Q: What is Moot Court?
A: Moot Court by definition is “a mock court at which law students argue imaginary cases for practice.” Moot court in high school has basically the application. Team members prepare appellate arguments over the course of the season and then argue them in competition at the end of the season. Competitors are evaluated on their knowledge of and application of the law to the case at hand, understanding of the case, and presentation.
Q: What was the case this year?
A: This year’s case was really fun to argue because it was so applicable to real life. It consisted of a black lives matters protest and the way the law enforcement dealt with it at the scene. We had to argue issues dealing with both the first and fourth amendments.
Q: How many years have you done Moot Court?
A: This year was my second year. A little over two years ago my Civitas teacher recommended that I try moot court out. Rio had been a moot court powerhouse in the past and she wanted to reestablish the program at Rio. A few years back when all the seniors left there was no one to keep the team going and it basically fell apart. It seemed like something I would like so I said “why not”.
Q: What do you do on the team?
A: I am the president so I helped organize meetings, helped members with their arguments, etc.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being on the team?
A: I think my favorite thing has to be how much moot court helps me outside of moot court. I use skills that I have learned in moot court almost every day. Some of which are public speaking skills, critical thinking skills, writing skills, etc., the list could go on. I also really like interacting with and hanging out with my team members. Moot court is not for the faint of heart. It’s a pretty hard mental exercise. Because of that, however, the team becomes more of a family as we help each other perfect our arguments.
Q: How well did you do this season in competitions?
A: Being that this year was only the second year since the reestablishment of moot court at Rio, we had almost all first year members. I was one of only two returning members from the first season. Consequently, we didn’t make it very far in competition. We were in the hunt for quarter finals though. And above all, I could not be more happy with the team. The improvements we made from the start to finish were enormous!
Q: What are your plans after Rio?
A:Well I plan to go to college, but I’m not really sure yet. Right now I’m thinking I may go to SFSU and study criminal justice. I still have some other options to consider so we’ll see.
Q: Do you have anything to say to people interested in Moot Court?
A: If you are at all interested please consider moot court. It truly is a great extracurricular that helps you in so many ways. Plus, it’s a lot of fun. The team is really young and has a lot of talented individuals on it. I’m confident that Rio can once again establish itself as a moot court powerhouse. Even if you’re nervous, come check it out. Who knows, maybe it will be something that you really enjoy and are good at.