On Saturday, Jan. 12, and Sunday, Jan. 13, two of SVSU’s Moot Court members competed at the American Moot Court Association National Tournament, and placed in the top 32 teams.
The competition took place in Orlando, Florida at Florida A&M University’s law school.
Lindsey Mead, an English junior, and Justin Weller, a political science sophomore, competed as a team at the Nationals competition.
The pair competed in three preliminary rounds on the first day and were able to advance to the second day of the competition.
“The first day narrowed the 160 teams down to the Top 45,” Mead said. “Justin and I advanced into the second day, which our coaches told us is a feat only about five other teams at SVSU have accomplished.”
Mead believes they performed their best even though they were eliminated on the second day.
“We put everything we had out there while competing, and I truly don’t think there was anything we could have done differently,” Mead said. “Nationals is a totally different setting than Regionals or Invitationals – every team we faced had the potential to win the national title. It truly is composed of the most elite competitors across the nation in Moot Court.”
Moot Court has impacted Mead’s life in a positive manner, she said.. Not only has she formed strong relationships, but she truly knows she’s on the right path for her future.
“Moot Court has given me my closest friends,” she said. “My favorite part of this class has been growing closer to such incredible people … Moot Court has reaffirmed that I am capable of being a lawyer one day.”
Mead and Weller both practiced extensively over winter break to prepare for the competition.
“After we qualified for Nationals, Justin and I worked on perfecting our arguments over winter break with our coaches and fellow classmates,” Mead said. “We scrimmaged consistently, analyzed common questions to perfect our answers and worked tirelessly at gathering case knowledge on former Supreme Court cases.”
Weller believes that as a team, the pair competed as best as they could. “I feel that our performance as a team was great,” he said. “There were moments in the competition that Lindsey was stronger than me and vice versa. We both complimented each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and that helped us in our success both in the regional and national competitions.”
At Nationals, Weller learned to stand firm and speak confidently.
“This experience taught me to be true to myself in times of high stress,” Weller said. “I had to stick to my argument and defend it, even in the face of strong disagreement from judges. I have gained great public speaking skills from this experience, which will transcend into my future career as an attorney.”
Competing at Nationals is important to SVSU because it allows the school to keep their national ranking.
“Our showing at the national tournament was important for the Moot Court program at SVSU because it helped determine our national ranking for next year,” Weller said. “SVSU is currently ranked 19th in the nation.”
Reporting by Shelby Mott, Vanguard Reporter