Creighton law school’s Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA) has brought the Frederick Douglass Moot Court competitive team back to Creighton University after a long hiatus. Tryouts for this competitive team took place Oct. 11-13 at the law school and were judged by Raneta Mack, JD, professor of law, and Madison McNary, JD’17. Creighton ultimately decided to send one team to competition, and those who made the team include Kai Wahrmann-Harry, vice president of the BLSA and Dominique “Dom” O’Connor, secretary of the BLSA.
Dom O’Connor shared why bringing this team back to Creighton’s law school is so important.
What prompted BLSA to reinvigorate the Frederick Douglass Moot Court team at Creighton?
The topics debated on this competitive team are within the realm of poverty and civil rights law. BLSA hadn’t been very active at Creighton in the last couple years, so in my role as secretary of BLSA, I reached out to people at national BLSA offices and asked what we might do to get more involved. Bringing back this moot court team was one solid way to do this. This moot court team is open to accelerated JD students and second- and third-year law students. The only requirement is that you must be a BLSA member, but that means paying dues of just $5 a year.
What did the tryout process look like?
We did it based on utility as only four members signed up. However, we still had tryouts even though there is just one team of two people each.
When does the competitive moot court season get under way and how long does it last?
We were in the brief writing process for about five weeks (Oct. 23-Nov. 25). After winter break, the teams practiced oral arguments for two weeks until the regional competition.
If Creighton’s team advances to regional or national championships, where will those debates take place?
Regionals took place from Jan. 31-Feb. 4, 2018 in St. Louis. We did not make it to semi-finals, but for those teams that did advance, nationals are March 12-18 in Brooklyn, New York.