KU Law team wins Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Competition

LAWRENCE - The University of Kansas School of Law's moot court teams have concluded the season with another national title. Ally Monson and Amanda McElfresh, third-year law students, won the Federal Bar Association's Thurgood Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C., in late March.

Ally Monson and Amanda McElfresh, 3LsPreparation for the competition began in fall 2022, according to Elizabeth Cateforis, the winning duo's coach and clinical professor of law.

"Over the course of this year, [Ally and Amanda] developed remarkable advocacy skills that wowed everyone who saw them argue in this competition," Cateforis said. "I could not be more proud of them. I look forward to defending our title next year."

The materials provided for this competition include a mock district court order and circuit court opinion. The teams prepare and submit written appellate briefs and argue against other teams from across the nation. Judges, practitioners or scholars evaluate the competitors.

In the final round, Monson and McElfresh argued against the defending champions from the University of Minnesota, a team that included the returning best final-round oralist. After the final round, the KU duo won the title and individual awards as well: Monson brought home the award for third-best oralist in the preliminary rounds, and McElfresh brought home the award for the best oralist in the final round.

"Our success was a joint effort between us, our teammates, our coach and all the faculty and community members that took time out of their busy schedules to help us practice our oral arguments," Monson and McElfresh said in a joint statement. "Without them, we would not have made it to the final round. We feel honored to have represented KU Law in this competition."

This competition draws a close to another award-winning season.

"I know our 2L (second-year) students will aim to be repeat champs next year," said Pam Keller, moot court director and clinical professor. "The law school is incredibly proud of all the Thurgood Marshall team members."

This win is just one of many moot court competition successes. Other highlights from the remaining competitions of the year include:

  • Josh Sipp and Madeline Calcagno, third-year law students, participated in the Wechsler National Criminal Law Moot Court Competition in Buffalo, New York, March 31-April 1, where they competed through to the semifinals. Sipp received the award for third-best oralist.
  • Maddy Tannahill and Caleb Hanlon, third-year law students, participated in the Prince Evidence National Moot Court Competition at Brooklyn Law School in Brooklyn, New York, March 30-April 1, where they also competed through to the semifinals.

Read this article from the KU News Service