Moot Court Competition

11th Annual Williams Institute Moot Court Competition, Preliminary Rounds
Saturday, February 14, 2015
UCLA School of Law

Registration now open!


Now in its eleventh year, the Williams Institute hosts the only national competition dedicated exclusively to the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity law.  The competition provides an opportunity for competitors to write an appellate brief on a current legal topic and to argue the case before a panel of judges.  The competition is designed to promote and recognize the finest oral and written advocacy on a significant problem in sexual orientation and gender identity law.

Click here for competition history & previous winners.

Upcoming Competition

2011 Final Round Judges (L to R): Delaware Supreme Court Justice Jack Jacobs, U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, and Oregon Supreme Court Associate Justice Rives Kistler

The upcoming competition will take place over the course of two weekends.  Four rounds of arguments, two preliminary rounds, a quarterfinal and semifinal round will take place on Saturday, February 14, 2015.  The final round will take place on Friday, April 17, 2015 during the Williams Institute’s 14th Annual Update Conference.  The Williams Institute will cover finalists’ travel expenses for the final round. All events will take place at the UCLA School of Law.

During the preliminary rounds, each team is guaranteed a minimum of two rounds of arguments.  Scoring for the preliminary rounds will be based on the written brief and both rounds of oral arguments.  The top eight teams will advance to the quarterfinals and from there the top four teams will move on to the semifinals with the two highest scoring teams invited to compete in the final round. Scoring in the quarterfinal, semifinal and final rounds will be based only on oral arguments.

2014-2015 Competition Calendar

October 1, 2014 – Registration opens
November 21, 2014 – Registration closes
December 1, 2014 – Problem released
January 20, 2015 – Last day for questions/problem clarification
January 23, 2015 – Briefs due
February 14, 2015 – Preliminary, quarterfinal and semifinal rounds
April 17, 2015 – Final round of competition


Each team may consist of two or three members. If a team has three members, all must argue in the competition but only two may argue in any given round.


The winning team will receive a prize of $500.  Prizes of $200 will also be given for the best brief and the best oral advocate.


To register for the competition, please complete the registration form and return it along with a non-refundable registration fee of $300 (checks payable to “Williams Institute/UC Regents”). Your registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch, and a closing reception for all student participants and their coaches on the day of the competition.  There is a limit of 38 teams for this competition and each school may enter one or two teams.  If more than 38 teams register, one team from each school will be guaranteed a slot and the remaining slots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, so register early if your school plans on sending two teams!

Official 2014-2015 Rules

Sample Score Sheets

These sample score sheets are intended to provide guidance as to the scoring criteria for the written brief and oral rounds of competition.  The Executive Board reserves the right to modify the score sheets.

Brief Scoring Sheet & Oral Scoring Sheet


The 2014-2015 problem will be posted on December 1, 2014.  Access information will be emailed to all registered teams.


Early reservations are strongly suggested.

A block of rooms have been reserved for moot court participants at the  UCLA Guest House, which is a short walking distance to the UCLA School of Law. Room rates are $177/$182 per night (tax-exempt). To make a reservation, please call the hotel directly at (310) 825-2923 and request a room under the “UCLA Williams Institute Moot Court Competition” room block. The reservation deadline is January 7, 2015. All hotel charges are the responsibility of guests and early reservations are strongly suggested.

Click here for additional places to stay in the immediate area. Make sure to mention UCLA when making your reservation as many of the hotels listed offer a discount for UCLA visitors.  Please keep in mind that the listed prices are subject to change.

Contact Information

For additional information or questions regarding the competition please email:

We look forward to hearing from you and to your participation in our competition!