External Competitions

Credit-bearing co-curricular teams

The law school has several competitive teams for which students are eligible to receive academic credit. Each of these co-curricular teams is connected to a course that teaches related subject matter content, such as trial or oral advocacy, evidence, negotiation, mediation advocacy, or transactional drafting. Students on the co-curricular teams are typically selected through an intra-school competition and require course enrollment for credit. The courses may have prerequisites and the credit earned for these courses derives from their academic content, with the competition activity providing an opportunity to practice the skills learned.

Each co-curricular team must submit their annual competition plan and proposed budget to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Deborah Eisenberg by August 1 prior to the following academic year. The plan should include a list of the competitions in which the team anticipates competing in the next academic year.

Extra-curricular, student-initiated teams

Some student groups want to participate in external competitions as an extra-curricular activity. Participating in an external competition can provide an opportunity to develop and hone professional skills. Participating on an extra-curricular competition team requires substantial commitment and time from students. We want to ensure that the students dedicate sufficient preparation time to learn from the experience and represent the school well.  Fielding a team is also expensive and law school funding is limited. This policy describes the process for obtaining law school approval to represent the law school or a law school student group in an external competition, and/or to seek funding from the law school for a competition.

Proposals for External Competitions

All teams must   submit a proposal and receive approval prior to registering for any external competition intending to use the name of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. This policy applies to all student organizations   teams that intend to compete using the law school’s name, regardless of whether funded by the law school and regardless of whether academic credit is associated with the team. Applications for competition approval and/or funding must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs through the following form.  Requests for competition funding should not be submitted to the Student Bar Association.

While we want to provide opportunities for students to practice skills, the law school’s pool of funding to support competition teams is limited. Proposals for participation in external competitions should be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs no later than 30 days prior to the registration deadline for the competition. Funds will be allocated based on compliance with the proposal deadline and the criteria listed below, on a first come, first served basis. Because funds are limited, proposals should be submitted as early as possible.

Competition proposals should describe the following:

Competition Details

Include the details about the competition (name, dates, location, type of competition, etc.) and a short paragraph about what the team hopes to learn from the experience.

Team Member Commitment

The proposal should include the names of the students who have committed to investing adequate preparation time for the competition. Make sure that the practice plan and competition dates do not conflict with the team members’ school, work, and personal plans. Confirm the competition dates prior to submitting your proposal. All team members, and any alternates, must sign the proposal confirming their commitment to preparation and competition attendance.

Given the academic demands of the first year of law school, and the time commitment involved in preparing for and competing in external competitions, first year day and first and second year evening students are prohibited from competing on external competition teams.

The proposal should describe the method by which team members have been selected.

Law School Advisor Approval

Prior to submitting the proposal, a full-time or adjunct faculty member, or a law school staff member must review and approve the proposal. The name of the advisor must be included in the proposal.


The proposal must include a budget, including registration fees, transportation costs, and lodging. All team members must commit to compliance with UMB and law school travel policy.

Preparation Plan

The proposal should include the practice schedule for your team, to begin at least five weeks prior to the competition date. Each team is responsible for organizing its own practice sessions.

Teams are encouraged to identify a team coach. This individual may be a previous competitor, alumni, or a Maryland Carey Law faculty or staff member.

Coordination with Other Teams

It can be confusing for schools hosting competitions if multiple teams from the same law school register for a competition. The co-curricular teams regularly represent the school in certain competitions. The Office of Student Affairs maintains a list of the competitions in which the law school’s co-curricular teams regularly compete. Teams should consult that list prior to submitting a proposal. If multiple teams want to compete in the same competition, they must coordinate with each other to resolve any conflicts. Please contact Wendy Geist at wgeist@law.umaryland.edu in the Office of Student Affairs to assist with this process.

Review Process

The Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and law school Controller will review all competition proposals and approve based on satisfaction of this criteria and availability of law school funding.

Teams should not register for competitions until their proposals have been approved by the law school. Any expenses incurred by students without prior approval will not be reimbursed.

Hosting of Competitions

Teams that are considering hosting of competitions at the law school must consult with the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and the Law School’s Events Manager prior to taking any action.