Lawyers practicing in Moot Court

Moot Court Honor Society

The Moot Court Honor Society is the Law School’s only co-curricular appellate advocacy honors program. Our members sharpen their written and oral advocacy skills, argue cutting-edge legal issues and compete in a range of internal and external competitions. Students participating in the Moot Court Honor Society regularly engage with legal profession leaders, including celebrated St. John's alumni and state and federal judges. They also build relationships with future colleagues and mentors.

Contact Us

We welcome your inquiries. Please contact:

Executive Director
St. John’s School of Law
Moot Court Honor Society
8000 Utopia Parkway
Queens, NY 11439
[email protected]

Faculty Co-Advisors for the Duberstein Moot Court Competition
Professor Christine Lazaro
Professor Susan Landrum 


More Information

The following are answers to frequently asked questions about membership in the Moot Court Honor Society at St. John's Law School.

Who is eligible to compete for membership in the Moot Court Honor Society?
You are eligible to compete if you are a:

  • Either
    • First year day student;
    • Second year evening student;
    • First year part time students transferring to the full time program in the Fall; or
    • Second year students who transferred to St. John’s last year;
  • And
    • Are in good academic standing; and
    • Not on academic probation.

Students cannot participate in both Moot Court and the St. John’s Law Review in their 2L year but are otherwise eligible for membership on the other scholarly journals.

If you are accepted on to Law Review before the completion of your Moot Court tryout, you are encouraged to complete your Moot Court tryout.  Although you cannot participate in both Moot Court and the St. John’s Law Review during your 2L year, you can join Moot Court during your 3L year if you become a Senior Staff Member rather than a Board member on Law Review and have otherwise qualified for Moot Court.

How are members selected?
We use four criteria to select Moot Court Honor Society members:

  • Brief portion of the Reverend Joseph T. Tinnelly Moot Court Competition;
  • Oral argument portion of the Tinnelly Competition;
  • Overall GPA for the first year; and
  • Legal Writing II grade (Spring Semester).

Students receive and submit the writing portion of the competition electronically through the Law School's TWEN portal. Prospective members then engage in oral arguments on their written brief in the Tinnelly Competition held in June. We offer a make-up competition in August for students unable to take part in oral arguments due to work or other extenuating circumstances.

Why should I consider membership in the Moot Court Honor Society?
Moot Court Honor Society members develop practical legal writing and oral advocacy skills, which are essential to marketing your legal experience to prospective employers. Employers from private law firms, public interest firms, and government organizations and agencies seek candidates who have the practical experience that Moot Court affords.

What will I do as a member?
All new members of Moot Court will enhance their brief writing and oral advocacy skills through the “Appellate Advocacy-Moot Court” course taught by Dean Larry Cunningham and Alumna Cristin Connell.

In the Fall, the new members will serve on “bench teams” and act as the practice squad to prepare senior members for external competitions. In the Spring, new members will have the opportunity to compete as teams in external competitions.

All new members will compete in two internal competitions—one in the Fall and one in the Spring.

Do I get academic credit for participating in the Moot Court Honor Society?
During their first semester of membership, new members receive three credits for completing the "Appellate Advocacy — Moot Court" course. In addition, toward the end of their first year, eligible members of Moot Court may run for Executive Board positions, which offer academic credit.

Does my participation satisfy any academic requirements?
Successful completion of the "Appellate Advocacy—Moot Court" course satisfies the Practical Legal Writing Requirement.

What if I have additional questions?
Please contact us. We are happy to answer your questions.

Associate Dean Larry Cunningham
Faculty Advisor

Professor Christine Lazaro
Assistant Dean Susan Landrum
Faculty Co-Advisors for the Duberstein Moot Court Competition

Executive Board & Membership

Ryan Krumholz
Executive Director

Maria Gomez
Managing Director

Liss Mendez
Externals Director

Daniel Horowitz
Tinnelly and Mollen Competitions Director

Arianna Clark
Reardon Competition Director

Anna Piszczatowski
External Relations Director

Stephen Van Doran
Senior Director of the Duberstein Competition

Mary Curry
Katherine Kokotos
Associate Directors of the Duberstein Competition

Senior Staff Members

Nataniel Arabov
Philip Branigan
Joo Yeon Shih
Artesia Tso 

Staff Members

To Be Announced

Members of the Moot Court Honor Society hone their written and oral advocacy skills and gain practical research and writing experience by competing in a range of internal competitions held at St. John's School of Law and external competitions hosted at venues across the country.

Internal Competitions

Each year, Moot Court Honor Society members participate in the following internal competitions hosted at St. John's School of Law:

Reverend Joseph T. Tinnelly Moot Court Competition.
Held over the summer months, the Tinnelly Competition is our entry-level competition for second-year day and third-year evening students. Held after the journal write-on, it consists of two parts. Students first submit a legal brief for the judges' consideration. Those selected to move on in the competition then give oral arguments on their brief. Past and present Moot Court Honor Society members judge the oral arguments.

Honorable Milton Mollen Moot Court Competition.
The Mollen Competition continues the oral advocacy portion of the Tinnelly Competition. New Moot Court members argue the quarterfinal, semifinal, and final rounds. In the final round, the competitors face a bench of distinguished judges, including the Honorable Milton Mollen. The Mollen Competition typically begins in late September and concludes in early October.

Roy L. Reardon Moot Court Competition
Named in honor of distinguished alumnus Roy L. Reardon ’54, the Reardon Competition marks the culmination of the first year for new Moot Court Honor Society members. While they do not submit a brief, Reardon competitors have a unique opportunity to demonstrate the oral advocacy skills they developed during the year. Finalists not only face an impressive panel of judges, including Mr. Reardon himself, but also argue in front of faculty members, prominent alumni, administrators and students in the Law School’s Belson Moot Court Room. The Reardon Competition takes place from late March to early April.

Honorable Conrad B. Duberstein Moot Court Competition
The annual Hon. Conrad B. Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition is widely recognized as one of the nation’s preeminent moot court competitions. The competition promotes and recognizes the finest oral and written advocacy on significant issues in bankruptcy practice. Jointly sponsored by St. John’s University School of Law and the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), the competition is named in memory of St. John’s alumnus, former ABI Director and former Chief Judge Conrad B. Duberstein.

External Competitions

Each year, members of the Moot Court Honor Society at St. John's Law School compete in several prestigious external competitions in the New York and throughout the United States. The competition year is divided into two seasons—fall and spring. During the fall, only senior Moot Court members compete in external competitions. We typically send teams to:

  • National Moot Court Competition
  • Emory Civil Rights and Liberties Moot Court Competition

In the spring, following their completion of the Appellate Advocacy course, junior members are eligible to compete in external competitions. In past years, we have sent teams to:

  • National First Amendment Moot Court Competition
  • William B. Spong Invitational Moot Court Tournament
  • ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition
  • John J. Gibbons National Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition
  • Irving R. Kaufman Memorial Securities Law Moot Court Competition

Established by the family and friends of the late Tyler Ramaker, a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, the Tyler Ramaker Memorial Award is awarded to the graduating Moot Court student who demonstrates outstanding service, leadership through action, dedication, and cooperative teamwork. The recipient will be selected by Dean Michael A. Simons based on the recommendation of the incoming Executive Board of the Moot Court Honor Society.

For more information on the Tyler J. Ramaker Award or to make a donation in support of the Award, please contact Philip J. Maroney, Assistant Director of Development, at [email protected] or 718-990-7991.