The Moot Court had been an active aspect of Stanford Law School’s students’ life since the beginning. There has been a number of different iterations of moot court, which purpose was to help law students develop their oral argument skills. The earliest of these is Bar and Bench, which was a student organization that has its member make weekly arguments. This small student organization had only nine members. Leaving or graduating members would sponsor a replacement candidate to take their place which the current members would vote the acceptance of the nominee. In 1903, a revised version of this club, the Arcade Moot Court took over. This iteration of Moot Court allowed a much wider student particle.
In 1952, there was a major restructuring how moot court was to be run. It was named after a former dean, Marion Rick Kirkwood who officially left academic life. The first competition was held in fall 1952. For the next three decades, the Kirkwood Competition was an extracurricular activity that provided students an opportunity for training and practice in briefing and arguing cases on appeal. Cases were prepared in the form of a record from a trial court, and counsel were assigned to represent appellant/petitioner and appellee/respondent, usually with two counsel to a side. Some years the problem was based on an actual case and other years a hypothetical case was created. Briefs were prepared under the guidance of the Moot Court Board. Training also included informal lectures in brief writing and oral advocacy given by members of the bar. Cases were argued orally; courts for the semi-final and final rounds were made up of judges of the appellate courts in California, and other state and federal courts.
In 1979, in the effort to increase student participation, the Stanford Law School decided to make the Moot Board a two-credit class with a lecture components to help student to develop the skills to make oral arguments as well as credit toward graduating. Current incarnation of Moot Court, is a class seminar that takes place yearly. Potential students can sign up in the spring term that is separate from regular class registration. There is a max of 40 students that can register. Each student joins a two person team.
Fond Identifier Number: LAW-51017
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