Moot Court

The Moot Court program is a student-run organization that coordinates intramural and intercollegiate competitions in appellate and international divisions.

Established in 1950, the Moot Court program provides an opportunity for students to develop their appellate advocacy skills. The program is administered by the Moot Court Board (a group of students selected to represent Notre Dame Law School in competitions) and guided by a faculty advisor.

The Moot Court program hosts the Notre Dame National Appellate Advocacy Tournament for Religious Freedom annually. 

Meet the Board

President Jim Scales
Vice President Jaemie Paraon
Oralist Selection Chair Vivian Pham
Brief Writer Selection Chair Caleb Acker
1L Tournament Chair Rachel Palermo
Treasurer Katherine Griffits
Showcase Team Representative Alexander Gonzalez
Religious Freedom Tournament Director Natalie Piazza
ABA Team Representative Rebecca Pronesti
Jessup Team Representative Nichole Kanios
IP Team Representative Jaemie Paraon
Seventh Circuit Team Representative Daniel Judge

Students are selected to the Moot Court Board after competing in the optional 1L Moot Court Competition and receiving an invitation to join the board based on their 1L briefs and their performance in the competition. In the fall of their 2L year, board members compete intramurally to determine placement on the board’s various teams. In years past, Notre Dame Law School’s teams have competed in the National Moot Court competition, the American Bar Association competition, the National Religious Freedom Competition, and the Jessup International Law Moot Court competition. The national team also performs the showcase argument each year in front of a panel of sitting judges, watched by the 1L class.

Members of the board also have the opportunity to argue actual cases in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Under the guidance of a local attorney, they take on a case representing a prisoner. In that capacity, they write a brief, a reply brief, and argue the case before a three-judge panel.

Students are entitled to one co-curricular credit for each semester that they participate in Moot Court.

For more information, contact Moot Court Board President Jim Scales at

Recent Team Accomplishments

Moot Court Aba Philly 2020

Congratulations to Kathryn Wilhoit, Katie Takeuchi, Marcus Dessalgne, Courtney Seitz, Carol Li, Christina Hopke, and Becca Pronesti on a successful weekend at the 2020 ABA Regional Tournament in Philadelphia. Christina Hopke’s brief won 4th Best Brief out of 32 teams, and Courtney Seitz, Carol Li, and Becca Pronesti advanced to the final round of 8 of the tournament.

Saul Lefkowitz

3Ls Mark Relation, Talea Stashin, and Katie Cronin won Best Brief and First Place overall at the 2020 Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Regional Competition in Chicago. The team was later named national champions. Read the story here.

Past Win John J Gibbons Seton HallJohn J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition 2018. First Place Team and Best Oralist to Olaniyi Solebo. Competitors: From left, Olaniyi Solebo, Hannah Oswald, and Terence Parker.

Past Win Intellectual PropertyInternational Trademark Association's Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition 2018. First Place Midwest Regionals and Third Place at Nationals 2018. Competitors: Hannah Weger, Matt Fitzgerald, Adam Kwon.

Past Win CravenJ. Braxton Craven, Jr. Memorial Moot Court Competition 2018. Second Place Team. Competitors: Shannon Lewry, Jonathan McCreary, Kayla Clark. 

Past Win Religious Tournament In BolognaInternational Religious Freedom Tournament in Bologna, Italy, 2018. First Place Team and Best Oralist to Lawrence Wesco. Jack Blais, Megan Ball, Cristina Sanchez, Lawrence Wesco. 

Past Win 2017 Seigenthaler CupSeigenthaler-Sutherland Cup National First Amendment Moot Court Competition 2017. First Place Team. Competitors: Kayla Clark, Hope Tone, Shannon Lewry.  

Past Win 2018 Seigenthaler CupSeigenthaler-Sutherland Cup National First Amendment Moot Court Competition 2018. Quarterfinalist Team and Best Brief Writer to Doori Song. Competitors: From left, Doori Song, Justin Lewis, and Jake Crammer.