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 brand new 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.

In partnership with staff at the Brian Dickson Law Library, students will learn how to do specialized research in the field of IP. By dovetailing with activities of the Legal Writing Academy, students may hone their ability to produce compelling written arguments. Students may also have the opportunity to accompany practitioners to watch cases before appellate courts, and discuss their experiences with these practitioners. And select students may acquire procedural skills producing, assembling and filing legal documents in collaboration with staff at the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic.

Credit, Registration and Evaluation

This is a full-year class, run as 3 sub-sections of CML 3142. As a default, students take credit 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. These grades are significantly influenced by students’ level of effort during the course of the year, and the degree to which each student contributes to the overall collaborative successes of their teams and the other teams in both moot competitions.



Auditions take place, teams are selected and training begins. The moot problems are released toward the end of the month.


All students in the course read about writing. Competing students do extensive research leading to first and second drafts of their factums. Non-competing students begin to write confidential bench memorandums for me (not for the teams).


Research continues and deepens. Oxford mooters will complete at least four more drafts of their factum, one each week. Fox mooters do two, and start skills training for oral arguments. The other students turn in their memos.


The Oxford factums are due. The Fox factums need at least another draft. Fox mooters continue working together during the post-exam break, while the Oxford mooters take a breather.


The Fox factums are due, with appellants and respondents submitting sequentially during a crazy-busy month. Oral advocacy skills training intensifies for all students. Non-competing students rework their memos into a draft judgement.


Fox mooters rehearse oral arguments 3-4 times per week, while the non-competing students observe, critique and finish writing me their judgments. The Fox moot happens 3rd weekend in February. Oxford students argue at least twice a week. Non-competing students judge rehearsals.


Fox mooters decompress and celebrate. Oxford mooters take rehearsals to the next level, preparing for the competition that takes place mid/late March. Non-competing students judge rehearsals.


Post-moot follow up and feedback for all students. Recruiting for next year begins!