Two Belmont Moot Court teams recently competed against 24 other teams in the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Appellate Advocacy Competition. All teams did exceptionally well in the competition, with one team named regional finalists and the other regional champions. This year marks the sixth year of Belmont participating in the competition and the sixth year that one of Belmont’s teams were named regional champions.
The team of Katelyn Barham, Madeline Gilmore and Alex Schramkowski was named regional champions. They ranked ninth after the preliminary rounds and were the only lower seed team to advance all the way up the bracket, beating the number one seed in the final round. Furthermore, Schramkowski was named the number one Best Advocate in the Region. The team will advance to the national finals of this competition in April.
The team comprised of students Daniella Bhadare-Valente, Erik Halvorson and Rebecca Gillette were named regional finalists. Additionally, Halvorson was named the fourth Best Advocate in the region, and Rebecca Gillette was named the eighth Best Advocate in the Region.
The moot court program at Belmont helps give law students experience in the courtroom by simulating real world appellate court trials. “What is unique about our Moot Court program is the incredible community that Professor and Coach Amy Moore has fostered over many years,” said Schramkowski. “Our alumni regularly judge practice rounds, including many who have competed and won awards. That active engagement by a larger community instills a mindset of ambition and cooperation in current competitors.”
However, the students say that none of their success would have been possible without their educational background from the Belmont College of Law. “Classes at Belmont teach you from the get-go to be 110 percent prepared. If there is any gap in your knowledge, it will be exposed,” said Gilmore.
“Every first-year law student takes two semesters of a class called Legal Information and Communication (LIC) in which skilled professors and practitioners provide real-world insights into motion practice, brief writing and oral advocacy,” said Schramkowski. “Skills in those areas are indispensable in moot court. Belmont sets itself apart in many ways, but the lessons I learned in LIC will always constitute the foundation of my future career.”
Learn more about moot court as well as other opportunities available through the Belmont College of Law by visiting the website here.