Course - Law

Advanced Legal Writing & Intro. to Appellate Advocacy and selection on the team.

Recommended Courses:

Public International Law, Human Rights Law.


In the spring of their first or second year, students may try out for the following year’s Jessup Moot Court team. At the beginning of the fall semester the five students chosen will review 1) basic principles of public international law, 2) methods of international legal research, and 3) previous winning memorials (briefs) and bench memos. When the Compromis (problem) arrives, usually soon after Labor Day, team members will read it several times to learn the facts and to identify as many primary and sub-issues as possible. They will then divide the issues between them before beginning initial research. Initial research will be followed by 1) re-analysis of the Compromis based on that research; 2) further, in-depth, research; 3) and preparation of a thorough outline of issues and research. Team members will then begin drafting their Memorials (briefs) and complete at least three drafts, each more thorough and well written than the previous. Final drafts of the Memorials will be submitted at least one week, and preferably two weeks, before it is due for submission to the competition. From then until the Memorials are due, usually the second week of January, the team will refining, editing, and proofreading the Memorials.  


Any team member not involved, or minimally involved, in the polishing procedure will begin listing and prioritizing all issues and arguments in preparation for oral argument. Oral argument practice sessions will begin within one week of distributing the Memorial, and will continue regularly until the competition, which will be sometime in late February. Should the team advance, practice sessions will continue on a regular basis.  Before the end of the semester, the team will recruit and conduct a mini-competition to select team members for the following year.


Jessup II

Jessup team members who have proven to be dedicated and who have performed well may, at the Professors discretion, participate on the team for a second year. The course description and units will remain the same, but repeating team members will be expected to take a leadership role with the new team including, but not limited to, making sure that deadlines are adhered to, helping to schedule practice arguments, and organizing the mini-competition to select new team members. They will also be expected to use the experience they gained from the previous year to improve upon the previous teams written and oral advocacy.




1) ILSA Guide to International Law Moot Court Competition, produced by the International Law Institute, available at


2) The Little Book of Legal Writing, Alan L. Dworsky. 



Principles of International Law, by Ian Brownlie and/or International Law, 5th ed., by Mark Weston Janis

Course Format

The class will have a scheduled time to meet once a week, but will be expected to meet additional times, including weekends, on an as-needed basis. Class will be a combination of instruction, discussion, and practice.

Written Assignments

The team will produce a significant Memorial (brief) of approximately 30 pages.

Type of Exam

Participation in the competition will substitute for an exam.

Basis for grading  
Additional Comments

This course satisfies the Professional Skills curricular requirement.

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