“Ever since I was kid, I have loved arguing,” admits Mina Nasseri ’10 with a laugh. “I’ve always seen myself in the courtroom or in some sort of advocacy role. I have been practicing oral advocacy for most of my life.”
For Nasseri, combining that admittedly non-academic pursuit with detailed legal study and hours of preparation paid off at this year’s Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Competition, where she earned the Law School’s Lawrence S. Greenbaum Prize for best oralist. Arguing before Judges Sandra Lynch, Robert Sack ’63, and Lord Collins of Mapesbury ’65 LL.M., she represented fictional plaintiff James Madison in a gender discrimination suit against his school district. The case problem explained that Madison wore a dress to school in support of anti–Proposition 8 rallies and was suspended for violating the school’s dress code, which mandated “gender appropriate” clothing.
“The case was ripped from the headlines,” says Nasseri, who began work on moot court submissions last fall. “There have been so many news items involving these issues. Knowing that, and knowing that these arguments were being used in actual courtrooms, made the experience especially exciting.”
After graduation, the California native will join the San Francisco office of Latham & Watkins. There, Nasseri hopes to begin her career with a focus on litigation and is considering specializing in antitrust law, a field she developed an interest in while taking Professor C. Scott Hemphill’s class on the topic.
Though Nasseri’s moot court performance was a highlight of her time at the Law School, she is already looking forward to taking the next big step for an advocate—arguing a real case. “Court was a lot of fun, but it was moot,” Nasseri says. “I can’t wait to have a real-life effect on people and feel like I’ve made an impact.”