Learning Advocacy

The course is centred upon closely supervised participation in several competitive moots: the Fox IP Moot and the Oxford International IP Moot, thanks to generous sponsorship from Ridout & Maybee LLP, as well as the biennial Copyright Policy-making Moot.

The competitive moots that establish the framework for this course provide a simulated case and opportunities to practice both written and oral advocacy skills. Students’ experiences are enhanced with a rich reading list, as well as a series of seminars and workshops on specialized legal research, written advocacy skills, procedural rules and strategies and oral presentation techniques. The course will also develop collaboration and mentorship skills through extensive interaction with their peers, and build professional relationships through the involvement of members of the intellectual property bar. Students will be selected on the basis of competitive auditions at the beginning of the academic year.

Registration and Credits

This is a full-year class, run as 2 sub-sections of CML 3142. The course runs in two parts. Part I focusses on written advocacy (3 credits in the Fall term). Part II focusses on oral advocacy (3 credits in the January or Winter term). All students must enroll in both parts of the course, for a total of 6 credits. Participation is by application and audition only.

Students take credit for Part II when workload is heaviest. Those competing in the Oxford competition, and the new Policy-making Moot, take credit in the winter term. Students competing in the Fox take credit in January.

But to be clear: substantial work is involved throughout the entire year (at least until the end of the moots in March). The workload is substantial and my expectations are high. However, I promise you that you’ll get out of the course everything you put into it and more.


Competing students’ grades are based on the quality of their factums and the strength of their performance during oral arguments. Both bases serve as summative assessments of students’ ability to acquire and apply new written advocacy and oral advocacy skills. A significant portion of the grade will be determined via formative assessment. Formative assessment will be primarily via informal and qualitative feedback, for example assessing students’ level of effort, and the degree to which each student contributes to the overall collaborative successes of their teams. It will be delivered regularly (e.g. weekly) throughout the academic year. This is designed to help improve students’ performance in real-time, as the course proceeds, rather than only after the course has been completed.