McGeorge School of Law

Smith, Vanderlinde Shine in Inter-American Debut

June 2, 2011

Erin Smith, Raquel Aldana and Brooke Vanderlinde.

Erin Smith, '12, and Brooke Vanderlinde, '12, put on at stellar performance at the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition, held May 22-27, 2011, at American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C.

In a field of 100 teams from all over the Western Hemisphere, the McGeorge team advanced to the semi-final round with one of the top five scores for the teams representing the victims' side of the issue. It was the law school's first appearance in the trilingual competition (English, Spanish and Portuguese), which is now in its sixteenth year.

"Our team received numerous compliments from the judges and the interpreters for their oratory skills, advocacy skills, and knowledge of the jurisprudence," said Professor Jennifer Gibson, who accompanied the team. "Erin and Brooke's performance at the competition was remarkable given that the jurisprudence of the American Convention on Human Rights is not part of this country's jurisprudence, and that Brooke and Erin were completely unfamiliar with the law or the customs of this competition."

"Professor Raquel Aldana, who co-coached the team with Jennifer, encouraged us to enter the competition," said Professor Michael Vitiello, the director of the McGeorge's Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution. "The success of this team is typical of our strong year in advocacy. Our moot court (appellate advocacy teams) won 46 separate trophies (individual and team) in 12 competitions over the past year. We appreciate all the support of faculty, staff members, alumni and attorneys who work with our moot court and mock trial teams."