Esther Cha and Vangie Abriel

Law student Esther Cha and Prof. Evangeline Abriel following Esther’s presentation of oral argument to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Santa Clara holds two annual intra-school moot court competitions, the Galloway Competition and the Honors Moot Court Internal Competition. In addition, it sends teams of students to a number of inter-school competitions, in which Santa Clara students compete against teams from other law schools.

Internal Moot Court competition: This is a semester-long class open to second year students, selected through competition. Students enrolled in the course receive two hours of academic credit and are evaluated on a credit-no credit basis. The competition is run by the Internal Honors Moot Court Board. The faculty advisor for HMCI is Professor Courtney Huizar. The students research a hypothetical case, work in teams to write an appellate brief, and present oral arguments, competing against each other in successive rounds that are judged by volunteer faculty members, judges, and local practitioners. members.  Finalists receive awards and prizes.

The Galloway Competition: This is an internal competition open only to first-year students at SCU. Students work in two-person teams to write briefs for a hypothetical case involving criminal law and procedure.  The sixteen teams with the highest-scoring briefs are then selected to present oral arguments in four successive elimination rounds. The students on the final two teams receive cash prizes.  Additionally, the students on the final four teams may apply for membership on the Galloway board the following year. Students receive no academic credit for their participation in the Galloway competition.  The faculty adviser for Galloway is Professor Adriana Duffy.

External Moot Court competitions: These competitions are open to second-, third-, and fourth-year students through a selection process considering a range of skills, such as written advocacy, oral advocacy, negotiation skills, or client counseling skills.  If students are selected for an appellate advocacy competition, they independently research and write an appellate brief, and under the supervision of a faculty member or outside coach, prepare oral arguments to compete in successive rounds against teams from other law schools around the country.  If students are selected for a negotiation or role-playing team, they work with a faculty member or outside coach to prepare those skills to compete in successive rounds against teams from other law schools around the country.  The faculty advisor for HMCE is Courtney Huizar. Some of the competitions in which Santa Clara students compete are:

  • National Sports Law Negotiation Competition
  • ABA Negotiation Competition
  • California Bar Association Environmental Law Negotiation Competition
  • INTA Saul Lefkowitz Trademark Law Moot Court Competition
  • ABA Client Counseling Competition
  • Jean Pictet Competition

For more information on Santa Clara’s moot court programs, visit