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USF Students Excel in Advocacy Competitions

June 18, 2009

During the spring semester, USF School of Law students competed in numerous regional, national, and international moot court competitions, with many earning first-place finishes.

Brian Schnarr 3L, Elizabeth Hallock '09, Chelsea Gough '09, and Joe Gacula '09 at the 10th Annual Environmental Negotiations Competition.

"The advanced advocacy competitions provide a unique opportunity for students to receive individual and specialized attention doing real 'lawyering' activities," Advocacy Competitions Coordinator Brandi Crippen said.

Students say the competitions are a fun way to gain practical experience.

"This was the most fun I've had in law school," Michael Cagampan 3L said, a Thomas Tang International Moot Court competitor. "Though it took hard work, the competition was a great exercise in camaraderie and team spirit."

At the 10th Annual Environmental Negotiations Competition, both competing USF teams advanced to the final round and for the first time in competition history a USF team earned first place. The event, which is open to all California law students who have completed their first year of law school, was hosted in San Francisco by the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of California. The first-place winners included team members Brian Schnarr 3L and Elizabeth Hallock '09, while team members Chelsea Gough '09 and Joe Gacula '09 earned fourth place.

Also for the first time in USF history, the USF team advanced to the final round at the Rodger J. Traynor California Moot Court Competition in San Francisco. The team, comprised of Krista Henneman 3L, Tania Chozet '09, and Nick Miller '09, took second place in the competition. Miller won Best Oralist out of approximately 40 advocates.

At the Phillip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition, USF competitor Zach Hansen '09 placed in the top 20 oralists in the competition. Bambo Obaro '09, Alexandra Wong 3L, Jessica Morreale 3L, and Robin Bennett 3L also participated at the February competition.

The National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) was held in Brooklyn, New York in early March, where USF's NAAC team members Patrick Sandys '09, Natalie Davis 3L, and Martha Saracino 3L earned second place best brief.

In the Robert F. Wagner National Labor and Employment Law Moot Court Competition, hosted by New York Law School, the competing USF team advanced to the Octo-final round out of a pool of 46. Team members included Renee Hessling '09, Jennifer Baker '09, and Rose Chan '09.

A USF team at the Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition advanced to the oral argument. Team members included Jaime Herren 3L and Lindsey Furtado 3L. Other USF participants included Briana McCarthy 3L and Raymond Tuason 3L.

At the Constance Baker Motley National Moot Court Competition in Constitutional Law, hosted by the American Constitution Society, team members Brian Worthington '09 and Keenan Ng '09 prepared a brief that earned second place. The competition is hosted by the American Constitution Society.

"For us, team membership is not only about bringing home plaques, but also about personal growth and a sense of personal accomplishment," Crippen said. "We are consistently successful at both."