Holy Cross' Moot Court Team Finishes 17th in the Nation

The College of the Holy Cross’ Moot Court team finished up its season as 17th in the nation (top 7%) in the national tournament at the Chapman University Law School in Orange, California.

Robert LiCalzi ’12 and Andrew Emerson ’14 competed at the 2012 national tournament which presented them with the challenge of navigating the largest field of competitors in collegiate Moot Court history.  This season, nearly 300 teams totaling 600 students competed at eight regional tournaments across the nation. In the end, only 80 teams from 35 colleges and universities advanced to compete in the National Tournament.

The team finished in 17th place, and LiCalzi was ranked as the ninth best advocate out of a field of 160 students that ultimately placed him in the top 2% nationwide.   Andrea Thompson ’15 was the 15th best advocate at the South East regional this season and Peter Walsh ’14 was 20th out of a field of over 110 students.

“The entire experience was incredibly rewarding,” says Emerson. “I am humbled to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the brightest, most eloquent, and passionate students from Holy Cross.”

Although an experienced “Mooter,” LiCalzi also had a uniquely memorable experience during this year’s competition. “We learned a lot about constitutional law, about teamwork and strategy, and had a great time. While doing Moot definitely requires extra work outside of classes, it’s fun and rewarding, making the experience enjoyable and memorable,” he shares.

The Holy Cross Moot Court team has come a long way since it first began in 2003 with only two members, including John O’Donnell, the team’s coach since 2007. He shares his desire to continue working with the team that he helped start: “College students, especially ones drawn to activities like this, have a real zest for life and learning.  It’s infectious. But I also love watching the students grow and mature into promising young professionals.”

“Watching our students learn how to develop a clear and concise argument, and then deliver it in a civil manner is my favorite part of being involved with such a team,” says Scott Sandstrom, one of the team’s coaches and the College’s pre-law advisor.

The future looks very bright for the team, as the majority of its members are underclassmen. Of the 20 students who are on the college’s Moot Court team, only two will be graduating this spring. 

Coach O’Donnell candidly admits that he has high expectations for the upcoming seasons. “We have more students than ever before who are talented enough to go the distance.  If they all work hard and stick with it, Holy Cross is in as good a position as any team to be a force going forward,” he shares

Students interested in the Moot Court program should contact Scott Sandstrom.