HSLDA Online Academy | Moot Court Intensive

Moot Court Intensive

Classroom Teacher:  Peter Kamakawiwoole

Peter KamakawiwooleClassroom Teacher

Peter Kamakawiwoole

JD, Saint Louis University
BA, Patrick Henry College

One of Dr. Farris’s finest Constitutional Law students, Peter is a Patrick Henry College alumnus. He and his partner were PHC's first ever Moot Court national champions. Peter earned his law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and currently serves as a litigation attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association. 

Since 2011, Peter has been assisting HSLDA member families in Connecticut, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and his home state of Hawaii. Peter also assists homeschooling families who have encountered difficulties obtaining Social Security, veterans benefits, and other financial benefits on account of their decision to homeschool. He is also the lead instructor of PHC’s summer Constitutional Law Camp.  

Peter and his wife have five children and are recent transplants to the Wild and Wonderful state of West Virginia. This is his second year teaching with the Academy.

Classroom Teacher:  Ashlyn Roberts

Ashlyn RobertsClassroom Teacher

Ashlyn Roberts

BA, Patrick Henry College

Ashlyn Roberts is a graduate of Patrick Henry College, where she competed on the national level in Mock Trial, British Parliamentary debate, and Moot Court, winning 2nd place at the National Moot Court Championship her senior year. Her passion for constitutional law is contagious.

As Dr. Farris’s student and, later, his personal assistant, Ashlyn has studied and helped to teach Constitutional Law under his tutelage. While working for Dr. Farris, she helped with legal research projects ranging from defending parental rights to exploring the influence of international law on American law. Her legal brief was recognized by the American Moot Court Association. Ashlyn was also the Associate Editor of the George Wythe Review for two years, which won the Frank Chodorov Award for the Best Undergraduate Journal of Letters from the Collegiate Network. Her other professional experience includes working in the office of a US Congressman, for a county supervisor, and as a political research assistant for WMAL's Larry O'Connor.

Ashlyn currently serves as the Assistant to the Academic Dean of Patrick Henry College, in addition to coaching PHC's Moot Court and Mock Trial teams. She plans to attend law school in the future.

Ashlyn and her husband Shane live in Northern Virginia and enjoy the many opportunities and adventures that come with living 45 minutes outside of Washington, D.C.

Duration: Six-week intensive offered January 8, 2018 – February 17, 2018.
Suggested High School Credit: As a six-week intensive, the HSLDA Online Academy Moot Court Intensive is not designed as a graded, for-credit course. Students who participate in the Academy’s Constitutional Law course may receive extra-credit for participating in the Moot Court Intensive, and parents or coaches who treat high school debate as a for-credit elective could incorporate completion of the Intensive into the student’s final grade.
Tuition: $175 for HSLDA Members/$200 for non-HSLDA Members. 

Description: The HSLDA Online Academy Moot Court Intensive is a six-week, hands-on, interactive experience geared towards high school students who have no prior experience in moot court. Learn about what moot court is and how it works, take a guided tour of NCFCA’s moot court problem and casebook, and put your knowledge to the test with two real-time practice rounds.

Sign up for the Moot Court Intensive and other courses

Moot Court Intensive - Live Online Class Session Schedule
January 8, 2018 - February 17, 2018

Class Section

Weekly Meeting Time


Section 1
Mondays, 4:00–5:00 p.m.
(Eastern Time) 

Mr. Peter Kamakawiwoole
Mrs. Ashlyn Roberts

If you are not a member of NCFCA, you will need to purchase access to the Moot Court Problem for $25.00 when you register for Moot Court Intensive. If you are already a member of NCFCA, there is no need to purchase access to the Moot Court Problem since it is included in your registration fee with NCFCA.
If you have questions, please call 540-338-8290 or email academy@hslda.org.

Drop Policy: For any drop requests submitted before January 22, 2018 (10 business days from the start of the class), the registrant will receive a $100 refund. No tuition refunds will be offered after January 22, 2018. The $25 registration fee and $25 book fee are non-refundable.

Frequently Asked Questions
about Moot Court Basics

Open All | Close All

  • What will the Moot Court Intensive look like?

