Invitation to Compete

Dear Law School Students/Moot Court advisors/Deans:

The Moot Court Association Board of the Columbus School of Law and the First Amendment Center of the Freedom Forum Institute cordially invite you to apply to compete in the 2019 Seigenthaler-Sutherland Cup National First Amendment Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C., Friday and Saturday, March 22-23, 2019.

This annual competition invites the nation’s leading law schools to debate a current First Amendment controversy just beginning to attract significant attention from the courts. During this two-day event, teams argue before panels of prestigious judges, attorneys, and law faculty. This year’s problem will involve the constitutionality of a state university’s anti-protest policy and involve cutting edge issues of free speech on campus.

The competition – in both written brief and oral argument – is open to a maximum of 24 teams (2nd, 3rd and 4th year students only) from ABA-accredited law schools. There is a $500 fee associated with the competition, payable at the time of application for the first 24 teams to apply. (Later applicants may apply on a conditional basis – more information below).

Opening rounds will be conducted on the campus of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. on Friday, March 22. The quarter-final and semi-final rounds, as well as the final round, will be held on Saturday, March 23, at the Freedom Forum Institute in downtown Washington, D.C.

Intent-to-compete application materials and payment may be submitted beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET, on Monday, Sept. 10 . The intent-to-compete process will close once the 24-team limit is reached, and under any circumstance will close no later than 11:59 p.m. ET, Monday, Oct. 15. Once your team’s application is submitted, payment must be made by credit card only.

AFTER 24 TEAMS HAVE APPLIED, teams will be invited to submit CONDITIONAL APPLICATIONS, to be considered in order of submission if a spot opens as the Moot Court Board reviews applications from the initial 24-team field. PAYMENT IS NOT REQUIRED IN ADVANCE FOR CONDITIONAL APPLICATIONS.

A final determination of teams accepted for the competition will be made no later than Oct. 24, and all applicants will be notified of their status. Complete information on the application process and the online intent-to-compete form are available at here.

The $500 entry fee for teams accepted to compete is refundable only in the event that the competition is cancelled.

Additional information will be posted periodically. Information is also available on this site for competitors wishing to book rooms at a special rate at the Holiday Inn Capitol, 550 C Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024, (800-315-2621). Competitors are encouraged to stay at the Holiday Inn Capitol as transportation to and from competition sites will be provided only from and back to this hotel.

If you have any difficulty in accessing the application or payment forms, please contact Meagan Bowers at, noting your name, school affiliation, and a contact e-mail address and telephone number.

We hope you will join us for this exciting opportunity.


Gene Policinski
Chief Operating Officer
Freedom Forum Institute
Daniel F. Attridge
Columbus School of Law

The 24-team limit has been reached and intent-to-compete process has closed.