Two ONU Law teams placed in the Top 16 and Elite 8 Finalists at the National Appellate Advocacy Competition, held in San Francisco, California in March. This event, organized by the American Bar Association (ABA), is a Moot Court competition in which participants draft briefs and argue hypothetical appeals to the United States Supreme Court in front of a mock jury. The ABA states this competition allows law students to sharpen skills they will utilize as practitioners and “emphasizes the development of oral advocacy skills through a realistic appellate advocacy experience.”

The winning teams were composed of Kyle Nazareth, 3L (third-year law student); Erin Bacon, 2L; Brandon Grigsby, 3L; and Kris Kristofferson, 3L. Nazareth reflected on the experience sharing, “Arguing a constitutional issue at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California was an invaluable learning experience. I’m incredibly grateful to the Lord for our success, and to my coach and teammates for their immense talent and brilliance. I look forward to continuing to improve my appellate advocacy as an attorney!”

In the fourth round of this multi-round competition, one of the ONU teams overtook the top-ranked University of Minnesota team. The two ONU teams made their way into the fifth and final round, almost making it to the national competition. Law professor Joanne Brant commended the teams saying, “Both ONU Law teams were fierce and gracious competitors and represented ONU extremely well. They outperformed every ABA team since 2014 when we won Best Oralist and went to the national finals.”

Although they did not make it to the national competition, Grigsby stated, “It was a great experience; competing against some of the top law schools in the nation and coming very close to the elimination round is a testament to the work we, along with our coach, Professor Brant, put into this. Professor Brant and the rest of the faculty that participated in our practices prepared us extremely well.”

The Northern Review congratulates the teams on their achievement!

Photo provided by Brenda Burgy
From left to right: Kyle Nazareth, 3L, Erin Bacon, 2L, Joanne Brant, Law Professor, Brandon Grigsby, 3L and Kris Kristofferson, 3L.

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