Street Law believes in the strength of moot courts as a learning tool and encourages all teachers to use moot courts in the classroom. To facilitate this, we’re providing resources about current cases three times a year: one case each during the fall, winter, and spring.
Street Law-written case summaries and other resources for each case will be released two weeks before the Supreme Court holds oral argument in the case. Teachers can download the materials and moot the case as it is being argued at the Court, providing a perfect tie-in to current events. Then, classes can follow the case in the news, listen to the real oral arguments, and discuss the decision.
What is a Moot Court?
Moot courts are a great strategy to deepen student understanding and build advocacy, critical thinking, and public speaking skills. A moot court is a simulation of an appellate case—here, a Supreme Court case. Students play the roles of lawyers for the petitioner (party bringing the appeal), the respondent (the party that won in the lower court), and the justices. Unlike a mock trial, no witnesses are called, no evidence is introduced, and there is no jury. The arguments are about the legal and constitutional issues in the case, not about guilt or innocence. A moot court can be done in class in about a half an hour, though students need time before that to prepare their roles.
Simulations of judicial processes, like moot courts, prepare students for civic life, build understanding of important disciplinary knowledge, and provide an authentic platform to help learners meet several Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and C3 Framework objectives.