. Additionally, a UMSL student has won the award for best oral advocate at the regional competition the last three years in a row, and four out of the last six years.

This national program is co-sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Young Lawyers Committee of the Bar of the City of New York. More than 165 accredited law schools participate in this program involving more than 1,000 students.

At UM School of Law, members for two teams are selected during a competitive process. Students must have completed their second year of law school and be in good academic standing (2.3 GPA) to be eligible for this competition. National Moot Court team members enroll for two credits in the fall semester of the appropriate section of Law 699, a third-year course.

Members of the 2012-2013 teams are 1) Bryan Dake, Daniel diStefano, and Amy McNulty; and 2) Nick Brooke, Tasasi Brooks, and Tiffany Nunnally.  Dake was selected the best oral advocate in the regional competition, and Brooke was the second-best.  The Brooke, Brooks and Nunnally team also won the region’s best brief award, and was one of two teams in the region to advance to the national finals in New York City.  There, they advanced to the elimination rounds as the No. 9 seed (out of 30 teams) before losing a close round to a higher seed.

Photo Placement
2010 Moot Court


Jenny Jourdonnais, Rob Olsen, and Scott Peterson (from left) took first place overall in the regional competition. Additionally, Rob Olsen received the best oralist award and the UM teams wrote the top two briefs in the region.

2007 Moot Court


Erica Grinde, Sabrina Hansen, and Angela Wetzsteon.  Summer Nelson was named the region's top oralist.

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Brian Miller, Isaac Kantor, and Megan Dishong, in addition to placing 2nd at regionals, represented the Northwest in the national competition in New York City. The team was coached by Professors Larry Howell and Andrew King-Ries.

2005 Moot Court


Jill Petersen Laslovich, Jonathan McDonald, Paul Shea

2004 regional Moot Court Champions


Matt Thuesen, Whitney Welsh, and Jeff Roth, and coached by Professor Larry Howell and Professor Andrew King-Ries, in addition to winning regionals, wrote the first-place brief. In five of the last ten years, the UM team has written the best brief in the regional competition.

2000 National Moot Court Champions


Bobbi Frazer, John Mudd, and Taryn Hart, coached by Professors Melissa Harrison and Larry Howell.


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1981 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS, Carey Matovich and Karl Seel.