Mooting

Building your knowledge and skills

Being a student in Dal's Schulich School of Law means you'll attend traditional academic lectures and seminar courses that will expand your knowledge of the law and improve your analytic skills. You'll also take courses or programs that help you build your knowledge and skills through practical experience.

As a second- and third-year student, you’ll be able to participate in one or more of several mooting programs. In these moots, you’ll learn and practice various advocacy skills, including persuasive legal writing, preparation of factums, proper courtroom decorum, and oral advocacy.

In the required moot court course, you’ll be assigned a moot problem and a side—appellant or respondent—and then follow various procedures to moot a hypothetical case. Second-year students act as counsel, while third-year students act as judges. If you’re part of the best second-year moot counsel, you’ll have the opportunity to compete in your third year for the Smith Shield, a prestigious Dalhousie award.

Many other mooting programs and courses are offered:

  • the Jessup International Moot Court Competition, a world-wide event on a problem of international law
  • the Laskin Moot (an administrative-constitutional moot)
  • the Kawaskimhon Aboriginal Rights Moot
  • Securities Law Moot
  • the Gale Cup Moot Court Competition (among all Canadian common law schools)
  • the Canadian Labour Arbitration Moot
  • the Sopinka Cup, a two-day event aimed at encouraging law schools to train students in oral advocacy

For more information on mooting opportunities, visit our current students moot page.

Canadian Labour Arbitration Moot

LAWS 2177 - A Canadian Labour Arbitration moot. The Canadian Labour Arbitration Moot is organized and hosted by the Toronto law firm Mathews Dinsdale & Clark. Eight Canadian law schools participate in this annual moot competition. Team members must be in their second year of law school. This competition will be of particular interest to students who wish to pursue a career in labour law, as it provides an opportunity to develop research and advocacy skills in labour law and also to meet labour law practitioners, arbitrators, and law students from across Canada who are also interested in labour law.

Subject: Labour law
Coach: Professor Lorraine Lafferty
lorraine.lafferty@dal.ca
902-494-1296
Requirements: (1) 2nd year students only
(2) enrolment in Labour Law in fall term of 2013
(3) enrolment in Administration of the Collective Agreement (when offered)
Number of students: 2
Number of credit hours: 2 (Winter)
Where: Ontario Labour Relations Board, Toronto, Ontario
When: Preparation begins in early October. The competition takes place in late January.
Selection process: Based on enrollment in Labour Law in the first term, an interview (held in early September), and 1st year marks.
Evaluation: Grade is based on participation on the team, including quality of research, preparation for, and performance at the national competition.
Recent History:
2017 Team: Chantelle Flowers, Mallory Adams
Coaches: Professor Bruce Archibald & Eric Slone 
 
2016 Team: Andrew Mercer, Will McLennan
Coaches: Professors Lorraine Lafferty & Eric Slone
 

 

Corporate/Securities Law Moot

LAWS 2144 - An annual Canadian corporate and securities law moot competition. At this competition, each team member participates in two preliminary rounds; and in each round, is required to argue a different side of the case. The Canadian Corporate/Securities Moot is sponsored by the Toronto law firm of Davies, Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, and is open to second and third year students.

Subject: Corporate and securities law
Coach: Professor Sarah Bradley
sarahbradley@dal.ca
902-494-1009
Requirements: (1) Business Associations
Number of students: 4
Number of credit hours: 3 (Winter)
Where: Toronto, Ontario
When: Preparation begins in January. The moot takes place in late February/early March.
Selection process: Selected on the basis of written applications, and on a student's stated interest in participation, prior experience, oral advocacy skills and academic record.
Evaluation: Grade is based on research, factum and oral advocacy. This course satisfies the major paper writing requirement, if the student wishes to count the moot as a major paper.
Recent History:
2017 Team: Andrew Roy, Matthew Lee, Sarah Baddeley, Sydni Kind
Coach: Professor Len Rotman
 
2016 Team: Elizabeth Brachaniec, Adam Nickerson, Rachel Fridhandler, Roy Argand
Coach: Professor Jennifer Campbell
 

 

Gale Cup Moot

LAWS 2107 - A national appellate level mooting competition.The Gale Cup awarded in this national competition is named for the Honourable George Gale, former Chief Justice of Ontario. The Dickson Medal, honouring the former Chief Justice Brian Dickson, is awarded to the student who demonstrates excellence in oral advocacy at the competition.

