School of Law News
USD School of Law Moot Court Team Ranks Ninth in the Nation
The University of San Diego School of Law Appellate Moot Court team (Moot Court) is currently ranked ninth in the nation.
The ranking is based on all of the team’s national competitions throughout the United States for each calendar year (January to December).
“Ranking ninth in the nation is a genuine accomplishment that puts USD on the map and adds to our reputation as a stellar academic institution,” said Carolina Bravo-Karimi, the board’s faculty advisor.
Ranking-wise, a team only gets points for making it to a semi-final or final round, and the number of points is based on the number of total teams competing at the tournament.
“This is extremely challenging considering that USD regularly competes in competitions where more than 30 teams compete,” Bravo-Karimi said.
The rankings are significant for a number of reasons.
“First and foremost, the ranking celebrates students around the country who dedicate a significant amount of their time and energy to preparing for and excelling in moot court appellate advocacy,” Bravo-Karimi said. “Second, it helps USD grow as a program. Finally, these rankings are important in order to promote and celebrate USD School of Law generally.”
Last year's executive board and this year's executive board both contributed to the ranking accomplishment.
“I think that shows how fluid our organization really has become over the years, and it is a really positive result,” said Kerri Lutfey, a third-year law student and Moot Court chair.
The Moot Court’s executive board is chosen in late March through an interview process. Each associate board member receives an invitation to interview for the executive board and any non-associates who received a brief, oralist or overall award at either of the two intramural tournaments (Alumni in the fall, McLennon in the spring) also receive an invitation to interview.
“At the interviews, the students are asked which positions/national teams they prefer and their reasons why,” said Lutfey. “After the interviews, the outgoing executive board chooses which students will be on the incoming executive board and what their specific roles will be.“
“The board also takes individual advocacy styles into account to create even and balanced teams,” added Bravo-Karimi.
Bravo-Karimi and Lutfey point to a few standout students on the team. Craig TenBroeck won the intramural McLennon tournament in 2011 and made it to the semi-finals at the Emory competition in October, along with his partner Tiffanie McDowell. Melisa McKellar won second place at McLennon in 2011 and qualified to the ACTL National Con Law competition after competing in the regional round in San Diego in November 2011 along with her partner Aminta Raffolovich.
Other standouts include Elyse Fune, who won third place at McLennon in 2011 and received the second place oralist award at her National competition at Pepperdine in November 2011. Fune and her partner, Lutfey, also qualified to the semi-finals at Pepperdine. Kevin Terrell, a quarterfinalist at the regional ACTL Con Law competition, also won an award for Best Oral Advocate at the Whittier Moot Court Competition.
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