Northeastern Law Team Awarded Best Petitioner Brief at NEBLSA Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Competition

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03.08.22 — Gizela Zaqueu ’23 and Genevievre Miller ’23 were awarded Best Petitioner Brief at the regional Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Competition held during the 54th Northeast Black Law Students Association’s (NEBLSA) regional convention in February. Each competition team consisted of two advocates who wrote briefs arguing on behalf of either the petitioner or the respondent. For each round, teams had 30 minutes, including rebuttal, to argue on behalf of their client. Competitors were evaluated on their overall ability as appellate advocates.

Zaqueu and Miller wrote an appellate brief and argued a case focused on the many interpretations of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. “We wrote our brief on behalf of the petitioner, the United States government,” explained Miller, who was recently appointed editor-in-chief of the Northeastern University Law Review. “Gizela and I were on different co-op rotations, which made the writing process even more challenging. Writing a brief during finals and at the end of a co-op was no small feat. We were so successful because we remained supportive and patient with one another during the entire writing process. There were a lot of long nights, but we were committed to producing the best brief we could.”

“We’re thankful for Professor McCoy Dunkley, Professor Medwed, Professor Hahn-DuPont, Professor Rowan, Professor Hartung and Visiting Scholar Amanda Shapiro, who provided extensive feedback during our oral argument practice. I’m thankful that Genevievre and I provided each other with support, flexibility and feedback during this process because I believe it was essential to our success with the brief,” said Zaqueu.

A second team, comprised of Azra Carrington ’23 and Sadeek Walker ’23, also competed. Both teams spent countless hours poring over SCOTUS briefs and brief-writing resources, and writing and refining their briefs on behalf of their respective clients. Both teams also engaged in multiple rounds of oral argument practice in advance of the competition. Through practice, they further developed their arguments and their ability to think on their feet in response to questions from the bench.

“I am so very proud of all of them,” said Professor Victoria McCoy Dunkley, who supervised the teams. “They exhibited such a strong work ethic and leaned into the process. I feel very privileged to bear witness to their growth as advocates and future lawyers. The future of the legal profession is bright.”

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country. Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences through its signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. More than 1,000 employers worldwide in a wide range of legal, government, nonprofit and business organizations participate in the program. With a focus on social justice and innovation, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experiences to successfully practice law.

For more information, contact d.feldman@northeastern.edu.