Simulating the Legal System
Millikin University participates each spring in the moot court competition that is held as part of the Model Illinois Government simulation, which is held in early March in Springfield, Illinois. Millikin typically fields several teams of attorneys as well as several student justices.
The simulation is educational in the best and fullest sense of the word. For the six to seven weeks leading up to the competition, the faculty advisor meets with participating students three to four hours per week, typically in the evenings. During these meetings, the “closed brief” materials are collectively analyzed. In addition, students work on the formulation of arguments representing both sides of the case, practice oral delivery of those arguments and practice fielding questions from justices.
At the 2005 competition, Millikin’s two teams faced each other in the final round and took first and second place in the competition. In addition, one of our three student justices won for most outstanding justice. At the 2006 competition one of our teams took third place in the competition. In addition, one of our student justices was elected to serve as Chief Justice for the 2007 competition. In 2007, Millikin students performed well once again, taking second and third place. In addition, a Millikin student was re-elected Chief Justice. At the 2008 competition, Millikin teams once again performed exceptionally well, placing first and third overall. In 2009, Millikin dominated the competion. Kenny Miller and Justin Allen placed first while freshmen Caitlin Harriman and Juan Vazquez came in second. Justin Allen was named Best Overall Attorney.
Skills-based educational experience
Many of Millikin’s core educational skills are facilitated in this practical simulation, including:
- critical and moral reasoning,
- oral communication skills, and
- collaborative learning.
This is a paradigmatic example of the “theory-practice” model endorsed by Millikin. The success of our students – as judged by external evaluators, including faculty from other institutions as well as attorneys and law students – is clear evidence of the quality of our program.
Learn more and get involved
Dr. Robert Money, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Pre-Law Program, has served as faculty advisor to Millikin’s moot court program since spring 2004. Students with an interest in participating should contact Dr. Money at 217.424.3804 or firstname.lastname@example.org.