February 14, 2017
On Saturday, January 28, the University of Colorado Law School welcomed approximately 60 high school students from the Denver metro area as they competed in the fourth annual Colorado Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Moot Court Competition, hosted by the Byron R. White Center.
The student competitors delivered oral arguments to panels of volunteer judges and lawyers, including U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel, Colorado Supreme Court Justice Rich Gabriel, and Judge Laurie Booras of the Colorado Court of Appeals, who judged the final round of argument.
The finalists from the Colorado competition now have the opportunity to travel to Boston, Massachusetts, to compete in the National Marshall-Brennan Moot Court Competition, which features the top high school students from across the country. The national competition will take place March 24-26, 2017, at Suffolk University School of Law.
The competition is part of the national Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, which has chapters across the country. Each year, the Colorado chapter partners a select group of upper-level Colorado Law students (teaching fellows) with public school teachers in underserved high schools to teach a course about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
In addition to working in the classroom with their high school counterparts, teaching fellows also coach the high school students for the moot court competition.
“Watching the arguments, it was evident that the high school students put in enormous effort,” said Melissa Hart, professor and director of the White Center. “It was also clear that the law school Marshall-Brennan Teaching Fellows had gone above and beyond, spending many hours during the month of January—after their official commitment to the class was over.”
“I am deeply grateful to all of the high school teachers, administrators and students who give us the opportunity to work with them on this project each year, to the law students who give so generously of their time and energy, to the alumni who come back year after year to serve as judges, and to the University of Colorado for supporting this work,” Hart said.