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Interscholastic Competitions are Underway: Momentum is Building!

Moot_Court_CoachesThe Interscholastic Competition season is underway as the Interscholastic Moot Court Board, and Mock Trial teams have begun competing for the title among the interscholastic circuit. As many alumni know, competitions are a great way for Seton Hall Law students to develop and sharpen the skills necessary to be a practicing attorney.

Through Seton Hall Law's Interscholastic Moot Court Program, students compete in Appellate Moot Court competitions throughout the country under the supervision of Interscholastic Moot Court Board Director, Jodi A. Hudson ’96. On October 21-22, team members Javier Diaz ’12, Cristal Reyes ’12 and Desiree Sedehi ’12 competed at the Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition in Washington D.C. against 28 national teams and received Quarterfinalist honors. Diaz was also the Best Oralist of the competition. On November 4-5, Brandon Fierro ’12 and Amanda Laufer ’12 finished as Semifinalists in the 30-team National Health Law Moot Court Competition. On November 16-17, Seton Hall finished as the Regional Runner-Up in the Regional Round of the National Moot Court Competition, held at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Team members Gianna Cricco-Lizza ’12 and Yalda Haery ’12 beat Pace University School of Law and NYU School of Law in the Preliminary Rounds, and then proved victorious in the Semifinal Round over Fordham Law School to secure an invitation to the National Competition. Seton Hall Law, along with Hofstra, will represent the region in the National Competition next month.

Seton Hall Law School's Interscholastic Moot Court Board finished the 2010-2011 school year with 24 awards, including a First Place finish at the Cardozo/BMI Entertainment and Communications Law Moot Court Competition, Regional Championship at the NAAC Competition and a Second Place Finish at the Gabrielli National Family Law Moot Court Competition. The Board received five Best Brief awards and four Oral Advocacy awards. Seton Hall was also selected for the fourth consecutive year to participate in the National Moot Court Invitational in January 2012 at the Advocacy Institute in Houston, Texas with the top 16 programs in the country.

"A student's experience on the Board is always the highlight of his or her law school career. Not only do the students improve their writing skills, but they are also given an opportunity to argue in front of lawyers and judges from around the country,” said Hudson. “Such an experience prepares the students for their first real life court appearance, giving them the confidence necessary to represent their clients."

The Mock Trial Program, founded in 2008, is the newest competition program at Seton Hall Law that offers a competitive atmosphere for students to perfect their trial skills. Under the direction of Mock Trial Program Director, Jennifer DiTommaso, as well as Assistant Coaches Professor Kathleen Mullin, Alec Colquhoun ’11 and Peter Slocum ’10, students learn how to conduct a trial from opening statements to closing arguments in preparation for participation in the national interscholastic mock trial competitions. This semester, Co-Chairs Laurie Kelly ’12 and Mark Heftler ’12 led the Mock Trial team in two competitions.

Seton Hall Law was selected to participate in the National Civil Rights Competition Invitational on October 20-23. Mark Heftler, Katherine Myers ’12, Dipti Dedhia ’12 and Danielle Counts ’12 received Quarterfinalist honors, and Myers was awarded Best Oral Advocate out of 16 teams.

The second invitational, known as the ABA Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition, was held on October 28-30 at Quinnipiac University School of Law. Laurie Kelly, Stefanie Schera ‘12, Raleigh Steinhauer ‘12, and Reiah Etwaroo ’13 competed against 10 teams, and Steinhauer was awarded Best Oral Advocate.

Next semester, the Mock Trial Program, 27 students in all, has three bouts on the docket to date: The Regional Competition of the Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition in Philadelphia; The John Marshall Law School National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition in Chicago; and The Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition created by the National Black Law Students’ Association.

Wish our teams and coaches luck!

Pictured above: Moot Court coaches and students, from left: Tara Ragone of the Seton Hall Law Center for Health & Pharmaceutical Law & Policy, Melissa Natale '03, Amanda Laufer, Brandon Fierro and Professor Jodi Hudson.