National First Amendment Moot Court Competition Announced

law385The Seigenthaler-Sutherland Cup National First Amendment Moot Court Competition will debut in March 2016, sponsored by the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center and the Columbus School of Law. The innovative combined program will feature a competition problem linked to a cutting-edge contemporary First Amendment issue.

Open to the 206 law schools currently approved by the American Bar Association, the first moot court competition will take place March 18 and 19, 2016, with first-day rounds at the Columbus School of Law and second-day final rounds at the Newseum. In its inaugural year, the national competition will be limited to 16 teams, and will include scoring both for written briefs and oral arguments. Information will be sent to potential participating law schools in mid-August. Entry forms for the competition will be available on Sept. 1 online at, and the registration deadline is Oct. 1.

The Columbus School of Law has hosted the Sutherland Cup competition since its inception in 1950, with the purpose of exposing students interested in constitutional law to appellate advocacy. The Sutherland Cup is the oldest continuous private moot court competition in the nation. The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center had sponsored a national First Amendment moot court competition with the Vanderbilt University Law School for 25 years. The final event in that series was held in February. The competition is named for John Seigenthaler, the founder of the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, and for Supreme Court Justice George B. Sutherland, an ardent defender of the U.S. Constitution who served as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1922 to 1938.

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