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          Friday, February 10, 2012

          Moot Court Continues Winning Season: Top Awards & National Championship

          UC Hastings took top awards at two recent national moot court competitions, continuing a winning 2011-2012 moot court season. 

          First, the UC Hastings Moot Court team of Shadda Nasralla ‘13 and Erika Schmidt ‘13 took home the National Championship title at the Fifth Annual Asylum & Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition, hosted by UC Davis at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento. The UC Hastings team of Phil Johnson ‘12 and Brian Noh ‘13 won Third Best Brief at the competition.

          The Asylum & Refugee Law Moot Court Competition is the only competition in the nation devoted exclusively to the topic of asylum and refugee law. It is also the only West Coast based immigration law moot court competition. UC Hastings has a strong tradition at the UC Davis tournament, winning all but one competition in five years. The UC Hastings team extends their special thanks to student coaches Megan Havstad ‘12 and Lance Cidre ‘12 and Alumni Coaches KC Donovan ‘07 and Gabe McWhirter ‘11 for their ongoing support of the Moot Court program.

          “In addition to being incredibly fun, the Moot Court competition experience was phenomenal for my professional development. My advocacy skills have undoubtedly improved, both oral and written advocacy, and I am very grateful for the opportunities Hastings Moot Court has given me. At the Asylum competition in Davis, my partner and I had the privilege to argue before a sitting immigration judge, a sitting senior federal district judge, and a former California Supreme Court Justice. I had no idea when I came to law school that I would be able to do that in my second year of law school, and it is an experience that I will not forget anytime soon.” -- Erika Schmidt ‘13

          “It was an honor to compete for Hastings! The experience was both challenging and rewarding. I really appreciate all the time and effort that everyone dedicated to helping prepare us for the competition.” -- Shadda Nasralla ‘13

          Meanwhile, the Hastings Moot Court team also won big at the Whittier National Juvenile Law Moot Court Competition, hosted by Whittier Law School’s Moot Court Honors Board and the Center for Children’s Rights in Costa Mesa, California.  The team of Jackie Dailey ‘13 and Jessica Winter ‘13 advanced to the final round of the competition, taking Second Place overall as National Finalists.  They also won the award for Best Brief, and Jackie was a Top 10 oral advocate in the Preliminary Rounds.

          The Whittier National Juvenile Law Moot Court Competition is the only annual national moot court competition that focuses on juvenile law issues. The competition has addressed a wide range of issues that affect juveniles and attracts competitors from prestigious law schools across the nation.  The UC Hastings team extends their special thanks to student coaches Madihha Ahussain ‘12 and Jenna Morton ‘12, last year’s championship team at Whittier, and Alumni Coaches James de los Reyes ’11 and Casey Verst ‘11 for their tireless energy and dedication in coaching and guiding the teams to success.

          Being a National Finalist at Whittier was incredibly gratifying, and having the opportunity to work with experienced coaches, other competitors, and the Moot Court department staff was very rewarding. I really appreciated the chance to spend so much time with so many terrific people. -- Jessica Winter ‘13

          Although there were many great moments throughout the weekend, the highlight was getting to argue in the final round in front of Dean Erwin Chemerinsky! -- Jackie Dailey ‘13

          There are many Mooters preparing for spring competitions, and they need your help! View practice schedules and sign up to be a volunteer practice judge at www.hastingsmootcourt.com. Please contact Toni Young at younga@uchastings.edu to find out how you or your firm can support Moot Court advocacy success at UC Hastings.

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