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Home > Two Moot Court Wins, One Weekend

Two Moot Court Wins, One Weekend

November 30th, 2009

By Sarah Pride

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722

From L to R, Joshua & Aaron Kamakawiwoole, Dr. Michael Farris (PHC Chancellor and head moot court coach), and first-place Fitchburg finishers Rachel Heflin and Jenna Lorence

Before coming to Patrick Henry College, seniors Rachel Heflin and Jenna Lorence often faced off as top competitors in NCFCA debate. In spring of 2006, as high school seniors, they argued against each other in the final round of NCFCA Nationals. Three years later, on the weekend before Thanksgiving, these two seasoned debaters formed a championship partnership, teaming to win the Eastern Regional moot court tournament in Fitchburg, MA, topping Harvard, Syracuse University, Holy Cross, and Saint John’s, among many others.

The same weekend, another PHC moot court delegation performed a clean sweep of the top eight places at a tournament held at Regent University.

 “I’ll just say that it’s an amazing experience when someone who used to be your biggest rival later becomes your partner,” exclaims Heflin, “—and you win together!”

For Heflin, Fitchburg marks her third time winning this particular regional tournament. In January of 2009, she also won moot court Nationals with her partner, Aidan Grano.

At the Fitchburg tournament, three other PHC teams placed in the top eight in the 46-team field, and juniors Aaron and Joshua Kamakawiwoole placed second.

A few hours south of PHC, two less-experienced vanloads of freshmen and sophomores drawn primarily from PHC’s intramural tournaments, tried their wings at a smaller tournament hosted by Regent University in Virginia Beach—with outstanding results. In a field of 18 teams, PHC sent ten, and ended by sweeping first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth places. Most of these students had not yet experienced an intercollegiate tournament, having competed only against one another at PHC.

Sophomores Zachary Enos and Mackenzi Siebert won the tournament, though they “started prepping only a week before [intramurals] and a few days before Regent,” according to Enos. It is the first year for both competing in moot court.

The real benefit of both tournaments, says PHC Professor of Government and moot court coach Dr. Frank Guliuzza, is that PHC has now, true to form, already qualified more than the maximum eights teams any college can send to moot court Nationals in January. With ten teams having already qualified, PHC still has one more qualifying tournament to go, making the choice of an eight-team travelling squad “one of the hardest decisions,” says Guliuzza.

“But it’s a real good problem to have,” he grins.

As always, moot court remains an excellent way to prepare for law school and beyond. Heflin, for example, hopes to pursue a law degree with a specific focus on international and comparative law after graduation. Enos is looking forward to a joint M.B.A. and law program, if possible, for a future career as an international entrepreneur and a domestic attorney.

“I hope to pursue business because products and services that people interact with help define cultural values,” says Enos, “—and law because it opposes the advance of evil, preserving the good parts of the status quo.”