High school students to compete before distinguished judges at CU Law School

February 6, 2013 •

The Bryon R. White Center at the University of Colorado Law School will host its second annual Marshall-Brennan Moot Court Competition at the Wolf Law Building from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9.

The competition gives underrepresented students from high schools in the Denver metro area the opportunity to present an oral argument about a case involving the First Amendment and how it applies to student speech on a school-sponsored website. More than 50 high school students will come to Boulder to compete and twice that number will attend as observers to support their classmates.

The event is free and open to the public. Each student competitor will present three arguments in the morning rounds, which will be judged by panels of volunteer attorneys and judges from the Denver/Boulder legal community.

The top six students from the morning rounds will continue to the final round starting at 1 p.m. The final round will be heard by a panel of distinguished appellate judges, including Judge Neil Gorsuch of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Chief Justice Michael Bender of the Colorado Supreme Court and Judge Terry Fox of the Colorado Court of Appeals.

All six finalists will advance to the National Marshall-Brennan Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C., on April 5-7. The White Center will raise private funding to pay for each finalist’s travel expenses.

All of the high school students who will attend the Marshall-Brennan Moot Court Competition were coached by a select group of Colorado Law students who enrolled in White Center Director Melissa Hart’s Education and the Constitution course. As part of this class, teams of Colorado Law students visit with high school students once a week throughout the school year to teach them about the Constitution and how it applies in the school setting.

Participating schools include Abraham Lincoln High School, Bruce Randolph School, Global Leadership Academy and Martin Luther King Jr. Early College, all of Denver, and Academy High School, North Valley School for Young Adults, York International School and the Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts, all in Thornton.

Now in the second year of the program, Hart is proud that nearly 500 Colorado high school students have gone through the program.

“It is thrilling to work with these high school students as they develop both a deeper understanding of the Constitution and the confidence to get up and speak in front of lawyers and judges,” said Hart. “I am honored to be part of a legal community that is willing to volunteer time to show these students how much their success matters to all of us.”

For more information on the Byron R. White Center and the Marshall-Brennan Moot Court Competition visit http://www.colorado.edu/law/research/byron-white-center.

Keri Ungemah, 720-984-0457
Laura McNabb, 303-552-7657