With the first year focused on transitioning into law school and the demands that come with it, students become eligible to compete on interscholastic teams following the completion of their third quarter.
Baylor Law a has a long and storied record of success in competitions at the national level, as year in and year out, Baylor teams routinely place among the elite teams in America. Because of its standing as one of the top advocacy programs in the nation, Baylor Law is regularly invited to the prestigious National Institute for Trial Advocacy Tournament of Champions—a competition it has won.
Over the years, that success continues to fuel enthusiasm, as students vie for coveted spots on a variety of teams. Competitors are selected through their performance in tryouts after intra-school competitions and advocacy exercises, with teams spending many hours honing courtroom skills and perfecting their knowledge of the facts and the law of their particular cases. The common factors in most competitions are a brief, a writing component and a speaking component, weighted differently depending on the competition.
Tryouts for the Baylor Law Moot Court team are open to all students who have participated in at least one internal Moot Court competition. Notices of tryouts are posted periodically, generally in the fall and spring following the intra-school competitions. Once selected for the Baylor Law Moot Court team, members are assigned to individual competitions.
The Baylor Law Mock Trial teams are traditionally selected in the fall and winter quarters. Thus, students interested in trying out for the Mock Court Trial team should look to structure their schedule so that they complete a fall/winter Practice Court class or a spring/summer Practice Court class with a least one or two quarters left after Practice Court before graduation. Second year students are eligible to be selected to work with certain mock trial teams. 2L tryouts generally take place in August and in December/January.
Like the internal Client Counseling competitions, the Regional and National Interscholastic Competitions give students the opportunity to develop effective interviewing and counseling skills as they enter into relationships with their clients. The faculty coach typically assembles the team from among those students who participated in the intra-school competition. Made up of between two and four members, each team designates the two members who will represent Baylor Law in the external competition, with the other members serving as student coaches, assisting with the preparation of the competition team.
Like the internal competitions, students are judged on their ability to establish a rapport with their client, root out the relevant facts, identify potential legal and non-legal courses of action consistent with the client’s objectives, effectively communicate those options to their client, and address any questions or concerns. Winners of the regional meets go on to compete in the national tournament, which is hosted by Baylor, every three years.
For students looking to leverage their law degree in business, Baylor Law offers opportunities to compete in the growing field of transactional law. Members of the Transactional Law Meet Team are chosen during the fall quarter through an application process.
Students work in teams to prepare a draft agreement. Each team writes markups to agreements prepared by the teams they will encounter during the regional rounds. In the competition rounds, opposing teams negotiate the contours of the deal, with each team representing one of the two parties to the transaction. While the type of transaction varies each year, the competition is designed to present challenges essential to transactional problem solving—the very type of problems that transactional lawyers at a law firm or in-house legal department tackle on a daily basis.
The goal of the IP Law Meet is to provide each participant an immersive and engaging simulation of transactional intellectual property law as it might unfold in practice. Like the Transactional teams, members of the IP Law Meet Team are chosen during the fall quarter through an application process.
Students work in teams to draft a transactional agreement in which IP rights constitute a key element. Each team completes a markup of one of the opposing team’s drafts. In the competition rounds, opposing teams negotiate the contours of the deal, with each team representing one of the two parties to a proposed transaction involving the transfer of intellectual property (either the owner or the transferee). While participating students should have a basic knowledge of IP law, they need not have technical knowledge of any particular field. Although IP forms the backbone of the agreements drafted, the competition features the types of deals all transactional lawyers draft on a daily basis.
Baylor Law students collaborate with Baylor MBA students to participate in the Startup LawMeet®, which is an interscholastic competition for students interested in a transactional practice involving entrepreneurial companies. The Baylor Startup LawMeet® team is chosen in the winter quarter, and the competition spans the winter and spring quarters. The Startup LawMeet® is designed to bring together law students and graduate students in other professional programs to teach them about the legal issues encountered in the context of a startup company. The challenges each team faces require an understanding of the corporate, securities, tax and lawyering issues faced by an entrepreneurial venture.