February 4 – 13th Annual Williams Institute Moot Court Competition

The 13th Annual Williams Institute Moot Court Competition, Preliminary Rounds
Saturday, February 4, 2017
UCLA School of Law


September 26, 2016 – Registration opens
November 18, 2016 – Registration closes
November 21, 2016 – Problem released
January 3, 2017 – Last day for questions/problem clarification
January 8, 2017 – Briefs due
February 4, 2017 – Preliminary, quarter-final and semi-final rounds
April 7, 2017 – Final round of competition

The rules for the 2016-2017 Williams Institute Annual Moot Court Competition are available at Official 2016-2017 Rules.

Registration is now open.  The last day to register is November 18.  There is a non-refundable registration fee of $300 (checks payable to “Williams Institute/UC Regents”). There is a limit of 30 teams for this competition and each school may enter one or two teams.

*Registration is now closed. We have reached our 30 team limit.  Thank you for your participation.

Now in its thirteenth 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.

Upcoming Competition
The upcoming competition will take place over two days in the spring of 2017. Four rounds of arguments (two preliminary rounds, a quarter-finals and semi-finals) will take place on Saturday, February 4, 2017. The final round will take place on Friday, April 7, 2017 during the Williams Institute’s 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 oral argument. Scoring for the preliminary rounds will be based on the written brief and both rounds of oral argument. The top eight teams will advance to the quarter-finals and from there the top four teams will move on to the semi-finals, with the two highest scoring teams invited to compete in the final round. Scoring in the quarter-final, semi-final and final rounds will be based only on oral argument.

2016 – 2017 Calendar

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. (Prize money is considered taxable income.)

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 Argument Scoring Sheet

The 2016-2017 problem will be posted on November 21, 2016. 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 $199 – $239 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 3pm (PST) January 2, 2017 . 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.

Oral Argument Practice
Notice to all competitors: Teams will no longer be reimbursed by the Williams Institute for practicing their arguments in front of sitting judges.

Contact Information
For additional information or questions regarding the competition please email: williamsmootcourt@law.ucla.edu

Volunteer Opportunities
If you would like to serve as a timekeeper, please sign up HERE. (Thank you. We have reached our limit for volunteer timekeepers.)

If you are an attorney and would like to serve as a volunteer judge for the preliminary rounds of the competition, please visit our JUDGE’S PAGE.

If you are a sitting or retired judge and would like to serve as a volunteer judge for the quarter- and semi-final rounds of the competition, please email us at williamsmootcourt@law.ucla.edu.

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

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