Law School’s Frederick Douglass Moot Court Team Shines at Regionals

New York, Jan. 31, 2012—Columbia Law School’s Frederick Douglass Moot Court team triumphed at last week's Northeast Region of the National Black Law Students Association Convention, winning every possible award in a field of 26 teams and 52 competitors. The event was held in Westchester, NY.

Columbia students, all first-year J.D. candidates, competed with students—largely second-and third-years—from law schools from throughout the region in brief-writing and oral arguments. This year’s problem concerns the constitutionality of a law modeled on Arizona’s SB1070, a search and seizure under that statute, and resulting tax evasion charges. 

First place went to Dinah Manning ’14 and Demetri Blaisdell ’14 (who were also awarded Best Petitioner Brief), second place to Jack Starcher ’14 and Jarrell Mitchell ’14 (with Jack being named Best Oral Advocate), and third place to Amal Deria ’14 and Miheer Mhatre ’14 (who were also awarded Best Respondent Brief). All three teams will go on to compete with 15 other teams at the National Black Law Students Association Convention in Washington, D.C., in early March. 



First-year students sweep moot court competition.

Other members of the team are Rajan Trehan ’14 and Tabisa Walwema ’14 (who came in fourth place), Tony Ortega ’14 and Miguel Gradilla ’14, Trey Brewer ’14 and Chisara Ezie ’14, Kiira Johal ’14 and William David Williams ’14, and Arthi Sridharan ’14 and Marcus Strong ’14. 

The team is coached by Chadé Severin ’13 and John Fowler ’13. Sean Berens ’13 and Jason Georges ’13 are the team’s brief editors. 

The Frederick Douglass Moot Court competition, held annually since 1975 by the National Black Law Students Association, focuses primarily on public law and topics of particular relevance to students of color.