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NJ Leep Constitutional Competition Award Winners

High School Students and the 6th Amendment

NJ LEEP hosts a moot court competition at Seton Hall Law

On the evening of Friday, January 30, 2015, Seton Hall School of Law hosted the students, families and attorneys of the New Jersey Law and Education Empowerment Project (NJ LEEP) for a moot court competition. Pictured above, from left, are trophy winners Amanda Oliveira, Genesis Rocha, Nakyah Lucas, Zainab Jafiq and Lisbeth Masache.

NJ LEEP Constitutional Competition Award WinnersSophomore, junior, and senior high school students responded to difficult questions from panels of judges and attorneys who asked them about capital punishment and the meaning of the Sixth Amendment. 

Technology High School senior Amanda Santiago remarked: “I feel like a lawyer when I debate, because I am advocating for somebody. While debating the Sixth Amendment I realized what it means to be an effective counsel and I felt the passion of being a person’s last hope.” (Pictured, from left, are winners Bashir Herbert, Genesis Rocha and Samori Etienne.)

With more than 60 attorneys in attendance, the NJ LEEP moot court competition links high school, college, law school, and beyond to a common goal: legal education as a tool for practical skills development. NJ LEEP was founded in 2006 by Craig Livermore and has continued to flourish as a part of Seton Hall Law School’s community.

Now led by Executive Director Matthew Feinstein '09, NJ LEEP is a pipeline diversity initiative dedicated to providing urban high school youth with the skills, habits, and exposure needed to achieve academic success in high school, college, and law school. Under Feinstein's leadership, NJ LEEP was awarded the 2014 Excellence in Summer Learning Award from the National Summer Learning Association.

NJ LEEP has sent 100 percent of graduates from its four-year College Bound Program on to college, with students currently attending Princeton University, Georgetown University, Bowdoin College, Rutgers University and many more.

Attorneys and law students who are interested in getting involved with NJ LEEP as a mentor or a volunteer judge at the next debate may contact Brian Giardina, NJ LEEP Law Related Education Coordinator, via email at