Edwin M. Stanley Moot Court Competition

The Stanley Competition is an intramural moot court competition held each fall semester and open to all second and third-year law students. This competition is held in honor of Judge Edwin M. Stanley, a distinguished Wake Forest alumnus and supporter, who served as a United States District Court Judge for the Middle District of North Carolina from 1958 to 1968.

The competition is based on the problem taught in the Legal Analysis, Writing and Research III course during the fall semester. After competitors submit their briefs, they participate in at least two oral arguments, one “on-brief” and one “off-brief.” The briefs and first two rounds of the competition are judged by current moot court board members. The sixteen top overall competitors continue on in a single elimination tournament. Invitations to moot court board membership are awarded to these sixteen finalists, as well as several honorable mention qualifiers who exhibited exceptional skill in writing or oral advocacy. 

The Sweet Sixteen and Quarterfinal rounds are judged by state trial judges, practicing attorneys, and law professors from our faculty. Judges from the North Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals hear arguments for the Semifinal round. The Stanley Competition Final round is usually judged by federal circuit judges. Recent judges of the Stanley Competition have included U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Judge Thomas Ambro, Jr. of the U.S Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Judge Patrick Higginbotham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Judge Andre Davis of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Judge Harris Hartz of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and the Honorable Rhoda R. Billings, former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.