California State University, Fullerton

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Students Bring Home National Kudos

Moot Court Competitors Score Team and Individual Awards, Including a Top 10 Orator

Jan. 22, 2013

lauren allen

Lauren Allen with her Moot Court Tournament awards.

Political science major Lauren Allen has been named the seventh best orator in the nation.
Allen of Orange and three of her Cal State Fullerton Moot Court Teammates picked up a total of six awards at the Jan. 18-19 American Collegiate Moot Court Association 2013 National Tournament, held at Regent University School of Law in Virginia. 

Moot court, or mock Supreme Court, is a simulation of an appellate court proceeding.  All contestants argue the same hypothetical case. This year’s case asked whether a university’s preferential admissions program, which provides extra weight to male applicants in order to balance its student body, violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution; and whether the university in question violated petitioner’s right to free association under the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Calling it one of the “highlights” of her college experience, Allen said the tournament was “especially gratifying” when she was designated a “Top 10 Orator.”

“Being named the seventh-best speaker out of the 160 competitors was an absolute honor, and I am so glad that I am able to represent Cal State Fullerton,” she said.

Describing an intense moment in the third round of the first day of competition, Allen sensed she had won over the judges. “As I approached the podium to give my team’s two-minute rebuttal, I remember thinking that I really needed to attack the other teams’ points while persuading the judges that our side was right. At the beginning of my argument, the judges listened with blank faces, however, before my two minutes were up, I had both of them nodding along with my key point. … At that moment, I knew we had won the round and beat our opponents, who were regional tournament champions.”

CSUF’s awardees of this year’s competition:

  • Allen and her partner, political science major Keith Fierro of San Bernardino, received plaques for placing among the top 20 moot court teams, as did
  • political science majors Amy Bailey of Fullerton and Michael Slobom of Huntington Beach.
  • Fierro also was named 17th best orator in the nation.

Their coach, Pamela Fiber-Ostrow, associate professor of political science, said the students “put up a great fight.”
Along with the award-winning teams, three other CSUF moot court teams also took part in the national competition, at which a total of 80 teams competed. Those who compete must first win bids at regional tournaments nationwide. Nearly 300 teams competed regionally. A team from Patrick Henry College in Virginia emerged as the national tournament champion.

By: Mimi Ko Cruz, 657-278-7586

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