Five Wooster Teams Qualify for American Moot Court Association National Tournament

Juniors Jordan Griffith and Cameron Steckbeck were the Great Lakes Regional champions

December 7, 2017   /  

WOOSTER, Ohio – Following a series of outstanding results at regional events over the past few weeks, The College of Wooster will be sending five teams to the American Moot Court Association National Tournament, which will be held in Dallas at the University of North Texas College of Law on Jan. 19-20.

moot court championship
Left-to-right: Cameron Steckbeck ’19, coach Désirée Weber, and Jordan Griffith ’19 accept the trophy for winning the Great Lakes Regional Moot Court championship.

With five qualifying teams – sophomore Tolly Colby and first-year Oria Daugherty, junior Coral Ciupak and senior Shelley Grostefon, juniors Jordan Griffith and Cameron Steckbeck, first-year Heather Hartmann and junior Maha Rashid, and junior Dawson Honey and sophomore Brianna Schmidt – Wooster is tied with the University of Chicago for the third-largest representation at the national tournament. There will be 80 teams all together in the field.

Highlighting Wooster’s results at the regional tournaments, the Griffith-Steckbeck partnership earned first-place at the Great Lakes Regional, hosted at Saginaw Valley State University Dec. 1-2. Griffith and Steckbeck took second and fourth, respectively, in the individual orator category.

The Hartmann-Rashid team advanced to the final round at the Rubber City Regional, held at the University of Akron School of Law on Nov. 17-18, while the pairings of Ciupak-Grostefon and Honey-Schmidt were semifinalists at regionals, hosted by Wooster Nov. 17-18 and Loyola University Chicago Nov. 10-11, respectively.

“All of the students on the team have worked incredibly hard and I was especially pleased that a variety of two-person teams contributed to the overall success of this regional tournament season for us,” said Désirée Weber, assistant professor of political science at Wooster and coach of the Moot Court team. “I have every confidence that the (five teams) will do well to continue Wooster’s long tradition of success at the national level.”

Notable, the Ciupak-Grostefon and Griffith-Steckbeck teams are looking to repeat as All-Americans, and Honey, Rashid, and Schmidt also are making return trips to the AMCA National Tournament.

In further explaining the regional competition, Weber added that “only the top 18 percent of teams make it to nationals … from any given regional” and “each two-person team is only allowed to compete at one regional, so they have one shot to make it to nationals.”

According to the AMCA, moot court is a method of teaching law and legal skills that requires students to analyze and argue both sides of a hypothetical legal issue using procedures modeled after those employed in state and federal appellate courts.