NDLS hosts moot court tournament for religious freedom

Author: Denise Wager

Rsz Wide

Rsz Wide

The Notre Dame Law School Moot Court Board recently hosted its Second Annual National Appellate Advocacy Tournament for Religious Freedom.

Ten moot court teams from across the country participated in the competition that was organized by NDLS students and was co-sponsored by the Law School’s Program on Church, State & Society

Liberty University School of Law won the competition. Michigan State University College of Law placed second, and the George Washington University Law School placed third.

Texas Tech University School of Law, Ave Maria School of Law, Valparaiso University Law School, J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, Emory University School of Law, and Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law also competed in the tournament.

Liberty University won the Best Oralist Award and the Best Brief Award. Valparaiso University won Second Place Oralist. Northwestern University won Second Place Brief.

The judges for the final round of the competition were Judge Stephen J. Murphy III, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan; Thomas M. Fisher, Indiana Solicitor General; and Judge Patrick M. Meter, ’70, ’73 J.D., Michigan Court of Appeals.

Christine Venter, professor and director of the NDLS legal writing program; Jeffrey Tone, commercial litigator for Katten and Temple; David Pruitt, director of the Notre Dame Clinical Law Center; Susan Farrington, partner at Advantage College Consulting; Bob Jones, associate dean for experiential programs and clinical professor of law at NDLS; Jennifer Fiegel, ’18 LL.M.; Paul Manrique, program director for new student engagement at the University of Notre Dame; and Nicholas Schilling, ’14, ’17 J.D., were also judges.

Rsz Groups 7 1Shannon Lewry, Judge Patrick Meter, Judge Stephen Miller, Solicitor General Thomas Fisher, and Hope Tone

Shannon Lewry was the director of the tournament this year. The tournament was established last year by Matthew Ciulla, ’17 J.D, and Christina Dines, ’14, ’17 J.D.

It was an honor to continue the tradition started by Matt and Christa last year, and to share our own Moot Court Board’s passion for appellate advocacy with so many visiting judges and competitors. This event is a unique meeting place for current NDLS students, faculty, alumni, and visiting law schools, who gather to grapple with the most challenging issues of religious freedom our country faces today,” Lewry said. “We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the Program on Church, State & Society’s support.”

The Notre Dame Moot Court Board will continue to host this tournament annually.


Rsz Judges 5 1

Rsz 1attorneys 6

Rsz Attorneys 3

Photos by Robert Lee, Notre Dame Law School


Originally published by Denise Wager at churchstate.nd.edu on November 16, 2017.