McGeorge School of Law

McGeorge School of Law students shine in first moot court competition of the year

November 7, 2019

University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law students Blake Sequeira and Shirley Yang won the first moot court tournament of the academic year over the weekend.

Sequieira and Yang beat a team from Michigan State University’s law school in the final round of the Appellate Lawyers Association (ALA) moot court tournament in Chicago held Nov. 1-2.

“Moot court competitions are an important test for our students and a great experience for aspiring lawyers,” said Ed Telfeyan, director of McGeorge’s Moot Court Program. “In these competitions, McGeorge students have to write appellate briefs and prepare oral arguments on complex, cutting-edge legal issues. The students engage in intense research in crafting their arguments and then spend countless hours perfecting their briefs and countless more hours in practice rounds for their oral arguments.”

Over the last 10 years, McGeorge has established itself as one of the best law schools in the country in moot court competitions. Recent top McGeorge students in moot court competitions include Paige Davidson ’19, who won the top oralist award for two years in a row at the National Moot Court Competition regionals in San Francisco and was the McGeorge Appellate Advocate of the Year in 2017-18. Michael Laino ’19 wrote the best brief at the same tournament for two consecutive years. And Dan Reilly ’19 wrote the best brief in the Chicago Bar Association’s Moot Court competition last year.

Our winning team was coached by McGeorge professor Adrienne Brungess, McGeorge alums Erich Shiners and Brad Coutinho, and third-year law student coach Sierra Grandbois. Nataliya Shtevnina, a second-year McGeorge student, was the team’s research assistant.

McGeorge teams typically compete in 10 to 12 competitions each academic year. Students are eligible to participate depending on which year they’re in. McGeorge also holds an intra-school moot court competition for first-year students. All McGeorge students gain significant moot court experience in the Global Lawyering Skills course that features brief writing and oral argument training.