Eyre and Nicholson Excel at Moot Court Competition
Students from the University of North Dakota School of Law have completed another successful year in regional and national moot court competitions.
One team in particular, third-year students Andrew Eyre and Aaron Nicholson, excelled at the 7th Annual National Religious Freedom Moot Court Competition. They placed third in the competition hosted by the George Washington University Law School on February 1-2, 2013 in Washington D.C.
"Having the chance to participate in this competition is such an unparalleled opportunity," said Nicholson. Eyre and Nicholson competed against 28 teams from law schools around the country. They advanced from the preliminary rounds, through the quarterfinals and into the semifinal rounds where they were one of the final four teams. They were defeated in the semi-final round by George Mason University School of Law.
"I'm very proud of both of my teams who performed very well for a competition that we were attending for the very first time in Washington, D.C.," said Associate Professor of Law and Moot Court Coach Kirsten Dauphinais. "Andy and Aaron were particularly exemplary." Second-year student Tracy Green and third-year student Cassandra Marka also teamed up at the D.C. competition and performed well.
The two teams began preparation for the competition right away in the fall with an intensive seminar on brief writing. Their first assignment was to complete their brief, which consisted of hours of research and writing over their winter break. After finalizing the brief, they continued to prepare with two-hour practice sessions three days a week up until the competition. Eyre felt the practice sessions with Professor Dauphinais were an important part of their success. "We learned a lot while practicing with Cassie and Tracy. It was very helpful to work with such excellent teammates."
The National Religious Freedom Moot Court competition is the first competition dedicated to issues of religious freedom. This year's problem focused on whether the United States Department of Health and Human Services mandate, which requires employers to provide their employees with medical insurance coverage for pregnancy prevention services, violates the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
"Moot Court was really a great opportunity," said Nicholson. "It is a great way to get to know students and professors on a more personal level and to get involved with the school. It was a great honor and a great privilege and I'm very proud to have had the opportunity."
Several other teams successfully represented the University of North Dakota School of Law at moot court competitions this year. They are:
- Jared Wall, Laura Ringsack, Kirby Graff and Benjamin Sand competed at the National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition in Morgantown, WV.
- Cody Atkins, Kyle Craig, Erica Woehl and Laney Herauf competed at the William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition in Minneapolis, MN.
- LaTanya Gabaldon-Cochran, Kendra Parker, Whitefishwoman and Jennifer Cross participated in the NALSA moot court competition at Lewis & Clark law school in Portland, Oregon.