Frequently Asked Questions
How do I join the Barristers’ Council?
Georgetown Law students join the Barristers’ Council by competing and advancing far enough in one of our school-wide Appellate Advocacy Division (Moot Court), Trial Advocacy Division (Mock Trial), or Advanced Dispute Resolution Division (ADR) competitions. Generally, students who make it to the semi-finals of a competition are invited to join that division as a team member. Other high-placing students are offered positions as alternates. There is not a predetermined number of students who can join a division in a given year.
Admission to the Barristers’ Council is based entirely on competition results. A student’s academic record is never a factor.
What is the difference between the Appellate Advocacy Division (Moot Court), the Trial Advocacy Division (Mock Trial), and the Advanced Dispute Resolution Division (ADR)?
Appellate Advocacy (Moot Court) competitions involve appellate advocacy. Competitors write a brief and then argue their case before a panel of judges, who score the advocates based on their skills. As the participants progress into higher rounds, they argue both “on” and “off” their written brief. People who like writing and who prefer the conversational style used when responding to judges’ questions might enjoy this type of competition. It is just like the oral advocacy exercise done in all first year Legal Research and Writing courses.
Trial Advocacy (Mock Trial) competitions involve trial advocacy. Competitors are lawyers in hypothetical cases held before judges and juries, who score the advocates based on their skills. The trials are essentially simulations of real-life litigation. Participants present evidence, examine witnesses, and give opening and closing statements. In addition, competitors are required to follow actual rules of court. If you enjoy good courtroom drama and like the captive audience of a jury, you may prefer this type of competition.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) competitions involve advocacy skills in negotiation, mediation, arbitration and client counseling settings. Competitors are attorneys or clients in hypothetical situations (usually disputes) who must balance a strong result for their client, with ethical interest-based negotiation. A panel of observers scores the advocates based on their skills. Participants work either individually or in teams, and always against another student or team of students. Students who enjoy negotiating and are interested in the broader spectrum of dispute resolution processes may prefer this type of competition.
How do I become a member of the Appellate Advocacy Division (Moot Court)?
By participating and advancing far enough in either the Robert J. Beaudry Moot Court Competition (in the Spring, open to all first-year students only) or the William E. Leahy Competition (in the Fall, for LLM & upper-class students only) you will be invited to join the Barristers’ Council and will be placed on one of our interscholastic moot court teams.
How do I become a member of the Trial Advocacy Division (Mock Trial)?
By participating and advancing far enough in the William W. Greenhalgh Mock Trial Competition (in Spring, open to non-graduating JD students only) you will be invited to join the Barristers’ Council and will be placed on one of our interscholastic mock trial teams. The Trial Advocacy Division does not hold a fall competition for upper-class students.
How do I become a member of the Advanced Dispute Resolution Division (ADR)?
By participating and advancing far enough in either the Bellamy Negotiation Competition (in Spring, open to non-graduating JD students only) or the William E. Leahy Competition (in Fall, open to upper-class students only) you will be invited to join the Barristers’ Council and will be placed on one of our interscholastic ADR teams.
When are these qualifying competitions held?
The Leahy Competition is held each Fall and the Greenhalgh, Bellamy, and Beaudry Competitions are held in the Spring. Please check out each Division’s page for the most up-to-date schedule information available.
Can first year students compete in all three of the spring qualifying competitions?
Yes, first-year students can compete in all three of the spring qualifying competitions. However, if you receive invitations from two or more Divisions you can only accept one invitation. In other words, Barristers’ Council members can only join and compete on behalf of one of the three Barristers’ Council divisions.
Can transfer students join Barristers’ Council?
Yes, transfer students can join Barristers’ Council by competing in the qualifying competitions. The only qualifying competition transfer students cannot compete in is the Beaudry Competition because it is only open to first-year students. Transfer students wishing to join the Appellate Advocacy Division therefore must compete in the Leahy Competition in the fall.
Who runs Barristers’ Council?
Barristers’ Council is student run and organized. The Executive Board is comprised of the Executive Director, the Managing Director, the Finance Director, the Director of the Appellate Advocacy Division, the Director of the Trial Advocacy Division, and the Director of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Division. Executive Board members are selected each spring for a one-year term. Executive Board applicants must be current Barristers’ Council members in good standing.
How much does it cost to join Barristers’ Council?
Barristers’ Council does not charge membership fees or dues of its student-members and the cost of attending inter-school competitions is covered by Barristers’ Council. However, students wishing to compete in one of the four intra-school qualifying competitions for an invitation to one of the three Barristers’ Council Divisions must pay a nominal competition registration fee.
How can I find out more about Barristers’ Council?
Barristers’ Council maintains and regularly updates a Facebook page, which posts competition pictures and information for current team members and students interested in joining Barristers’ Council.