Fordham Law’s Moot Court Excelled During 2023-2024 Competition Season


Fordham Law’s Moot Court completed a successful 2023-2024 season that included winning the 74th Annual National Moot Court Competition and placing in the semi-finals of the Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Competition, Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, and Williams Institute Moot Court Competition.

This year, nearly 150 second-year and third-year students sharpened their appellate advocacy skills as writers and oralists in a series of simulated appellate arguments. Throughout the competition season, students use real-life court decisions and laws to argue various legal issues before panels of judges.

“Moot court certainly sharpens students’ advocacy skills, but it’s about much more than appellate argument,” says Ilene Strauss, the faculty advisor of the Moot Court Board. “Moot court pushes students to delve into new areas of law and think critically about them – skills every lawyer needs. Our program is also run by remarkable students, who collaborate beautifully and lead with empathy and intelligence.”

Left to right: Hon. Hector Gonzalez, Hon. Rosalyn Richter, Hon. Arun Subramanian, Joseph Orlando ’24, Deisy Abarca-Espiritu ’24, Blake Elwood ’24 (behind cup), Makayla Ashe ’24, Hon. Caitlin Halligan, William J. Murphy and Susan Kohlmann.

In January 2024, Blake Elwood ’24, Deisy Abarca-Espiritu ’24, and Joe Orlando ’24 of the Maria L. Marcus National Moot Court Team scored a national championship victory, beating the University of Memphis School of Law in the final round of the 74th Annual National Moot Court Competition. The competition was sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the National Moot Court Competition Committee of the New York City Bar Association.

The National Moot Court Competition was accompanied by other successes by Fordham Law’s Moot Court teams. Coached by Brennan Corriston ’24, Justin Miller ’25, Sarah Schmoyer ’25, and Matt Salavitch ’25, ended up as semi-finalists at the Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition in March. The trio argued in front of federal bankruptcy judges at the Eastern District of New York Bankruptcy Court on “two very niche, but salient, issues on the forefront of bankruptcy law,” according to Salavitch, and were awarded Outstanding Brief.

Salavitch credited all members of the program for helping him feel prepared and confident to face the competition, “It’s impossible to do a moot court competition alone. You need your fellow team members, your coach, the bench members, and the e-board to prepare a team for competition. Your team members and your coach, especially, are engaged with the issues at the same level of depth as you are, and are invaluable in helping you refine your argument and your oral presentation.”

Salavitch added, “And of course, mooting six days a week for over a month you get very close! My moot court teammates are some of my closest friends at Fordham.”

Coached by Karl Kristensen ’24, Annika Jorgensen ’25 and Shanice Scantlebury ’25 finished as semi-finalists at the 18th Annual Williams Institute Moot Court Competition in March 2024.

That same month, captain Annika Jorgensen ’25 and Shanice Scantlebury ’25 left Los Angeles as semi-finalists of the 18th Annual Williams Institute Moot Court Competition. Jorgensen was awarded Best Oralist after giving a stellar performance on cutting-edge issues in sexual orientation and gender identity law. The team was led by coach Karl Kristensen ’24.

In November 2023, Abigail Conroy ’25 and captain Matthew Hahn ’25 finished the 29th Annual Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition as semi-finalists and winners of the Third Best Brief Award. The competition problem revolved around two free speech issues: whether a law student’s free speech rights under the First Amendment had been violated upon arrest and whether banning the student’s club from posting in the law school’s weekly bulletin afterward had violated the club’s free speech rights.

Abigail Conroy ’25 and Matthew Hahn ’25 finished the 29th Annual Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition as semi-finalists and winners of the Third Best Brief Award in November 2023.

Conroy succeeds outgoing editor-in-chief Makayla Ashe ’24, and will lead the Moot Court Board this upcoming academic year. She said she looks forward to working closely with different members of the board, seeing her peers thrive in their new leadership positions, and welcoming new members through the William Hughes Mulligan Memorial Moot Court Competition this summer and the I. Maurice Wormser Memorial Moot Court Competition in the fall.

“The biggest takeaway for me, and why I decided to run for editor-in-chief, is how Moot Court attracts some of the best members of the Fordham Law School community,” Conroy said. “I am constantly impressed with how intelligent and giving the members of Moot Court are. It takes a lot of work for Moot Court to be successful, from competitors and their coaches, to bench teams, and problem writers, and I have been wowed this year by people’s willingness to contribute their talents and help build a stronger community.”


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