The centerpiece of the Supreme Court Institute (SCI) is the Supreme Court Moot Court Program, which taps into the expertise of faculty and outside practitioners to prepare counsel for oral argument before the Court. The SCI offers its moot courts as a public service, at no charge and irrespective of the positions taken by counsel, reflecting a core commitment to the quality of Supreme Court advocacy in all cases.
In recent years, the SCI has advanced that goal by conducting moot courts for advocates in nearly every case on the Court's argument docket. In the most recently completed Term (October Term 2015), the SCI provided a moot court to counsel in over 95% of the cases argued before the Court, and we have a moot reserved in every case currently on the Court's argument docket for October Term 2016. The SCI moot court program was recently featured in a New York Times article by Supreme Court correspondent Adam Liptak.
Other SCI activities include annual briefings for the press and students to preview the upcoming Supreme Court Term, mock moot courts of significant cases on the Court's docket, scholarly conferences, panel discussions of oral arguments, and presentations on recent publications related to the Court or Supreme Court practice.
Many of our programs, including most moot courts, are open to students and provide a unique opportunity to explore the nuances of Supreme Court advocacy and the decision-making process. Every student enrolled in the J.D. program at Georgetown attends a moot court as part of the first-year Legal Research and Writing curriculum. Faculty members are welcome to coordinate with the SCI to include moot courts as part of course curricula, and students enrolled in seminars on Supreme Court advocacy attend several moots during these semester-long courses. Our other programs and activities provide practicing lawyers and academics with opportunities to exchange ideas about the Court and support each other in their work.