All students are required to participate in at least one internal moot court competition at the end of their first year and in a mock trial (via the Practice Court Program) in their third year. Students are not required to participate in an internal Client Counseling competition, though competitors for the external competitions are chosen from the participants in the internal competition.
As part of Baylor Law's intense Practice Court Program, students participate in the Bob and Karen Wortham "Mad Dog" Practice Court Competition, a week-long contest that occurs at the beginning of the second quarter of Practice Court.
Unlike the other Practice Court advocacy exercises that are conducted in teams of two, the Mad Dog competition pits student against student to find the one with the best courtroom skills. The winner receives $4,000, in addition to the 18-inch bronze statuette of Matt "Mad Dog" Dawson, the legendary Baylor Law professor who started the tradition of mini-trial competitions during his tenure as director of Baylor Law's Practice Court Program. The runner-up receives $1,000 , and semifinalists receive $500 each.
All students are required to participate in one of two Harvey M. Richey Moot Court Society internal moot court competitions at the end of their first year. Additionally, many upper-quarter students choose to compete a second and even third time.
Each team, consisting of two competitors, writes a brief and then completes four preliminary rounds of oral argument. The top sixteen teams then move into the final rounds and are awarded the distinction of barrister. Barristers, along with numerous full-time faculty members, judge the rounds of oral argument. Prize money is awarded to the top teams, best speakers and competitors who wrote the best briefs.
Second- and third-year students may participate in the annual Naman Howell Smith and Lee Intrascholastic Client Counseling Competition.
This competition gives students the opportunity to develop effective and efficient interviewing and counseling skills. Additionally, the students prepare for appropriate discussion of practical issues such as confidentiality, fee arrangements, engagement letters, conflicts of interest, professional and ethical conduct, general litigation procedures, and methods of alternative dispute resolution. In each round of the competition, teams of two students interview and counsel a "new client" with an undisclosed problem.
The students are judged on their ability to establish a rapport with the client, ferret out the relevant facts from the client, identify potential non-legal and legal courses of action that are consistent with the client's objectives, effectively explain such options to the client, and answer questions and concerns of the client.
The judges-all lawyers and counselors-give valuable feedback and advice to competitors. Top teams progress to the semifinal and final rounds. Students who participate in the intraschool competition may be selected as members of Baylor's Regional Client Counseling Competition team.
Transactional law competitions offer students the opportunity to hone analytical, drafting, client counseling, and negotiating skills used in a corporate and transactional practice. Transactional law competitions are a relatively recent addition to the law school competition landscape and are not available at all law schools. At Baylor Law, second- and third-year students have the opportunity to participate in the Baylor Law Transactional Law Competition by enrolling in Transactional Law Practice Lab, an elective class offered each spring quarter. In Transactional Law Practice Lab, students work in teams of two on a hypothetical M&A or other corporate transaction. Students receive instruction and guidance on substantive issues as well as drafting and negotiation skills applicable to transactional practice. The class culminates in a negotiation competition in which the student teams representing each side of the transaction engage in negotiation rounds judged by practicing transactional lawyers. Prize money is awarded to the winners.