    Using a classical liberal arts instructional model, the Moot Court Intensive teaches the art of moot court by focusing on the grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric that are essential to compelling appellate advocacy.

    Grammar: In many respects, the law is its own language with unique terms, phrases, and rules of interpretation and construction, all of which are spelled out in statutes, cases, rules, and regulations. One of the biggest learning curves for moot court is figuring out what all this unfamiliar and often technical language even means. The Intensive is designed to flatten that learning curve for you.

    Dialectic: Once participants have learned the terms and phrases, the next step is to figure out how all those rules and cases fit together. The Intensive will take them step-by-step through each case in the moot court problem, analyzing them from both sides (Petitioner and Respondent). How does this case help my position? Where is it weak? What do I do with two cases that appear to contradict each other? And how do I go beyond the “cases” to creating my own “case” for my client?

    Rhetoric: Rhetoric takes the grammar and the dialectic, and transforms it into an elegant and persuasive apology for your client. In moot court, this not only includes learning to “argue” well (crafting a technically correct case, emphasizing your strong points and shoring up your weak points), but also learning how to “argue” well when the judges are constantly trying to pull you away from the argument you want to make. There’s no way to fully appreciate the chaos of a moot court round until you’re thrust into the middle of it, and no worse way to sink your tournament hopes than having your “first round” in prelims. The Moot Court Intensive gives you two “first rounds” before your first ballot is cast. Try out your arguments, work on your responsiveness to questions, and get a feel for the thrill of the round in a controlled setting, and receive critique from award-winning members of Patrick Henry College’s internationally acclaimed moot court program.

  • What books will I use in the Moot Court Intensive?

    If you are an NCFCA affiliate family, there are no additional textbook costs for the Moot Court Intensive. The only two materials you need are the NCFCA moot court problem and the moot court casebook.

    If you are not an NCFCA affiliate family and plan to compete in moot court this year through NCFCA, HSLDA Online Academy strongly encourages you to affiliate (as only affiliate families can participate in NCFCA-sanctioned moot court tournaments). If you do not wish to become an NCFCA affiliate family at this time, there is a $25 fee for the NCFCA moot court problem.

  • Am I ready to take the Moot Court Intensive?

    If you’re interested in moot court, then the Moot Court Intensive is the program for you. We’ll take you through NCFCA’s moot court problem from start to finish in just six weeks. You will learn the basics of what moot court is, learn how to read court cases and legal decisions, get a bird's-eye view of how the Supreme Court decides First Amendment expressive conduct and Article III justiciability issues, take a guided tour of the facts and cases in NCFCA’s moot court problem, engage in topic- and issue-focused discussion panels with the clinic’s faculty, craft a complete Petitioner and Respondent argument for their chosen issue, and test those arguments in two real-time practice rounds.

    If you’ve never done moot court before, let us be your guide. And if you’re a seasoned competitor returning for more, this six-week course is just the jump-start you need to prepare for tournament play.

  • I’m a homeschooled student and am interested in participating in competitive moot court. Can I do that?

    Absolutely! HSLDA Academy’s Moot Court Intensive is built around the moot court problem developed by the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA). NCFCA offers students a chance to compete in a myriad of speech and debate activities at qualifying tournaments held across the country, and is the only homeschool forensics league that offers a competitive moot court program. HSLDA Online Academy encourages all Intensive participants to affiliate with NCFCA. For more information about how your family can affiliate with NCFCA, click here.

    Please note that while NCFCA offers a number of organized speech and debate events to students who were 12 years of age or older on September 1, 2017, competitive moot court is limited to students who are at least 15 years old. Participation in HSLDA Online Academy’s Moot Court Intensive is not a requirement to participate in NCFCA moot court.

  • What if I have a schedule conflict with listed Moot Court Intensive class times?

    Although live participation is encouraged (particularly for the Intensive’s discussion sections, where participants have a chance to ask the faculty questions of interest to them), all live class sessions are recorded for later viewing. Participants should contact the Intensive faculty if there are any foreseen schedule conflicts.

  • What is the tuition for the Moot Court Intensive?

    Please visit our tuition and discounts page for a full summary about course costs.

    HSLDA members save $25 on the Moot Court Clinic, and there may be additional discounts available to you if you are enrolled in the Academy’s Constitutional Law course.