It was a record year for Moot Court at St. Thomas University.
For the first time in the program’s history, six teams qualified for the American Moot Court National Championships—the maximum number of teams any university can send is eight—while a seventh STU team traveled to the championships in Dallas, Texas, as an alternate.
Two STU teams—Emma Walsh and Brianna Workman and Dominique Goguen and Jarrod Ryan—earned bids into the second day of competition. Walsh and Workman placed ninth while Goguen and Ryan finished 17th out of 80 teams.
The ninth place finish is the highest placement ever achieved by a STU team.
“It’s better than I could have hoped for,” Walsh said. “My expectation was to make it to the second day of competition; it wasn’t necessarily to get an automatic bid to the top 32. That surpassed our goals.”
Each year, 430 teams compete in 13 regional events with the hope of earning one of the 80 bids to nationals. Walsh and Workman qualified after placing first overall at a regional competition in Albany, while Goguen and Ryan booked their ticket to Dallas with a third-place finish at the Fitchburg regional.
This was Walsh’s second appearance at nationals, while Workman was making her debut. The pair were awarded third place in the written brief competition and both picked up speaker awards—Walsh was 11th and Workman was 14th.
“STU’s really earning a reputation,” Workman said. “Our brief placing third speaks to the quality of our arguments as a team. It was really exciting.”
Abbie LeBlanc and Navy Vezina, who came first place at the 2017 Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Geneva, were also among the event’s top speakers. LeBlanc placed fourth out of 160 speakers and Vezina was seventh.
Although they didn’t move on to the second day of competition, LeBlanc said attending the championships was still rewarding.
“All of STU’s teams, as well as all the teams at the competition, are extremely talented, and while Navy and I didn’t move to the second day, I’m honoured that we were both recognized among the top speakers.”
Olivia Ricketts and Elizabeth Tuck, Laura Robinson and Kelly Brennan, and Emily Williams and Camille Xavier also competed at the American Moot Court National Championships after earning bids at their respective regional events. Husoni Raymond and Adriel Miller qualified in the top 82, which earned them a place at nationals as alternate teams, though they did not get to compete in Dallas.