Marshall-Brennan Project

The Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project started at American University and now has chapters nationwide.

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. 

Over the course of the Fall semester, Teaching Fellows spend one day a week in the classroom, educating their high school counterparts about the Constitution and the importance of civic participation, encouraging them to explore their public speaking potential, and exposing them to higher education opportunities.

Teaching Fellows also coach the high school students for a moot court competition. In each class, all of the students do one round of oral argument, which enhances their understanding of the substantive issue and pushes them to engage in public speaking.

All of the high school students are invited to participate in the Colorado Marshall-Brennan Moot Court Competition, which is hosted at Colorado Law every year. This event allows students to compete against their peers from other Colorado high schools in oral argument rounds judged by local lawyers and judges. Each year, around forty students compete in the Colorado competition. This year's finalists were:

  • Dalton Aker, Longmont High School
  • Vilma Carbajal, York International School
  • Ashley Fisher, York International School
  • Ami Laija, York International School
  • Lorena Sosa, Academy High School
  • Karen Villar, York International School

 

The finalists from the Colorado Competition have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the National Marshall-Brennan Moot Court Competition, which features the top high school students from across the country. In addition to competing, students tour the nation's capital and interact with public officials. Our 2014 finalists and alternates traveled to Washington, D.C. April 4–6 for the national competition, where Ashley Fisher from York International School was a semi-finalist.

2013 National Moot Court Competition

The group pictured before touring the United States Supreme Court.

The group in front of the United States Capitol.

Bryan Ruiz, Haley Candelario, Crystal Perez, and Zandra Martinez (all from York International School) pictured before the first day of the competition.

Oktobre Axtell (student at Bruce Randolph High School) delivers her second argument of the day.

The Colorado high school students take a break from the competition to each lunch.

Ja'Won Montgomery, Kassandra Yanez, and Zandra Martinez pictured with Mary Beth Tinker.

Crystal Perez (student at York International School) stands after learning that she was selected as a semi-finalist.

Ilias Politis (chaperone and Colorado Law student) pictured on the bus with Alex Gamboa (student at Bruce Randolph High School) during a monuments tour.

The group pictured outside of the White House.

The group at the World War II Memorial.

Oktobre Axtell, Ja'Won Montgomery, and Alex Gamboa (all students from Bruce Randolph High School) pictured at the Lincoln Memorial.

Crystal Perez, one of 24 high school students from across the country selected to compete in the semi-final round, presents her argument.

The group pictured with the three volunteers who judged the semi-final round.

Crystal Perez and Melissa Hart pictured after the second day of the competition.

2013 Colorado Moot Court Competition

Volunteer judges and attorneys prepare to hear high school students' oral arguments.

Melissa Hart, White Center Director, welcomes high school students to the second Colorado Marshall-Brennan Moot Court Competition.

Alfonso Calvo delivers his second oral argument of the morning.

Volunteers Todd Saveland, Kathleen Nalty, and Judge Dennis Hall (left to right) consider a student's argument.

Marlene Talamantes, who was named Top Oralist of the competition, presents her first argument.

Ja'Won Montgomery from Bruce Randolph High School, later named a 2013 alternate, presents his third argument of the day.

Luis Toro, a volunteer attorney, provides feedback after the third round of argument.

The 2013 finalists and alternates are announced.

As a token of appreciation, the 2012 finalists present Melissa Hart, White Center Director, with a "thank you" poster that was signed by high school students, teaching fellows, volunteers, and observers.

Melissa Hart, White Center Director, introduces alternate Zandra Martinez, a 9th grade student at York International, to Chief Justice Bender.

Finalist Haley Candelario smiles with Judge Terry Fox (Colorado Court of Appeals), Judge Neil Gorsuch (Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals), and Chief Justice Michael Bender (Colorado Supreme Court) before presenting her final argument to this esteemed panel of judges.

Finalist Lessly Chavez, a 12th grade student from Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts, presents her final argument in the Wittemyer Courtroom.

Finalist Crystal Perez, a 9th grade student from York International, presents her final argument in the Wittemyer Courtroom.

Judge Terry Fox (Colorado Court of Appeals), Chief Justice Michael Bender (Colorado Supreme Court), and Judge Neil Gorsuch (Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals) consider a student's argument.

Finalist Bryan Ruiz, a 9th grade student from York International, presents his final argument in the Wittemyer Courtroom.

The 2013 finalists and alternates pose with Judge Terry Fox (Colorado Court of Appeals), Judge Neil Gorsuch (Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals), and Chief Justice Michael Bender (Colorado Supreme Court).