Washulaw Finishes as National Runner-Up in ABA Moot Court Competition

WashULaw’s Brandon Black (right), Remi Balogun, and Kirk Gandy finished as national runners-up in the ABA’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition in Washington, D.C. With more than 180 teams representing more than 100 schools, the moot court competition is considered the most competitive in the country. Gandy also brought home the title of Best Speaker.

Photo courtesy of the American Bar Association, Law Student Division.

A team of third-year WashULaw students finished as national runner-up in the American Bar Association’s prestigious National Appellate Advocacy Competition in Washington, D.C.

The trio of Remi Balogun, Brandon Black, and Kirk Gandy advanced to the two-team final of the NAAC, the largest and most competitive moot court competition in the country. More than 180 teams from more than 100 schools participated this year. Each team writes a brief on behalf of the petitioner or respondent, then represents both the petitioner and respondent in oral arguments.

Gandy also was recognized as the National Best Speaker, the strongest advocate out of more than 400 students who participated in the competition.

The performance capped a banner season for the team, which won the NAAC regional in Chicago and received recognition for having the best brief. The team also took first place overall and won the best speaker award in February at the William B. Spong Invitational Tournament at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia.

“We have had a great year,” said Richard Finneran, an adjunct professor who has coached the team since 2009. “We have now been recognized not only as being among the two best teams in the country, but having the very best speaker in the nation. We could not achieve these successes without the continued support of Dean Nancy Staudt and the entire law school community.”

This year’s achievements continue WashULaw’s tradition of excellence in national advocacy competitions. The National Moot Court Team won the NAAC in 2012. It reached the finals every year from 2006 to 2012 and again in 2016 and 2018. In the past ten years, the National Moot Court Team has also won five other national competitions, including the McGee Civil Rights Competition and the Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition. Since 2006, the team has included the best speaker in the region four times and has twice won the award for best brief in the region.

In 2012, it was recognized as having the second- and third-best speakers in the national competition. This is WashULaw’s first time receiving the award for best speaker nationwide.