Student Spotlight: James D’Angelo, Moot Court

Moot Court, Mock Trial, Law Journal, PILR, SBA, ZZZ (okay, that last one isn’t a real thing, except maybe to represent the sleep you may be missing). Isn’t law school going to be enough without extra activities to worry about? In a word, “no”. Law school is plenty of work, do not get me wrong but, joining the advocacy program, a student organization, or one of the many student publications available at Loyola Chicago can really add to your overall experience. I joined Loyola’s Moot Court program as a 2L, and it was definitely the best decision I have made so far.

For those unfamiliar with Moot Court, don’t worry—I had no idea what it was before I started. To be honest, you shouldn’t even think about it until the end of your 1L year. But, when the time comes, jump on it. For those in the dark like I was, Moot Court is a make-believe (okay, maybe “simulated” is a better word) appellate court proceeding. Since it is at the appellate court level, there is no jury to impress, nor any Law and Order-type drama. However, you do write a brief, and you generally argue your position for 12-15 minutes, with judges continually asking questions throughout your time.

At Loyola, we have 18 different teams, with some specializing in certain areas of law (Criminal, Health, International, etc) and others remaining general. For those who know what type of law they want to practice, these specialized teams are a great way to dive right in. For those, like me, who have no idea what they want to do after law school, both the specialized and general teams can be a great way to “test the waters”. While it may be intimidating to give a 15-minute speech, there’s no better cure than just doing it. Plus, you get to work on your writing skills and teamwork along the way.

Perhaps the best part of Loyola’s Moot Court program is the continued dedication of our incredible coaches. Each team is coached by a few real-life practicing lawyers, many of which participated in the Moot Court program when they went to Loyola Chicago, and their professional experiences are vast. They put in dozens of hours with the team, commenting on the brief-writing process, honing oral advocacy skills, and generally making every competitor a force to be reckoned with. And, I think our achievements speak for themselves: dozens of national and regional championships; finalists over the past 3 years: and more awards than the school knows what to do with.Moot Court Awards

Loyola’s Moot Court program is truly one-of-a-kind, and I’m just lucky to be a part of it. Don’t forget to check us out on the 10th floor when you’re on campus!

Read more about our National Moot Court Competition Teams.

James D’Angelo

James Dangelo

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