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Berkeley Moot Court

Raised toward our $2,000 Goal
21 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on March 01, at 11:59 PM PST
Project Owners

Berkeley Moot Court

NEW STRETCH GOAL OF $3000!  None of us could've imagined that we'd reach our initial goal within the first week of launching our campaign! Thank you so, so much to all our donors and supporters for your enormous contribution thus far, and for believing in the future of Berkeley Moot Court. With the rest of February left to crowdfund, we've extended our initial goal by an additional $1000, which would help us further prepare our growing team for future competition seasons. With this money, we plan on adding to our scholarship fund to ensure that all Cal mooters, regardless of financial circumstances, will have equal access and opportunity to compete in regional and national competitions. Additionally, looking ahead to recruiting more talent on campus, a portion of these funds will also help us pay for promotional materials, and purchasing a domain name for our website. The team greatly appreciates all the support we've received so far and are excited to continue our moot court journey as Golden Bears! Thank you! 

Undergraduate Moot Court Association at Berkeley (UMCAB) is a newly formed organization of over a dozen competition team members and rapidly growing feeder team at UC Berkeley dedicated to fostering valuable legal advocacy skills. UMCAB team members compete in the AMCA’s (American Moot Court Association) regional and national tournaments against over 450 universities across the nation in an experiential exercise that simulates an appellate court proceeding wherein students advocate a position. 

We are currently raising funds to help pay for our regional and national competition fees, as well as support us in our mission to ensure the longevity of this organization for future generations of Golden Bears!


The organization was founded in the Spring of 2021, by 4 UC Berkeley pre-law students. Even through the obstacles of a remote semester, the team managed to recruit 8 competition team members through zoom auditions and interviews. In its first year of existence, the club sent 6 teams to AMCA regional tournaments, and 2 of these teams were crowned the champions of their respective tournaments. In all, 3 out of the 6 teams qualified for Nationals in January, and 7 out of 12 individual members won awards for finishing in the top 10 best speakers at their respective regional competitions. 

Mooting: What is it and why do we do it?

Moot court continues to be an important element in American legal education today. Students are tasked with arguing appellate cases in a mock-Supreme Court setting -- both orally before a panel of justices and via written briefs -- debating issues ranging from the freedom of speech, to the 5th Amendment rights to privacy and bodily autonomy, to Congress’s legislative power under the Commerce Clause. In pairs of two, each co-counsel is tasked with arguing on behalf of one of two issues presented in the form of a fictitious case drafted by the AMCA. 

Our members learn:

  • how to read and how to brief precedent Supreme Court cases: 
    • Students read a reported case, identify and summarize the relevant facts of a case, find the rule of law within a decision, understand how a court applies the rule, and finally use precedent effectively in their arguments. 
  • research techniques, specifically as applied in the legal field:
    • Students research and write a brief on the legal issue involved in the appellate  simulation, selecting helpful texts and other resource materials, and navigating through legal research services, such as WESTLAW and LEXIS. 
  • professional public-speaking techniques:
    • Through use of self-evaluation and team feedback during practice and final oral  argument sessions, students focus on and improve aspects of various communication and presentation techniques such as vocal variation, articulation, body language, etc. 

2021-22 Moot Court Case Problem

In 2021, as the United States was still recovering from the drastic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on national health and the economy, major media outlets reported outbreaks of polio in major cities of at least five countries. Planes and ships from these cities regularly travel to the United States and travelers are predicted to enter, or have already entered the country. In response to the threat of a national polio pandemic, Congress enacted the Polio Vaccination Act (PVA), which orders all persons engaged in interstate commerce to be “fully vaccinated” or be subject to a fine. Mr. William DeNolf, who lives a remote, and self-sustaining lifestyle has never been vaccinated for polio and refuses to get the vaccination on the grounds that to do so would violate his personal rights. Mr. DeNolf argues that Congress exceeded its authority under the Commerce Clause and violated his 5th amendment rights, when passing the PVA.

Issue 1:

The first issue in this year’s case poses the question: does Congress have the power under the Commerce Clause to enforce a nationwide polio vaccine mandate? As a facial challenge, petitioner is claiming that the United States Congress does not have the power to implement a nationwide polio vaccine mandate predicated upon ensuring the smooth flow of interstate commerce. Issue 1 competitors had to peruse through cases such as NFIB v. Sebelius, which ruled out Congressional authority to compel commercial activity, Heart of Atlanta Motel v. US, which forced hotels, restaurants, and other private businesses with public accommodations to open up their businesses to Black patrons, and Gonzales v. Raich which upheld the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act as it pertains to restricting the cultivation of medical marijuana, as well as numerous other cases that were instrumental in construing Congressional Commerce Clause powers. 

Issue 2:

The second issue in this year’s case focused on 5th Amendment Due Process rights, particularly as they relate to bodily autonomy and privacy. In the case problem, Mr. DeNolf claimed that a government vaccine mandate violated his 5th Amendment rights to liberty and privacy. Issue 2 competitors were tasked with reading the court’s decisions in cases such as Griswold v. Connecticut, which granted the right to the use of contraceptives, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which granted and affirmed a woman’s right to an abortion, Obergefell v. Hodges, which established the right to gay marriage nationwide, and many other real and extremely consequential decisions by the court that relate to 5th and 14th Amendment Due Process rights. 

Your donation will help pay for six teams’ registration fees for regional tournaments and nationals in our mission to get Cal nationally ranked in our first competition season!

Moot court continues to be an important element in American legal education, and we hope that you can support us in our mission to provide academic support, professional development resources, and career opportunities to our members. 

For more information, check out our website (, and follow us on instagram ( and linkedin (

If you have any questions about donation matching, long-term sponsorship, please reach out to our Finance Chair at

Thank you!

Our way
of Thanking You


Social Media Shoutout

We will post a personal "thank you" shoutout to you or the person of your choosing on our team Instagram!

2 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: March 2022


Handwritten and Signed Letter

We will send you a personal, handwritten thank-you letter signed by the team!

4 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: March 2022


Signed Postcard and Letter

We will send you a team postcard AND personal, handwritten letter signed by the team!

2 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: March 2022


Thank You Video

We will send you a postcard, signed letter, AND create a personalized video thanking you for your contribution and post it to our Facebook and Instagram!

3 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: March 2022
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