Subject: Criminal law (usually)
Coach: Mark Scott
scottam@gov.ns.ca
902-424-2864
Moot website: www.galecupmoot.com
Requirements: (1) 3rd year students only
(2) availability during Reading Week in February to prepare for or participate in the competition
Number of students: 4
Number of credit hours: 3 (Winter)
Where: Ontario Court of Appeal, Osgoode Hall, Toronto, Ontario
When: Preparation begins in the fall term. The competition takes place in late February (sometimes during Reading Week).
Selection process: By application in the Winter term of second year for team participation in third year.
Evaluation: Grade is based on moot performance. This course satisfies the major paper writing requirement, if the student wishes to count the moot as a major paper.
Recent History:
2017 Team: Justin Abrioux, Christina Macdonald, Theron Davies, Jessica Patrick
Coach: Mark Scott
 
2016 Team: Shane Belbin, Mitchell Gallant, Emily Hansen, Salvador Pimentel
Coach: Mark Scott
 

 

Jessup International Law Moot

LAWS 2103 - An international law mooting competition in which national finalists compete in international finals. The Jessup Moot is sponsored by the International Law Students Association, based in Washington DC.  Phillip Jessup, for whom the competition is named, was one of America's most respected jurists on the International Court of Justice.

Subject: Public international law
Coach: Professor Rob Currie
Robert.Currie@dal.ca
902-494-1012
Moot website: www.ilsa.org/jessuphome
Requirements: (1) 3rd year students only
(2) an International Law course is strongly recommended but not required
Number of students: 4
Number of credit hours: 3 (Winter)
Where: Regional location varies.
When: Preparation begins in September. The competition takes place in February or March.
Selection process: By an application process, possibly involving a mock oral argument, in Winter term of second year, for team participation in third year.
Evaluation: Grade is based on moot performance. This course satisfies the major paper writing requirement, if the student wishes to count the moot as a major paper.
Recent History:
2017 Team: Dylan O'Leary, Matt MacMillan, Jessica Habet, Greg Johannson 
Coach: Professors Rob Currie and Phil Saunders
 
2016 Team: Brett Carlson, Erryl Taggart, Jane Loyer, Greg Melchin
Coach: Professor Robert Currie
 

Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Rights Moot

LAWS 2206 - A two-day national moot competition based on a high-profile case where Aboriginal rights are at issue. Kawaskimhon means "speaking with knowledge". This moot is a combination of oral argument based on a written factum and negotiation, and is structured on the traditional Aboriginal talking circle model for consensus-building.

Subject: Aboriginal law
Coach: Naiomi Metallic
naiomi.metallic@dal.ca
Requirements: (1) Aboriginal Law
Number of students: 2
Number of credit hours: 3 (Winter)
Where: Location varies.
When: Preparation begins in December. The competition takes place in March.
Selection process:

(1)  Open to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students
(2)  Preference is given to 3rd year students
(3)  The Selection Committee will consider, among other factors:

  • Academic achievement
  • Achievement in closely-related law school subjects
  • Performance in any moot exercise, requirement, course or setting
  • Record of commitment to Aboriginal justice issues
  • Career plans that may relate to Aboriginal justice issues
  • Membership or affiliation with any Aboriginal community
  • Any other feature of the applicant’s background, experience or plans which closely relates to the Aboriginal moot
  • Participation in any interview, competition, selection process at the discretion of the Selection Committee
Evaluation: Grade is based on research, written factum and performance and participation as a member of the moot team both during preparation and during the moot itself.
Recent History:
2017 Team: Paige Wilson, Richard Kulesza
Coach: Professor Naiomi Metallic
 
2016 Team: Jim Boyle, Michael Megalli 
Coach: Naiomi Metallic
 

McKelvey Cup/Sopinka Cup Trial Advocacy Moot

LAWS 2171 - A regional and national criminal trial advocacy competion. The two-person winning team from the McKelvey Cup Competition represents the region at the National Sopinka Trial Advocacy Competition. Every 4th year, a second team will participate at the national level. No extra credit is given for participation in the Sopinka Cup Competition.

