students participating in the Desmond competition in the Letro Courtroom.

The Desmond Competition

For over three decades, this intramural competition gives participants the opportunity to argue a constitutional law case related to matters currently pending before the United States Supreme Court.

The Charles S. Desmond Moot Court Competition is the most prestigious appellate advocacy competition at the law school, attracting several local lawyers and judges to volunteer their time as judges.  Accomplished lawyers from Western New York and law school professors judge competitors’ oral arguments in the preliminary and semi-final rounds, while federal and state judges evaluate the finalists. Competitors also submit a written brief formatted using the rules to the United States Supreme Court.

Organized by the School of Law's Buffalo Moot Court Board, the Desmond competition is one of the most popular courtroom competitions the school offers. The competition is open to all second-and third-year law students annually.

2021 Competition Information

Dates of Competition:  November 4-6, 2021 (Virtual)

Registration Deadline:  Sept. 23 at 5:00 p.m.
Please register online. Participants may register in teams or as individuals. Individual competitors will be assigned a partner for brief writing.

Problem Release: September 24
Rules of the competition will be distributed to participants with the problem.

Brief Due Date: October 22

Brief Grading Period:  October 23 - November 2

Competition Dates:  November 4, 5, 6

Schedule: (subject to change)

  • Thursday, Nov. 4 – Round 1A, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 4 – Round 1B, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 5 – Round 2A, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 5 – Round 2B, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 6 – Quarter-Finals, 10:00 a.m.-Noon
  • Saturday, Nov. 6 – Semi-Finals, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 6 – Finals, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Questions may be sent to

Watch the 2020 Final Round

screenshot of opening video screen announcing judges for the final round of the Desmond Competition

Buffalo Moot Court Board


President: Canio Marasco 
Vice President: Marc Cange 
Desmond Co-Chair: Heather Lynn Bashaw and Alexis Logsdon
PR Director: Simone Grande
Wechsler Chairs: Heather Bashaw and Alexis Lodgson 
Treasurer: Patrick Callahan

Faculty Adviser: Lucinda Finley

Contact Us
For additional questions or comments regarding the competition, please contact:

Buffalo Moot Court Board
University at Buffalo School of Law
404 O'Brian Hall, Buffalo NY 14260