Skip to main content

Legal Debate Programs

The University of Houston has two legal debate programs on campus, Mock Trial and Moot Court. Legal debate styles are oriented toward training students who are interested in pursuing careers in the law or students who are interested in the way their nation’s legal system functions. Simulating different aspects of legal advocacy allows students to hone their skills in legal research and rhetoric, as well as learning to work cooperatively on a team.

The American legal system itself relies on debate as the best means to find the truth. This adversarial system (“lawyer-driven, open to the public, and based on oral proceedings in judicial forums”) of American law reflects an abiding faith in the ability of the people themselves to nurture and sustain a democratic culture of truth-seeking[1]. Legal debate at the University of Houston provides essential training in this crucial aspect of our democratic system.

  • Mock Trial

    Mock Trial is style of debate that engages in a trial simulation in competition with teams from other institutions, helping students develop critical thinking and public speaking skills, as well as a knowledge of legal practices and procedures. For more information on Mock Trial, please click on the “Join the Team” link at the top of the page, or contact the president of Mock Trial, Archibald Cruz.
  • Moot Court

    Moot Court is a method of teaching law and legal skills that requires students to analyze and argue both sides of a hypothetical legal issue using procedures modeled after those employed in state and federal appellate courts. Whereas Mock Trial focuses on simulating the entirety of a trial, moot court focuses on brief preparation and argumentation for a single oral argument in front of an appellate court. For more information on Moot Court please click on the “Join the Team” link at the top of the page, or contact the president of Moot Court, Nader Irsan.