group of law student

William S. Richardson School of Law’s 2012 National Native American Law Students Association moot court team.

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law students won seven out of nine top awards at the National Native American Law Students Association’s 20th Annual Moot Court Competition, held in Honolulu on February 24–25.

The Mānoa students won first, second and (tied) for third place in the best advocate category. They also placed first and second place in the best oralist category and second and third in the best brief category. 

Fifty-six teams, representing 28 law schools, competed. Competing schools included Columbia University, Cornell University, the University of Michigan, the University of Washington and the University of California Los Angeles.

This year’s competition problem involved a fictitious Pacific indigenous group facing many of the same issues faced by Native Hawaiians. The issues dealt with federal recognition and membership.

“We’re excited about our performance this year,” said third year law student and team captain Adam Roversi.

“We’re very proud of our students,” said Professor Williamson Chang, the team’s faculty advisor. “Over the past few years, they’ve consistently done well in this particular competition.”

Between 1997 and 2011, the law school won 23 awards in this competition according to the team’s website. This year’s win brings the team to 30 awards.

Competition awards

Best Advocate Category

  • First Place—Tyler Gomes and Teri Wright, University of Hawaiʻi
  • Second Place—Caycie Gusman and Catherine Hall, University of Hawaiʻi
  • Third Place—Shefali Singh and Caroline Stover, Columbia Law School tied with Zachary DiIonno and Fawn Jade Koopman, University of Hawaiʻi

Best Legal Brief

  • First Place—Jocelyn Jenks and Jacquelyn Jampolsky, University of Colorado
Second Place—Caycie Gusman and Catherine Hall, University of Hawaiʻi
  • Third Place—Zachary DiIonno and Fawn Jade Koopman, University of Hawaiʻi

Best Oralist

First Place—Tyler Gomes, University of Hawaiʻi
  • Second Place—Ana Won Pat Borja, University of Hawaiʻi
  • Third Place—Cecelia Knapp, William Mitchell School of Law

Other student participants include Adam Roversi, Elika Otoya Stimpson, Jarrett Keohokalole and Randall Wat.

For more information, visit the UH National Native American Law Students Association website.

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Congratulations to all who participated. I am a lawyer in Vancouver, Canada who practices in the field of what is generally referred to in Canada as Aboriginal law. I put out a newsletter comparing Aboriginal law issues in Canada with Native Hawaiian legal issues. I would be greatly interested in reading the written arguments that were filed in the moot and doing an edition of my newsletter devoted to that topic. I pursue no particular ideological agenda in my newsletter, but try to give a balanced account of interest to practitioners who act for Aboriginal groups, governments and private industry alike.

    1. i am interested in law and need help writing pleadings and complaints pro se. there is no law school on maui. would/could you help me.
      attorneys and paralegals here not allowed to “help” others.

  2. I am interested in having students help me find amended pleading information and how to counter claim, cross claim complaint pleading information. Any information on how I might find students interested in this practice.

  3. That’s an amazing result for a moot that contained 56 teams! Well done to all involved. I think there will always be legal work regarding protection and equality for indigenous groups around the world, so these students are learning a valuable skill that can be put to good use throughout their career.

    How many law schools are there in Hawaii? I’m interested because I’ve heard that school ranking can play a significant part of the kind of jobs students with a graduate diploma in law can acheive straight out of school… although it’s a US state, I would imagine the choice is much more limited than the mainland due to the isolation of the territory. But then, on the the hand, there aren’t all those mainland law students to up the competition and make finding a job difficult.

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