Belmont University College of Law students Madeline Gilmore and Alex Schramkowski were named winners at the Appellate Advocacy Competition, a component of the National Animal Law Competitions (NALC) on March 18-19, 2023. The competition was hosted by the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law & Policy, in partnership with Harvard Law School, Lewis & Clark Law School and Vermont Law & Graduate School.
Eight top teams were selected to compete after the preliminary rounds where a law brief and video presentation were submitted from teams across the nation. The Belmont team was undefeated throughout the entirety of the elimination rounds and Schramkowski was awarded the Best Oral Advocate in the competition.
“I owe my entire success in this competition to the Belmont Law program,” Schramkowski said. “My entire argument revolved around the Erie doctrine, a very complex issue that students learn in their first year of law school. If I had not received such great instruction in the first instance from the talented Professor Amy Moore, I could not have possibly picked up the subject two years later—let alone argue it well enough to prevail on the national scene. Belmont’s emphasis on growth through simulation and practical application is crucial when it comes to succeeding in this program.”
The NALC provides law students an opportunity to develop knowledge in the field of animal law and to hone their written and oral advocacy skills.
Gilmore and Schramkowski were declared regional champions in February at the National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) sponsored by the American Bar Association and will travel to Washington D.C. in April to compete at nationals with the other members of their advancing team.
“It means so much to have won a national competition,” Gilmore said. “We have been successful at regionals before, but this is the first time we are national champions. We constantly practice with each other, bounce ideas off of each other, and try to push each other past our limits to keep getting better. I couldn’t do it without the support of the entire group of moot court members.”
For more information about NALC competitions,