Subject: Criminal law
Coaches: Brian Casey
bcasey@boyneclarke.ns.ca
902-469-9500

Mike Scott
mscott@pattersonlaw.ca
902-405-8188
Moot website: www.actl.com
Requirements: (1) Enrolment in Sponika/McKelvey Cup Trial Advocacy Course
*Students taking this class may not take Criminal Trial Practice
Number of students: 16 /4 (advance to regionals) / 2 (advance to nationals)
Number of credit hours: 2 (Fall); 3 for those who compete in the McKelvey Cup
Where: McKelvey Cup: Regional competition (Maritimes) - location varies
Sopinka Cup: National competition - location varies
When: Preparation begins in September. The McKelvey Cup Moot takes place in February. The Sopinka Cup Moot is in March.
Selection process: The top 4 students from the Trial Advocacy Course. Entry to the McKelvey Cup course at Dalhousie is by try out: 1st or 2nd year students interested in trying out for the competition should watch for notices of the tryouts for next year's class in early March.
Evaluation: Grade is based on class participation and performance in trial advocacy excercises.
2017 Team: Lisa Delaney, Jen Power, Mary Rolf, Ian Wilenius
Coaches: Brian Casey
 
2016 Team: Ria Guidone, Mary Brown, Vin Mishra, Kathryn Piché
Coaches: Brian Casey, Mike Scott & Jeremy Smith
 

 

Laskin Moot

LAWS 2039 -  Canada's national bilingual constitutional and administrative law moot court competition. This moot is named for Bora Laskin, former Chief Justice of Canada. At least 16 Canadian law schools usually participate in this competition.

Subject: Constitutional & administrative law (public law)
Coach: Professor Vaughan Black Vaughan.Black@dal.ca
902-494-1011
Moot website: laskin.ca
Requirements: (1) 3rd year students only
(2) at least one team member must be capable of mooting in French
(3) co-requisites: Constitutional Law and Administrative Law no later than Fall term of 3rd year
Number of students: 4
Number of credit hours: 3 (Winter)
Where: Location varies
When: Preparation begins in the fall term. The moot takes place in mid-to-late February.
Selection process: By application in the Winter term of second year for team participation in third year.
Evaluation: Grade is based on research, factum and oral performance.
This course satisfies the major paper writing requirement, if the student wishes to count the moot as a major paper.
Recent History:
2017 Team: George Franklin, Teagan Markin, Vini Vaitheeswaran, Sophie Deviller
Coach: Professor Jodi Lazare
 
2016 Team: Esher Madhur, Edward Murphy, Killian McParland, Rebecca Stiles
Coach: Professor Jodi Lazare
 

Willms & Shier Environmental Law Moot

LAWS 2250 - Canada's first and only national moot court competition devoted to environmental law. This moot is held biennially. Note: The first year a team from the Schulich School of Law will be eligible to compete for credit is 2015. The competition takes the form of an appeal before a Canadian court of last resort. Each team files a factum for one party. At the oral hearing, teams argue one side of the appeal in their first match and the other side in their second. This moot is open to 2nd and 3rd year students in recognition of the fact that this moot is offered biennially.

Subject: Environmental law
Coach: Professor Aldo Chircop
aldo.chircop@dal.ca
902-494-1007
Moot website: www.willmsshier.com/moot
Requirements: (1) Environmental Law I is a pre or co-requisite
Number of students: 2
Number of credit hours: 3 (Winter)
Where: Ontario Court of Appeal, Toronto, Ontario
When: This moot is held every other year. Preparation begins in xxx. The moot takes place in March.
Selection process: Selection of participants will take place through a written application process, and may involve a brief oral exercise.
Students will be selected based on academic standing, demonstrated interest in environmental law and advocacy skills. 
Evaluation: Evaluation will be based on the overall performance of each student on the written and oral components of the moot, including practice rounds.This course satisfies the major paper writing requirement, if the student wishes to count the moot as a major paper.
Recent History:
2017 Team: Nina Butz, Myles Thompson
Coach:  
Aaron Lemkow