Pioneers' First Moot Court Competition
| by Ella Phillips email@example.com
The students received additional aid and recommendations on their case arguments from three attorneys who are MNU alums, Joel Oster ('93), Matt Rogers ('07) and Stephen Netherton ('09).
Students Jeremy Thorpe, a junior business administration major, and Elizabeth Krohn, a senior marketing major, are the first MNU students to compete with the American Moot Court Association (AMCA), the largest intercollegiate moot court organization in the United States. Jeremy and Elizabeth competed in the Great Lakes Regional, hosted by Saginaw Valley State University, one of the many competitions testing students on their ability to identify legal standards. In December 2020, when the students competed, they placed 16th out of 46 teams.
Jeremy and Elizabeth began preparing materials in June 2020, meeting on Zoom for multiple hours a week to analyze cases and formulate arguments. Professor of Criminal Justice and moot court mentor, Todd Hiestand, is proud of how the students competed at the regional tournament.
"Jeremy and Elizabeth came to every practice prepared to work hard and be challenged," Hiestand said. "Outside practices, they read case law and worked on their arguments. It was impressive to watch them grow in their skills and demonstrate hard work on a difficult extra-curricular project."
The students received additional aid and recommendations on their case arguments from three attorneys who are MNU alums, Joel Oster ('93), Matt Rogers ('07) and Stephen Netherton ('09). Stephen was impressed with how the students tackled issues and presented arguments.
"They sounded like law students, not undergraduate students," he said. "That does not surprise me. Prof. Hiestand's teaching style is similar to a law school course. I benefited from his teaching at MNU. Elizabeth and Jeremy are making the most of their opportunity to do the same."
It was a unanimous response from students and alumni that there is a significant benefit in seeking insight or advice from peers or superiors who are well versed in the subject of law.
"They had so much wisdom and insight to offer. It was helpful to speak with experts and listen to them weigh in on our progress," said Jeremy. "This experience was wonderful, as I was able to build some connections with previous MNU graduates."
Though the students agreed that the training process was difficult in the beginning, both students now feel better equipped to take on law school after graduation.
"This competition brought me out of my comfort zone," Elizabeth said. "It was something I had no knowledge about or prior experience in. This competition and preparation process will help prepare me for law school. I learned so many skills that I can apply. It also gave me confidence in my abilities. I watched myself grow and improve throughout the process."
Jeremy agrees. "Once I learned to shift from making a logical, analytical argument to making a precise, legal argument, I felt so much more confident," he said. "Moot Court did wonders for improving my mental dexterity and clarity of thought. Regardless of one's future goals, I think it is valuable to advocate for a position and learn to communicate clearly."
Undergraduate education at MNU is excellent preparation for graduate school and a career in the professions. Learn more at mnu.edu/undergraduate/majors-minors/pre-professional.