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.
Members of the Baylor Transactional Law Team are chosen during the fall quarter through an application process. Students selected for the Baylor Transactional Law Team are assigned to teams for particular transactional law competitions, the subject matter and format of which varies. Some competitions are always focused on certain subject areas, such as sports law or healthcare law. Other transactional law competitions are not restricted to a particular area of law, and the competition problems are set in a variety of contexts, such as mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, or start up enterprises. The formats of these competitions vary as well, but the skills honed by student competitors include analytical, drafting, client counseling, and negotiating skills encountered in transactional problem solving—the very skills that transactional lawyers at a law firm or in-house legal department tackle on a daily basis.