External Moot Court – Put Your Law School Skills Into Practice!

Honors Moot Court

· Develop law practice skills

· Refine your advocacy skills

· Expand your professional network

· Enhance your resume

Honors Moot Court External (HMCE) selects the finest legal writers, oral advocates, and skilled negotiators and client counselors to represent Santa Clara Law in competition against other law schools in the most prestigious moot court tournaments in the country. Teams of two to three law students are selected for each competition. Thereafter, these elite teams focus on writing a winning brief and refining oral argument, or honing their negotiation/counseling skills, through a series of practice moots with professors, practicing attorneys, and members of the judiciary. Teams have competed around the world, and on a broad range of topics. HMCE is a unique experience you won’t get in a classroom.

Interested In Joining Honors Moot Court External?

Be on the lookout for emails and informational sessions scheduled throughout the Fall Semester. We typically select some competitors in August, for competitions that take place during the Fall semester. Later in the fall, we select competitors for the spring competitions.

All upper-division students are eligible to participate in at least some of our external competitions. To participate in an appellate competition, upper division students are required to have completed an Advocacy course either over the summer or in the fall.

Current 1Ls: While you are not yet eligible for HMCE, you can still prepare to compete! If you are interested in participating in an HMCE competition after your 1L year, consider completing Advocacy in the summer. Your initial brief submissions and oral advocacy scores from your Advocacy class are very important to the tryout process; they will be used as a base consideration for your HMCE team tryout.

Types of HMCE Competitions

HMCE appellate competitions include the Wechsler National First Amendment Moot Court Competition, the Thomas Tang National Moot Court Competition, involving constitutional law, the National Criminal Procedure Tournament, the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition, involving trademark law, and the Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition, involving patent law. As noted above, interested students must have completed Advocacy before applying to compete in one of these tournaments. Students must have completed Advocacy, and not concurrently taking Advocacy for these competitions.

In years past, Santa Clara students also have competed in negotiation and client counseling competitions. We recommend that interested students enroll in a Negotiations class during your Fall semester or take other related coursework as appropriate.

Santa Clara Law students have also competed in negotiation and client counseling competitions including:

In addition, we are always on the lookout to add new moot court competitions, particularly within specialty subject areas! For instance, in Fall 2020, Santa Clara competed for the first time in the Thomas Tang National Moot Court Competition where the team earned a Regional Best Brief award and advanced from regional oral argument rounds to nationals.

Additionally in Fall 2021, we plan to compete in the 27th Anniversary Burton D. Wechsler National First Amendment Moot Court Competition.

Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity! Are you a student interested in competing? Complete this form and we will be in touch!

Course Credit

Students may earn between one and two credits for participating in HMCE, depending on the competition. Each credit requires 50 hours of substantive work that the Faculty Advisor will certify. See the course catalog for further information.


A member of the Santa Clara Law faculty or a practicing attorney will serve as a coach for each team. Generally, coaches bring both expertise in the competition topic (e.g., trademark law, sports law) and experience in the particular skill (e.g., brief writing and oral argument skills, negotiations skills).

Are you a practicing attorney or Santa Clara alum interested in helping our moot court program as a coach or by serving as a judge for a practice moot? We’d love to have you! Complete this form and we’ll be in touch. Thank you in advance for your support!


One great perk of competing in HMCE? Eligibility to serve on its Board! Thank you to the amazing student competitors and leaders who make up the HMCE Board:

Director: Michael Wang

Assistant Director: Lilas Abuelhawa

Competition Managers: Lilas Abuelhawa, Gilbert Benavidez, Samuel Harden, Nathan Pope, Hannah Villalpando

Please send any questions you have about HMCE to the Board, at hmce@scu.edu.