Students Huê ’23 and Daniela ’25 took 10th place in the national brief-writing competition this past winter. The 2021 national case problem focused on a simulated decision by the U.S. Congress and the president to issue a mandatory vaccination requirement to prevent an outbreak of polio inside the country. This problem was not only current, but also quite complex, and was presented before a simulated panel of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Student pairs must work on their document without any assistance, and they must certify in writing they received no outside help once they began preparing their brief. Each brief is submitted to the American Moot Court Association with no identifying names or school affiliations, eliminating possible bias. Submitted briefs were evaluated by panels consisting of lawyers, judges and law school professors with experience and expertise in U.S. Constitutional Law, and the brief’s format and analytical substance had to meet the requirements used in real-world SCOTUS briefs.
Huê and Daniela received an average score of 91.5 on a 100-point scale across four categories of evaluation. This year of moot competition was the first for both Huê and Daniela, with Daniela being a first-year student. The pair competed against students from institutions such as the University of Chicago, Yale, Duke, U.S. Air Force Academy and Holy Cross.
Huê and Daniela’s success can be attributed to yearlong teamwork. “While a particular student pair in a particular year may or may not win an oral or briefing competition, they are part of a consistent system of shared learning and support that is the platform for every other moot student’s success,” said Dr. Daniel Huck, the Moot Court team’s supervising professor. “If Huê and Daniela have found this success, then they owe a great part of it to their fellow mooters.”