One of the best reasons to become involved in Moot Court is the networking opportunities it provides. One of our responsibilities on the board is to secure judges for each competition. This requires establishing relationships with firms, individual attorneys, state and federal court judges. Here are some Moot Court success stories:
Jobs, jobs, jobs.
Jason Wisecup competed in the Barrister’s competition during his 2L year. He and his partner won the Best Brief Award and advanced to the semifinal round of the competition.
His performance in the Barrister’s competition led to his acceptance into the 10th Circuit Appellate Clinic, where he and other students represented real clients with cases pending before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. He was also selected to the DU National Appellate team, which represented the University of Denver at the San Francisco regional competition in Spring 2006.
Because of his appellate experience, Jason was offered jobs with a solo-practitioner who specializes in appellate constitutional practice, and with a judge on the Colorado Court of Appeals. Jason will begin his clerkship with Judge John R. Webb of the Colorado Court of Appeals in September of 2006.
Moot Court Competitions help your grade…
Justie Coyne participated in the Barrister’s Cup Competition during the spring of 2005. Her week of brief-writing and half-week of preparation for oral arguments helped Justie to 2nd place in the competition. Justie declares, “it was one of the best experiences I have ever had in law school.”
But the benefits of competition were just beginning. The “invaluable experience” of participating in Barrister’s boosted Justie’s performance in the oral argument of her Lawyering Process spring final. And the feedback she received from judges on her Barrister’s brief were applicable to the LP brief. The result: Justie’s LP grade increased an entire letter grade between Fall and Spring semester.
Since then, Justie’s LP brief has become her writing sample, and is likely more refined and impressive then other students’ writing samples on the same subject. The experience also prompted Justie to run for, and be accepted to, the Moot Court Board. Justie says that the Moot Court Board “is a great institution and a central part of any good law school. I’m a member of the Board and loving every minute of it!”
Sometimes you can land a job right away…
Jessica Sousa competed in the final round of Hoffman Cup in 2004. It was her performance in the semi-final round, however, that attracted the attention of attorney Aaron Bradford. He gave Jessica his card and invited her to follow up regarding employment opportunities. Jessica contacted Bradford a couple weeks later, and within a month, Jessica had landed a summer/fall associate position at Pryor Johnson Montoya Carney & Karr.
An extra bonus was the timing of this connection. At the time of the Hoffman Cup in October, Jessica was beginning that daunting task of finding summer work. The quick turnaround between the competition and her job offer foreclosed the need for Jessica to continue applying for jobs. Maybe she’ll spend her extra time preparing for the 2005 Hoffman Cup…
Or sometimes Moot Court can help you later.
Susan Curtis, a member of the Moot Court Board, was on the winning team of the 2003 Hoffman Cup. During the Quarter- and Semi-final rounds, Susan not only received feedback on her performance from numerous Denver attorneys, but she was also presented with many job opportunities. Susan argued before Judge Carparelli in her final round and spoke with him briefly at the closing reception.
Applying for judicial clerkships in August 2004, Susan was invited to interview with Judge Carparelli. The Colorado Court of Appeals Judge remembered Susan from the Hoffman Cup and this became a focus of their conversation. “We talked about Hoffman quite a bit,” says Susan. “I think when you’re going for a clerkship, you can expect everyone’s credentials to be about the same. Hoffman was definitely an edge,” Susan attributes this to being awarded the clerkship.
Even 1L’s can get hooked up with Moot Court.
Ian Walsworth signed up for Barrister’s Cup his first year, not knowing there was a Moot Court Board or regular competitions. He had made a contact through the DU mentoring program who liked Ian but was hesitant to hire a 1L. He agreed, however, to help Ian and his partner prepare for Barrister’s. They all went to The Federal Theatre, where the practitioner hammered Ian and his partner with tough questions. This helped the team work out problems in their case and get used to being peppered with interruptions.
The practice worked. At Barrister’s Cup, Ian and his partner swept the awards. Ian called the practitioner to report the good news, and the practitioner offered Ian a summer clerkship. Iam worked with the practitioner’s firm for two years and was offered an associate position after law school. And it all started with Barrister’s Cup and a mentor.
Moot Court Board provides a tremendous team building opportunity to create life-long friends in the legal sector.