Punching Above Their Weight: STU Moot Court Places in the Top 8 in Law School Competitions
St. Thomas University Moot Court punched above its weight this year, finishing in the Top 8 in four law school level competitions.
Based on outstanding past performance, the STU team was given special permission to attend law school events, including the Stetson International Environmental Law Moot Court, the Monroe E. Price Media Law Moot Court, and the Manfred Lachs Space Moot Court, and were the only undergraduate team competing.
Moot Court professor Dr. Amanda DiPaolo said this experience is invaluable for students, especially those who hope to attend law school.
“It’s a competitive process within law schools to get on the moot court teams. To offer students an experience that isn’t guaranteed in law school is something that will give them a competitive advantage when they are submitting law school applications,” she said.
“STU Moot’s strong showing at every one of these law school events shows how good our mooters are, not just at oral arguments, but also at writing advanced legal briefs that are required for each of the competitions.”
Stetson International Environmental Law Moot Court
Emily Green and Ashley Thornton travelled to Florida for the Stetson International Environmental Law Moot Court after winning the North American round of the competition in February.
The pair competed against the University of Illinois Chicago, the Law Society of Ireland, the Universidad de Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, and the University of Philippines. They lost in the quarterfinal round to finish in the Top 8 and Green placed third among all oralists at the event.
“The other competitors were very surprised to learn that Emily and I were undergraduate students due to how successful we’ve been,” Thornton said. “I think this speaks to the calibre of the STU Moot Court program and how we are prepared to succeed at such high levels of competition.”
This was the first time Thornton and Green were able to compete at an in-person event, and while there were some added nerves, it was a memorable experience for the duo.
“It was certainly intimidating to be arguing directly in front of the judges, and to have the opposing counsel in the same room,” Thornton said. “I was nervous about competing in-person for the first time, but I ended up loving it even more than the virtual competitions I competed in.”
Monroe E. Price Media Law Moot Court (North American Round)
STU Mooters Kassandra Trainor, Adelaide King, Patrice Cammarano, and Maggie Jardine finished in the top 8 at the North American round of Oxford’s Monroe E. Price Media Law Moot Court hosted by the Cardozo School of Law.
Unlike other moot events, the four STUdents made up one team with Trainor and King arguing for the respondents and Cammarano and Jardine arguing for the applicants.
“Competing as a team of four helped ease the transition from undergraduate to law school moot immensely,” Trainor said. “Practicing with teammates performing the other side helped us to better anticipate what opposing counsel may argue.”
The STU mooters competed against the Cardozo School of Law, the University of Pennsylvania, and Osgoode Hall, where they argued issues relating to the freedom of expression and voting and election rights.
“This opportunity has left me with a sense of preparedness for when I go on to moot at the law school level, and confidence that I am ready to do so with the resources and skills that I have gained from my time as a STU Mooter,” Trainor said
“The highlight of this competition was being able to see the months of preparation with my teammates pay off and to show that our mooting is at the law school level.”
Manfred Lachs Space Moot Court Competition (North American Round)
Oliver Larson and Ethan Nylen represented STU in the North American round of the Manfred Lachs Space Moot Court competition, where they argued a case concerning registration and damages involving objects manufactured in space.
The duo advanced to the quarterfinals of the competition but fell to the George Washington School of Law by two points.
“The highlight of the competition for me was learning about space law,” Larson said, “because it’s a fairly unique aspect of international law that I would otherwise have been unlikely to learn.”
For Larson, finishing in the top 8 in the event—along with the rest of the STU mooters this year—is a testament to the preparation and work put in by those involved in the program.
“Preparing and competing in the Space Moot competition was unique because of the large difference between understanding and arguing international law versus American constitutional law,” he said.
“I think STU mooters were particularly successful this year because STU Moot Court is very good at preparing students for competition and we had some very strong competitors this year.”
STU Moot Court will compete in two more events this year—the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot and the Nuremburg Moot Court.
The Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot is adopting a hybrid format, with preliminary rounds beginning online May 20 and the in-person final rounds taking place in Geneva, Switzerland from July 18-21.
The Nuremburg Moot Court is set for July 1-15 and will be hosted online.